Dunfermline to start with derby clash at Cowdenbeath
THE SFL published their fixtures yesterday with the existing 30 member clubs, and no others, included and the new season, as it stands, will kick off with flag-raising days in Fife and Clackmannanshire on Saturday, 11 August.
Cowdenbeath will be presented with their Second Division title-winning flag before they start life in the First Division at home to neighbours Dunfermline, while Alloa’s Recreation Park will also see a flag-raising ceremony ahead of Paul Hartley’s Third Division champions entertaining East Fife.
The Blue Brazil and the Pars were separated by two divisions last season as Dunfermline were playing in the SPL, however they were both in the First Division two years ago with the East End Park side being successful in all four league meetings on their way to winning the title under the guidance of Jim McIntyre.
The Central Park side last defeated their near neighbours in May 1993 when they won 2-0 on an away trip and you have to travel back 35 years to August 1977 for their last home win over the Pars.
Promoted Dumbarton have a tough introduction to life in the First Division as they will play their first game at this level since May 1996 at Dens Park against Dundee. The Sons have their first home game the following Saturday when they face last season’s Second Division rivals, Cowdenbeath. Dundee and their SPL neighbours Dundee United are both due to be at home on the same day later in the season on both December 29 and February 9, and the clubs have been asked to work together in order that the games can be played on separate days.
An SFL spokesperson said: “These clashes were unavoidable. The clubs have co-ordinated in the past to get games played on different days and we are sure they will do so again.”
There is also a potentially exciting end to the season for Barry Smith’s side as they are scheduled to visit Dunfermline on the final Saturday of the season, May 4 2013. The remaining opening day fixtures see Morton host Livingston, with Partick Thistle starting at home to Falkirk and Hamilton Accies beginning with a trip to Raith Rovers.
In the Second Division Alloa fans will get to see a title flag unveiled for the first time since 1998. Relegated Ayr United begin life in the Second Division under the guidance of new manager Mark Roberts at home to Stenhousemuir and Queen of the South, who have also come down from the First, start under new manager Allan Johnston with a visit from Forfar.
Another new boss, Todd Lumsden, begins his time in charge of Albion Rovers on league duty with a trip to Brechin City’s Glebe Park, with the final opening fixture in the Second Division seeing unsuccessful promotion play-off sides Airdrie United and Arbroath meet in Lanarkshire.
The opening day of the Third Division will see the first-ever competitive meeting between Stirling Albion and Annan at Forthbank, while Peterhead host Stranraer. Elgin also make a long trip when they visit Berwick, while East Stirlingshire host last season’s runners-up Queen’s Park. Clyde will be hoping to begin the new campaign at Montrose’s Links Park a lot better than they ended last season where they went down 5-0 to the Gable Endies.
The SFL agreed to move the opening fixture for Livingston to an away venue to allow necessary work to be carried out on their pitch with Forfar, Annan and Clyde also getting away fixtures to allow maximum time for the installation of new artificial surfaces over the summer.
All four clubs are at home on August 18 to ensure that all clubs start the season with at least one of their first three games on home soil.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West