TOP meets bottom at Meikleriggs this afternoon in a match of massive importance to Ferguslie and Dumfries.

For leaders Ferguslie victory could be enough to see them clinch their first Western Premier title while defeat for Dumfries would see the Nunholm men slip closer towards the regelation trapdoor.

Neither club, though, is taking such an outcome for granted with the Paisley team focused merely on securing the first of two wins which would make the title an absolute certainty and Dumfries refusing to throw in the towel.

While victory today, coupled with a Clydesdale defeat, would see his team crowned champions Jamey Carruthers, the Ferguslie captain, said: “As things stand we need to win two of the remaining matches to win the league without looking at other results.

“We will simply focus on trying to win a tough match against Dumfries and look to continue our good form.”
Dumfries chairman Andy Reed said: “Taking on Ferguslie will be a big challenge – indeed all our remaining matches will be a challenge – but we are looking to take points from them all.

“The season has been a challenge for Dumfries especially losing fixtures against teams around us in the league to bad weather and pitch conditions – it is a truly unique season where we have played the least fixtures of anyone in the league.

“We remain determined to retain our place in the division although we know results elsewhere will continue to have an impact.

“On our day we can cause upsets and we hope to do that at Ferguslie.”

The home side are at full strength but Dumfries travel without two experienced campaigners in Scott Beveridge and Stuart Corbet-Byers.

Meanwhile Clydesdale will attempt to delay Ferguslie’s celebrations with victory over West of Scotland at Titwood. The southside club came out on top in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season but can take nothing for granted against a West team who could yet be dragged into the basement dogfight.

Ayr currently occupy the second relegation place and they will bid to build on their morale-boosting win at West a fortnight ago when they visit local rivals Prestwick.

A win for Ayr would increase the pressure on third bottom Greenock who face a tricky trip to Uddingston. The visitors are boosted by the return of Jon Hempsey but Harry Briggs misses out.

Third top Stirling entertain a Poloc side who hand first starts of the season to Lewis James who has returned from a spell in Australia while Adil Ghaffar is back from university in England.