It’s the final countdown

1511003 SSFF raith cowden 'Iain Davidson celebrates Grant Murray's equaliser as Cowdenbeath are still trying to clear their lines - Cowdenbeath against Raith Rovers at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
1511003 SSFF raith cowden 'Iain Davidson celebrates Grant Murray's equaliser as Cowdenbeath are still trying to clear their lines - Cowdenbeath against Raith Rovers at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
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THE countdown to the title is on!

With four games to go the only sure bet is that the championship flag will be flying in Fife ... but which ground?

Raith Rovers and Dunfermline Athletic are facing up to the biggest derby in years at East End Park in just nine days time.

But before then they both have tricky weekend matches.

While the Pars host Queen of the South, Rovers head to central Scotland and a game aginst relegated Stirling Albion.

Stephen Simmons is back in the squad after injury and suspension, and Laurie Ellis may also come into the reckoning after a spell on the sidelines as John McGlynn looks for the win which will set up a derby showdown.

Goalie call

He will also get progress reports on Mark Campbell after the central defender reported a knee injury after Saturday’s 2-2 tie with Cowdenbeath - and make a call on his starting goalie after Andrew McNeil’s gaffe gifted the Blue Brazil a goal.

‘‘You can’t hide from the fact he made a mistake - but he also made some good saves,’’ said the boss.

‘‘As always we’ll analyse the match and look at the goal attempts. ‘They were something like 19-13 in our favour, but we have two good goalies here.’’

McGlynn is aware Albion will go into the game minus any pressure after the spectre of relegation was finally confirmed last weekend, and that they have been a thorn in Rovers’ flesh in recent seasons.

‘‘I’d far rather be in a promotion race than a relegation battle - the pressure down there is enormous,’’ he said. ‘’In that respect they may relax as it’s over now, so we have to be prepared and focussed.

‘‘We have four games left and four wins means we go up.’’

While Saturday’s draw against Cowdenbeath dented Raith’s momentum, it didn’t wreck their title hopes - a fact the boss emphasised again in midweek.

‘‘Nothing really changed as a result of the draw,’’ he said. We still have to go to Stirling and win and then Dunfermline.

‘‘If we’d won we would have been a point clear and there was a chance a draw would have done against Dunfermline.

‘‘But that still wouldn’t have meant it was over. We have two difficult games coming after that.’’

McGlynn accepts they are there to be shot down by the other teams having been at the heart of the promotion race, and led the league, for so long.

‘‘There is the pressure that we are expected to win every game, but we are used to it,’’ he said.

‘‘The fans are also used to it as well, and I thought they were tremendous on Saturday.’’