BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
HIBERNIAN and Raith Rovers already have players walking suspension tightropes following this week’s play-off clash.
A total of 25 players will go into tomorrow’s second-legs across the divisions knowing that just one more booking will rule them out of their club’s next match if they progress.
Under the Scottish FA’s disciplinary legislation, each player’s yellow-card record for the regular league campaign is wiped clean for the start of the play-offs.
But, with distinct rules similar to the domestic cup competitions, players need just two cautions in the tension of the end-of-season deciders to earn themselves a one-game ban.
Raith midfielder Ross Callachan and Hibs pair Marvin Bartley and Dylan McGeouch picked up bookings in Wednesday night’s 1-0 win for Rovers.
As a consequence, another caution at Easter Road tomorrow will see them pick up a suspension for the first-leg of the semi-final against Falkirk if their side wins through.
Meanwhile, in the other play-offs, every club has players seeking to stay on the right side of the officials as they bid to avoid a suspension.
Stranraer, who pulled off a stunning 5-2 victory over Livingston, have Craig Pettigrew, Liam Dick and Andy Stirling walking a fine line, whilst the Lions have Craig Halkett and Mark Fotheringham sitting on one yellow card.
Potential opponents Ayr United have Paddy Boyle and on-loan pair Ross McCrorie and Craig Moore on a disciplinary tightrope after their 4-1 hammering of Peterhead, who have Ryan Strachan, Simon Ferry, Leighton McIntosh and Andy Rodgers in the same situation.
For League Two hopefuls Queen’s Park, who head to Cowdenbeath protecting a 2-0 first-leg victory, Sean Burns and two-goal hero Chris Duggan are one caution away from missing the final first-leg, whilst the Blue Brazil have Aldi El-Zubaidi, Chris Kane, Ross Caldwell and Kyle Miller trying to avoid a ban.
In the other League One play-off, Mark McLaughlin, Scott Linton and David Marsh were all booked as Clyde defeated Elgin City 3-1 on Tuesday and they will be joined by City’s Matthew Cooper in seeking to steer clear of another caution in tomorrow’s second-leg.