SPFL Round-Up: Scoring Bangers, Surprise Results and Title Battles

By Greg Taylor

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Premiership

 Aberdeen scored three of the best away to Fir Park this week securing three points which few may have expected going into the weekend. Sam Cosgrove calmly chipped the ‘keeper one on one, Niall McGinn placed one in the top corner and Zak Vyner thrashed one in from outside the box. The Dons looked much better against a high flying Motherwell team. The make shift team of Vyner and Leigh in midfield worked much better than it looked on paper as well. McInnes’s men can take pride in their performance after a rough few months. However they have the Champions coming up to Pittodrie this weekend where an equal if not better performance will be needed to have any hope of taking anything away from the game.

Rangers were only able to take a point from a floundering Hearts side at Tynecastle. James Tavernier’s blunder at the back allowed Hearts to open the scoring early on. However Morelos drew the Gers level 6 minutes before the break. Rangers will be disappointed to be dropping points especially after going top of the league last week. It will be a good point for Heart’s who many wrote off going into the game. The game has been marred by alleged racial abuse of Alfredo Morelos, something that needs to be stamped out of our game soon.

In Glasgow, Celtic went back to the top of the table on goal difference after thrashing Ross County 6-0. Mohamed Elyounoussi grabbed two for the Hoops but Neil Lennon will be pleased to see goals coming from all over his attacking line up. With the Old Firm teams both putting in performances of this calibre so far this season but also dropping points unexpectedly it could turn out to be a very interesting campaign. As for Ross County they sit 6th in the table and will hope to redeem themselves next week with a trip to Hibs

Elsewhere St Johnstone lost yet again, this week in a 2-0 defeat away to St Mirren. The Saints sit bottom of the table, three points off 11th. Questions at this point will surely be  being raised over Tommy Wright. He has undoubtably done wonders for the club but he may have taken this team as far as it can go. The question remains, do St Johnstone stick with the man they have trusted for 6 years or gamble with someone else to keep them up.

Championship

Robbie Neilson spoke midweek of the “feel good factor” back at Tannadice after signing a contract extension. Dundee United kept this going by getting beat 4-0 away to Queen of the South. A double from Stephen Dobbie as well as goals from Kevin Holt and Michael Paton took wind out the sails out of the Terriers once again. Fortunately for Neilson, results elsewhere keeps his side at the top of the table despite 3 loses in his last 5 games. They will rightfully remain favourites to win the league, especially with managerial movements elsewhere, however United will hope to more consistent form coming into the winter fixtures.

Partick Thistle left it late against Dundee, scoring three in the last 10 minutes to grab a 3-1 win against Dundee. Kenny Miller scored in the 85th minute cancelling out Paul McGowen’s first half opener. Shea Gordon scored in the 88th minute shortly followed by Lewis Mansell in the 91st. Although it’s still early days, Ian McCall seems to have changed the mentality at Thistle in a very short period of time. It would have been hard to see Thistle make any sort of comeback like this a month or so ago. However McCall seems to have instilled a different belief in the players. Hopefully grabbing more points in this manner will see them move off the bottom of the table, as they now only sit one point of Alloa who drew with Inverness.

Dunfermline also left it late, scoring an 84th minute winner against manager-less Ayr United. Ayr could have gone top of the table if they got the three points here so will be left frustrated. In the coming days they announced Mark Kerr as their new manager. It is certainly a gamble giving it to a man with very little managerial experience. However he already has a great grasp of the players and club which may work in the Honest Men’s favour. The win sees Dunfermline sit 7th undefeated in four. However they have a difficult task next week with a trip to Tannadice on the horizon.

League One

 Montrose made it 3 wins on the bounce with a 3-1 win against Airdrie a brilliant double from Blair Lyons as well as a goal for Graham Webster meant the 3 points went back to Links Park. The win means they now sit in 8th place, level on points with Forfar who only have a superior goal difference of 1. It’s a great run of form that Montrose are on and they can only hope to keep replicating it to steer them away from the foot of the table. The loss leaves Airdrie in fifth place, not quite pushing for the top nor amongst the relegation spots.

Falkirk ran away 4-0 winners against second bottom Peterhead as they look to claim back top spot. Much like Dundee United in the Championship they will remain strong favourites to clinch the league but will be hoping for this kind of consistency having now gone 5 games unbeaten in domestic competition.

League leaders Raith dropped points away to Clyde in a 2-2 draw. The Rovers will feel the chasing pack breathing down their necks with it seeming inevitable that they will drop a place or two in the league. They face second place East Fife next week in a massive game, one where neither team can really afford to be lose if they wish to keep up. It also gives Falkirk a chance to go top if results go their way. The draw leaves Clyde in 6th place as they continue a relatively inconsistent run. If David Goodwillie continues his good scoring form, he grabbed another two in this game, they could push further up the league. However they go to Falkirk next week which is no easy task.

Team/Player of the Week

 Honourable mentions for player of the weeks this week go to Greig Leigh for his make-shift performance at centre mid this week for Aberdeen. Also a shout out for David Goodwillie who scored a brace in Clyde’s 2-2 draw with Raith. However this week’s player of the week goes to Blair Lyons of Montrose for his double against Airdrie. It was important for the Gable Enders to keep their momentum going with another win and Lyons brace was a standout performance.

A few honourable mentions for team of the week. Although not covered in this article, Auchinleck Talbot grabbed a late winner against League Two high flyers Cove Rangers in the second round of the Scottish Cup. Also mentions for Partick Thistle and Montrose. However this week’s team of the week goes to Aberdeen for their unexpected win at Motherwell. This hopefully shows what the Dons can produce for the rest of the season and was not a one off. Although they have Celtic this weekend they can hopefully use the result as a launch pad for better performances in the coming weeks and months.

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