The Dream Team face a rare Friday night outing this week as we travel up to Ainslie Park for the rearranged Lowland League game against The Spartans FC. This will be the third meeting of the clubs already this season and the first in Edinburgh. To date it's one win each with us winning the Football Nation Qualifying Cup game back in August and Spartans coming out on top in last season's City Cup tie last month.
In that first game Spartans were disappointing and it was hard to tell just how good a win it was. However, they come to us sitting in 7th place in the league with 18 points from six wins in their ten games. They're not the highest scoring of teams with 15 goals scored but they have only conceded 17. Given we have only scored two more it would seem optimistic to imagine a goal fest is on the cards. Their home record this season is three wins and three defeats with the last two home games ending in 3 - 1 defeats at the hands of Shire and The Braves. At the moment they are caught completely in no-mans land in the league sitting 8 points of the top five (albeit it with 3 games in hand) and 8 points of the bottom five. So in many ways this game could help define the course of their season. Needless to say that is even more the case for us.
We enter the game on the back of another disappointing result - not so much in terms of the actual result, but more in they it happened. Conceding late and losing a lead again remains a huge concern - we really need to learn how to hold on to a lead and to see games out. We also go into the game on the back of rumours of interest in Healy from BFKH and at the moment we can little afford to lose our main goal threat - yes other players are chipping in with goals but we need Healy's threat up front.
Losing this game puts huge pressure over the next month with seven games in the league between now and Christmas including home ones against Vale and Gretna and obviously it would be good to go into them with a bot of confidence and even a bit of breathing space. We don't want to be going into 2020 sucked right into a relegation battle - last year's experience shows just how difficult it is to get out of that type of rut. We are a young team and we are playing some decent football at times but we now need this on a more consistent basis.
It's hard to see Friday as being anything other than a tight battle with two teams who struggle a bit to find the back of the net (It's going to be five all now)