AFTER their unwanted week off on Saturday Cowdenbeath are now preparing for the severest of tests when they take on the side that has led Ladbrokes League 2 for most of the season, Cove Rangers, at the Balmoral Stadium this weekend.

After their fine win over their closest challengers to their third spot in the table, Annan Athletic, the Blues were desperate for their match with Albion Rovers to beat Saturday's downpour but alas, after things looking hopeful around 9am it all deteriorated just as the match referee arrived to inspect the pitch at 11am.

Said director David Allan: "There had been heavy overnight rain but Central Park was playable at 9am.

"The rain continued to fall but we were doing plenty of forking and it was working pretty well, but just as the referee went out on the park the heavens opened again and puddles began to form and he had no option but to put it off."

It is the second time that an Albion Rovers fixture has been postponed this season with the clubs' meeting at Cliftonhill in November postponed due to frost. New dates for both games will be announced in the very near future.

However, the Cowden squad, and boss Gary Bollan, are now strongly focussing on the trip to the Balmoral Stadium and Cove too were idle on Saturday, with their match at Stirling being a victim of the downpour.

Said Mr Bollan: "It was very frustrating that Saturday's game was postponed for we had played very well against Annan.

"In the first period in particular our attacking play was terrific and we showed the threat that we possess.

"We were looking to repeat that against Rovers, but alas the weather struck, so now we have to put together a similar performance at Cove."

The Rangers were knocked off top spot on Saturday by Edinburgh City's win over Queen's Park at Ainslie Park, so they will be determined to win against the Blue Brazil.

Apart from Connor Smith, who returned to Hearts, the Blues will have the rest of the squad who played so well against Annan available, plus Craig Barr, Graham Taylor and Chris Hamilton, who all missed the Athletic game through illness. The only absentees are 'keeper Kevin Dabrowski, who is recovering from his knee injury, and Kris Renton, who is still four weeks away with his fractured jaw problem.

Cowden will need to try and boss the midfield area at the Balmoral and it will be important that midfielders Kyle Miller, Mikey Herd and Robbie Buchanan (pictured), stamp their authority on this fixture.

Craig Barr will probably return in the centre of defence, although Jamie Pyper and Jamie Todd did well against Annan and Chris Hamilton is also available, and the manager is delighted to have that sort of selection problem.