By Greg Taylor
The second round of the league cup took centre stage this week and as ever there were hopes of big upsets, high scoring games and drama that comes with any cup competition. Although maybe not any major upsets, some of the top clubs did get a scare and saw their first chance of silverware for the season almost disappear.
Celtic were run very close by Dunfermline at Parkhead, with it taking an extra time winner from James Forrest to send Neil Lennon’s men through to the next round. Despite only three shots on target for the visiting side, they continually frustrated Celtic and threw the Hoops fans more ammunition in their complaints about a seemingly tough period.
An excellent effort from Dunfermline. Any team pushing Celtic that close at Parkhead deserves praise and certainly gave the treble treble winners a scare. As for Celtic, their fans seem to believe their team is on a downward spiral despite sitting comfortable at the top of the league, still in European competition (albeit Europa League) and into the next round of the cup. It seems very difficult to feel sympathetic for this grey patch they’re going through.
Championship side Morton produced possibly the game of weekend against Hibs at Easter road in an eight goal thriller. The Hibees were taken to extra time after a last minute own goal. However they managed to put two more past the Morton ‘keeper to secure their place in the next round. A valiant effort from a Morton side who have had a mixed start to the season. Whereas it was a game Hibs felt they should be winning and despite being pushed they managed to progress in the competition.
Hearts were the first team to make their way into the pot for the next round after holding off Motherwell at Fir Park. The Jambos went 2-0 up late in the first half, with the Fir Park side pulling one back on the hour mark. Craig Levein’s side held on despite a penalty miss and rain on a biblical level. It felt a must win game for Levein, whose side have only gained one point from the opening two games of the season. A cup win here was important and a good cup run could make an average season for Hearts become a memorable one.
Elsewhere Aberdeen continued their rocky start to the season by narrowly beating a strong Dundee performance. It took a last minute goal from Andy Considine to take the game to extra time where Sam Cosgrove scored the winner much to the relief of Derek McInnes. Papering the cracks seems to be the term to describe this with the Dons style of play becoming eye bleeding at many points throughout the game. Dundee can take heart from their performance but will be very disappointed not to make it through.
The rest of the draw is made up of Killie, Livingston, Partick Thistle and Rangers which has set up some interesting games in the next round. Hearts vs Aberdeen and Kilmarnock vs Hibs look interesting games which could produce something special when they go head to head in late September.
There were plenty goals and action in League One this week with 17 goals across four games. Four of those were between Airdrie and Clyde. Clyde went up early after a David Goodwillie goal within the first two minutes. Kurtis Roberts levelled the game just after half time with Dale Carrick scoring on the 80th minute to put them ahead. However moment of the match came in the 92nd moment when Calum Gallagher scored a spectacular overhead kick to seal the win for the Airdrieonians. The win keeps Airdrie in the top four while pushing Clyde to the bottom of the table. A very disappointing result for Clyde especially after grabbing an early goal, they will hope to grab their first three points of the season soon before real pressure starts to mount.
You can watch the excellent winner for Airdrie below:
Conor Sammon grabbed himself a brace against a struggling Montrose side. Montrose scored early but only held their lead for 14 minutes before Sammon grabbed his first of the game. His second came just before the hour mark in comical fashion as the Montrose goalkeeper threw the ball off his back and it trundle into the net. Falkirk won’t care though and sit at the top of the table undefeated in their first three League One games. It may not have been a pretty win but games like this where they still manage to secure the three points will be what makes them the standout favourites for the title. Montrose are now tied bottom of the league only separated by Clyde’s poorer goal difference. They too will hope to find a good run of form and rack up a few points early on.
Dumbarton also came from behind against Peterhead. The Sons saw themselves 2-0 down after 36 minutes but pulled one back quickly to reduce the deficit going into the half time break. Two goals within ten minutes saw Jim Duffy’s men take the lead and the three points. A brilliant comeback which gives them their first win of the season which they will hope to build upon going into the coming weeks.
There were goals galore in League two as well this weekend including a big win for Annan who put three past Albion Rovers. Despite pulling a goal back to make it 3-2 Annan held on for the win who continue their undefeated start to the season and now sit third in the table. Albion Rovers drop to sixth place after failing to pick up a win since the opening game of the season. With three teams all poised on seven points at the top of the league it could be a very tight campaign and picking up points like this, it could prove vital later in the season.
Queen’s Park won comfortably away to Brechin putting three past the home side. Brechin then sacked their manager in the coming days. With no points on the board yet this season and off the back of two consecutive relegations it would be hard to argue with sacking a manager this early. However a good appointment is absolutely essential if they are to have any hope of staying up this season.
Elsewhere Cove continued their solid start to the season in a five goal thriller against Cowdenbeath. It took a 91st minute wonder goal from Declan Glass, his second of the game, to keep the three points in the North-East.
Player/Team of the week
Special mentions first and Conor Sammon deserves a shout for his back to back braces in the past two league games. He certainly looks to be hitting the ground running with Falkirk, with Bairns fans hoping it can last. However our player of the week this week goes to Declan Glass for his two worldies he scored for Cove in League Two. Two goals warranting of a goal of the month shout and to grab them both in the same game, one being the winner, definitely warrants player of the week.
FitbaAm (@Fitba_am on Twitter) put together a video below that shows just how good the goals from Dundee United loanee Glass have been.
Team of the week was slightly more difficult this week with a few Championship sides running Premiership clubs close such as Dunfermline and Morton. However not managing to progress despite the high calibre of their opposition did hinder their chances. So this week’s team of the week goes to Dumbarton for their strong comeback against Peterhead. To secure your first win of this season in this manner must give them a massive boost going into next weeks round of fixtures. It would have been very easy for heads to go down after conceding two but they showed great character to come back and take their first three points of the season.