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Ladbrokes SPFL round-up: Chasing pack cannot punish Rangers slip

| 14.12.2015

As Stefan McCluskey netted what looked like an 82nd minute winner, it looked as if Greenock Morton were about to throw a spanner in the works in Rangers’ pursuit of the Ladbrokes Championship title.

However, the Gers were unperturbed and struck back just two minutes later with a goal from the division’s top scorer Martyn Waghorn bagging his 16th of the season.

A 2-2 draw wasn’t the worst result in the circumstances, but it was probably more of a case of two points dropped than one gained.

However, the Glasgow outfit were let off once again as neither Hibernian in second nor third-placed Falkirk could take advantage.

The two sides played out a 1-1 draw which was not devoid of drama itself.

Lee Miller looked to have secured three points for the Bairns, but a late Martin Boyle equaliser made sure the Hibees didn’t drop any points on the league leaders, and remain 5/1 shots for the title.

At the bottom of the table, things took a turn for the better for Alloa Athletic, as the Wasps secured their first win since September 5 with a 1-0 victory over Livingston.

The managerless club are still glued to the foot of the table, but are now just three points behind ninth-placed Livi.

Things look continually bleak for St Mirren as they continue their search for a first win since October 17 after falling to a 1-0 defeat against Dumbarton.

In Ladbrokes League 1 the battle between the top two in the division went the way of Dunfermline as they ran out 2-1 victors over Ayr United.

The Pars are now 1/6 chances to be there come the end of the season, and return to the Scottish second tier.

Brechin City are another side that could be looking to the future after snapping their run of four straight defeats with a 1-1 draw against play-off chasing Peterhead.

They remain bottom, but will be encouraged by the slip in form by others around them, including Forfar who lost once again and took their barren spell in front of goal to three league games with a 1-0 defeat against Cowdenbeath, a result that saw Dick Campbell out of a job.

Airdrieonians were the big winners over the weekend, with the results elsewhere and their 3-1 victory over Stranraer meaning they are now level on points with Peterhead, just outside of the play-off places.

It was much a case of things going to form in Ladbrokes League 2 with the top five in the table all securing victories against the bottom five.

A Darren Smith hat-trick saw that Montrose’s miserable form continued with the Gable Endies now losing their last four after Stirling Albion ran out 3-1 winners.

Berwick Rangers can go one better though, with five straight defeats to their name after they came off worse in a five-goal thriller against Elgin City.

A Peter Weatherson double helped Annan keep their grasp on top-spot with a 3-1 win over East Stirlingshire and are now 9/4 shots to claim the title in May.

Elsewhere there were wins to nil for both Clyde and Queen’s Park who saw off East Fife and Arbroath without either ‘keeper having to pick the ball out of their net.

The table could soon see a real divide between the top and bottom halves if we continue to have weekends like that in Scotland’s fourth tier.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.