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.

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.

“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.” Edinburgh City and Annan were victims of shock results at the weekend with Queen’s Park winning at Ainslie Park and Elgin City beating the Athletic 4-0 at Galabank, but Mr Bollan was not surprised.

“There is very little between any of the teams in the division so I would say that really it is all abut how teams go on a particular day and we will be going to Cove looking to win it,” he added.

“We were very unlucky to lose up there in time added on early in the season so we have nothing to fear if we play like we can, for we have strength in all departments.” 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, but the manager is delighted to have that sort of selection problem.

Mr Bollan concluded: “I hope to bring a couple of lads in this month to add to our strengths and with big Kevin definitely out we will, in all probability, have another look at Josh Rae who was good against Annan, as we look to win on the road.”