National Two preview: Falkirk and Glasgow Accies aim to ease away from danger

GHK and Whitecraigs kick-off this weekend's National Two league schedule with a Friday night west coast derby clash at Anniesland

Glasgow Accies picked up a morale noosing win over Hamilton Bulls last weekend. Image: Bob Johnstone
Glasgow Accies picked up a morale noosing win over Hamilton Bulls last weekend. Image: Bob Johnstone

FALKIRK and Glasgow Accies, who are ninth and 10th in the Tennent’s National League Division Two table respectively, meet in a big game at Horne Park tomorrow.

Last weekend, Falkirk lost out 20-19 at second bottom side Gordonians while Accies turned on the attacking style to secure a bonus point home victory over Hamilton Bulls. They are on 14 and 13 points respectively heading into this week nine match-up, and know that they have a big opportunity to open up some real daylight between bottom two sides Gordonians (on nine points) and Whitecraigs (on eight points).

“The boys are still very positive despite the loss last week,” said Falkirk head coach Stevie Leckie. “We are going through a lot of changes at the club at the minute, but we are getting a great reaction on and off the pitch.

“Ahead of this game we have been focusing on doing the simple things well and the boys are looking forward to it. The league is full of good sides which makes it exciting.”

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Accies travel with Scott Simmons and Gregor MacEwan coming into the squad. “They are two experienced first XV backs who will certainly add quality to the group,” head coach Andy Jackson explained. “With more players having returned to training this week, the quality of the sessions has been good after a solid win against a side higherup in the league [Hamilton].

“The boys are excited by the prospect of putting in back-to-back performances that the club can be proud of.”

This weekend’s National Two schedule actually gets under way tonight when GHK host Whitecraigs. The home side will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss at leaders Dumfries Saints and keep up their title challenge, while Whitecraigs know they have to improve defensively if they are to have a chance of causing a shock.

Turning back to Saturday, Dumfries face a tricky away match at old rivals Newton Stewart, as they look to make it eight wins from eight in the league this season. They are seven points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand over the chasing pack.

Meanwhile, Kirkcaldy are up to third in the table and they host Hamilton at Beveridge Park. The Bulls won 48-24 in Fife two weeks ago in the National League Cup and expect points to flow again from these two sides who have scored nearly 500 between them to date in the 2019-20 league campaign.

Peebles are in fourth and they host seventh placed Preston Lodge at The Gytes as they look to bounce back from their frustrating loss to Kirkcaldy last weekend.

Gordonians head coach Ryan Morrice wants his players to take on the road the attitude that saw them over the line against Falkirk when they travel to Inverleith to take on sixth placed Stewart’s Melville.

“It was great to win last week, we showed some good battling qualities,” he said. “We need to take the attitude that served us in that game to Edinburgh and we also have to hold onto the ball for longer periods if we want to get a positive away result. There is a few changes in the squad and we are able to welcome back Tom Williams and Corey Buchan for this one.”

This weekend’s National League Division Two fixtures –

Friday night –

GHK v Whitecraigs (8pm)

Saturday (all 2pm unless stated) –

Newton Stewart v Dumfries Saints

Falkirk v Glasgow Accies

Stewart’s Melville v Gordonians

Peebles v Preston Lodge (2.30pm)

Kirkcaldy v Hamilton Bulls (3pm)

Current league standings –

Stewart's Mel1815305202432772271
Dumfries Saints18135058227830410264
Newton Stewart191081333376-437251
Preston Lodge16961410339719246
Hamilton Bulls1881005494806910446
Glasgow Accies196121285524-2395132

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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 174 Articles
Gary has had a love for both rugby and writing for as far back as he can remember. Having cut his teeth in the ‘real world’ of journalism at the Midlothian Advertiser local newspaper for a couple of years between 2005 and 2007, he has since been kept busy covering sport, mainly rugby. He was a member of the editorial team at SCRUM Magazine for 11 years until recently and now provides regular rugby content to various national and local newspapers, magazines and websites via his company GH Media as well as hosting a podcast. Twitter: G_HMedia