AFTER a good opening to the Ladbrokes League 2 programme, Cowdenbeath now face a really important run of four games to the end of the first quarter which gives them the chance of establishing themselves as top four challengers.

Having taken nine points from their opening five games Cowden sit third in the table but all these points have come at home and with the next two games on the road the team will be hoping to replicate their home form away from Central Park when they visit Stenhousemuir on Saturday at Ochilview.

Stenny have had a mixed start but have five points and of course had a 2-0 win over Cowdenbeath at the Larbert ground in July in the Betfred Cup.

So Cowden will need to improve on that performance and result but should be capable of getting a result.

Then the following Saturday they face Queen’s Park away from home and that is also an important fixture.

The Spiders have also made a steady start and sit just one point behind the Blues currently so this is a big match for both teams.

These two away games are then followed by two home fixtures to complete the first quarter. They take on Albion Rovers at Central Park on September 28 and the following week meet current second top Edinburgh City at home.

So if Cowdenbeath can collect six, or event eight points from these matches, they would be very much up there challenging for a top four slot.

But manager Gary Bollan is only focussing on Saturday’s trip to Stenny: “It has been a good start and to win our first three home games is very pleasing but we have to look to start collecting points on the road.

“To put together a really successful campaign means you have to pick up good results both at home and abroad and Saturday is a very big game.

“We have to produce the sort of form we have shown in the three home league wins at Ochilview and that is the target.

“I hope that we can continue to defend as well as we have at home when we meet Stenhousemuir and that can set the base to get the win we want.”

Cowden will have striker and skipper, David Cox, back for this one although Graham Taylor, who replaced him in the win over Brechin, played effectively in that one.

Taylor has shown the ability to adapt to different roles and play in wide attacking areas but Cox’s goal scoring record means he will be back at Stenny.

Harvey Swann is also fit and will be in the squad but there will be few changes from the starting line-up against City.