GREENOCK Wanderers make the trip to the Kingdom of Fife tomorrow when they head to Beveridge Park to face Kirkcaldy in another important match in the BT National League Second Division.

The hosts defeated Wanderers in the earlier fixture this season at Fort Matilda by the narrow margin of 14-10, but have endured a difficult time recently and sit just three points ahead of the locals in eighth place in the league.

Kirkcaldy have won four of their 12 games so far but suffered two heavy defeats in successive weeks when they were crushed by Hamilton 55-21 a fortnight ago and were also well beaten 41-5 last weekend by the most improved team in the league, Aberdeenshire.

Wanderers will travel with confidence to Beveridge Park as they played well against Livingston last weekend and have now all but put their relegation worries behind them.

It will be several weeks before mathematical certainty confirms Wanderers second division status for next season but it would take a transformation in fortunes of miraculous proportions for Haddington and Livingston to now come back from the dead.

Greenock should be looking onward and upward as they can conceivably make it into a comfortable mid-table position — if they play to their potential and win another three or four games during the remaining ten matches of the season.

Positive aspiration will be a key ingredient if the locals are to improve on their league standing and rather than settling for safety the Fort Matilda men should now amend their ambitions and focus on climbing the table.

Tomorrow is a very winnable game for the ‘west enders’, particularly when perspective is applied to their early-season results.

Through no fault of his own, head coach Graham Knox had to preside over a shocking first few months of the campaign, caused mainly by the non-availability of key players.

Frankly some appalling performances and heavy defeats meant that relegation seemed a distinct possibility, but with a more settled side and decent squad availability, the club’s fortunes have changed significantly.

In truth, Kirkcaldy were good value for their victory at Fort Matilda in September but the meagre four-point margin of victory indicates that a poor Wanderers side competed that day and ran the Fifers close.

The locals can now boast a much-improved squad in terms of quality and numbers and if, as expected, Ardrossan lose to Cartha Queens Park tomorrow and Wanderers win, while preventing the hosts obtaining a losing bonus point, then they will jump two places in the table.

It is a tangible reward that the players can aspire to and achieve if they take their best game to Kirkaldy.

In terms of selection, Knox will not stray too far from the team that achieved success last weekend. Skipper Murray MacDonald will demand that his troops raise their game once more and if they follow their captain’s example then Kirkcaldy will certainly have to battle throughout the 80 minutes if they are to take anything from the game.

Back-row unit Ally Abernethy, Anton Ward and Martin Lavelle, below, were outstanding last weekend and they will look to maintain those high standards and build on the quality produced tomorrow. Wanderers’ ball maintenance and security at the contact zone was extremely efficient and was down in no small measure to the aggressive scavenging efforts of the loose forward trio.

Scrum-half Andy McDougall looks to have shaken off his troublesome calf strain and will continue his half-back partnership at the fulcrum with experienced stand-off Kenny Diffenthal. As always their contribution will be crucial, particularly with ball in hand when key decisions have to be made.

Out wide the back three of Chris McCarron, Gregor Fletcher and Leigh Tyley have shown they have the appetite and elusive running ability to pose a serious threat to any defence and, with new centre pairing Michael Frizzell and Callum Harrison gelling in midfield, the locals’ backline is now beginning to have a settled and familiar look.

Consistency in selection is imperative if Wanderers are to continue to improve, and with the back division unchanged from last week, the portents are good that a decent run of form and more positive results will follow.

President John McDougall said: “It was pleasing to get the result we hoped for last week but we will certainly not be sitting back on our laurels.

“We have 10 league games left and we want to win as many as possible to raise our standing in the league table.

“Our side is developing with a good mix of youth and experience but despite being a work in progress we need to record some wins to ensure morale remains high.” Kirkcaldy will be eager to get back to winning ways themselves but with confidence high the locals may just have enough to record back to back wins for the first time this season.

Wanderers are sponsored by Texas Instruments.