By Lewis Michie
A very lower league team of the week this time around, just the two players from the Premiership (One from either side of Edinburgh), five Championship representatives, one player in League One and three lads from League Two. A few players could have been included, Cove’s keeper Stuart McKenzie is unlucky to miss out to his opposite number from Saturday’s clash with Stirling Albion. Both sides of the Old Firm could have posed players for the team, but with how routine and regular many of their wins seem to be, it needs to be something special to force their way in. Also, Sean Dillon at Montrose put up a fight with our centre-half choices.
Blair Currie – Stirling Albion
After coming out of the game without any points, you probably wouldn’t expect a Stirling player in this line-up. However, the game could have easily already have been under Cove Ranger’s control much earlier than Mitch Megginson’s late penalty had Blair Currie not been on top form. The Stirling stopper made several fantastic saves to deny Cove, unfortunately he guessed the wrong way for the Balmoral hitman’s spot kick.
Michael Smith – Hearts
Heart’s full-back Michael Smith has been one of the few players at Tynecastle who seems to have come out on the right end of the last few months. It seems a pretty consistent opinion in the maroon end of the capital that the Northern Irishman should be one of the first names in the team-sheet. One of the reasons for that is his defensive ability, that isn’t his reason to be in this team this week however. Of course his side conceded twice to St Mirren, so that would be quite odd to praise his defensive ability (Although, in fairness, he couldn’t be blamed for the goals). It was instead Smith’s attacking intent – landing two assists – that secures his spot.
Daniel Higgins – Cove Rangers
This spot could have easily went to either Higgins or his central partner Scott Ross this week as they shut-out Stirling Albion. Now, while keeping a clean sheet against second bottom doesn’t seem all that impressive for a side five points clear at the top, Cove did have issues early on in the season with keeping a clean sheet against anyone, so it’s progress. Stirling provided an attacking threat on the counter as Cove pushed men forward in search of a winner, and both Higgins and Ross had to be on guard. Higgins take the spot though, after making a fantastic last ditch sliding tackle in the first half.
Thomas O’Brien – Arbroath
The impressive thing about the Lichties’ backline is that it’s often hard to set them apart – they defend as a unit and all impress. It was O’Brien singled out for the most praise for his defensive abilities on Saturday as they beat Inverness Caley Thistle 3-0 though.
Andrew Steeves – Montrose
25-year-old Steeves is a main-stay in the Montrose team, Only an injury has prevented the left-back playing 100% of available league minutes for Mo this season. The whole team at Links Park have been part of the magnificent run of games, and turn-around, lately as the club have went on a six game winning run. Steeves however earns himself a place in this team after helping Mo to a clean sheet over Forfar, and grabbing an assist.
Scott Stewart – Arbroath
The team is very Arbroath heavy this week, but had we been limited to just one player per team, then Stewart would have been our choice. The PE teacher scored his first goal for the club and was just an overall pain in the backside for the Caley defense. We all know that in a league like the Championship, especially as a part-time team, you need everyone to pitch in – there aren’t many one man teams. Stewart is just another very useful cog in the machine at Gayfield, but he’s proving this year he is one of those with a bright spark to light up a game.
Miko Virtanen – Arbroath
Young Finnish Aberdeen loanee Virtanen has made quite the impression on the Gayfield faithful. A slow start for the former Everton youth had a few thinking he was just there to warm the bench, but as of late he’s barely left the pitch. Sitting in a midfield three with Mark Whatley and David Gold, no team is going to relish coming up against that central core. Miko received rave reviews again on Saturday, and there are already Arbroath fans hoping that 1. He runs from Finland Under 21 duty without so much as a scratch and 2. Aberdeen aren’t keen on recalling him if in January if they face another injury crisis.
Callum Butcher – Dundee United
Callum butcher put in a dominating performance when Dundee United beat Dundee again on Friday night. Although he was booked early on it felt like he was everywhere in the midfield. Butcher played a huge role in the victory by winning the midfield battle early on.
Shea Gordon – Partick Thistle
Shea Gordon came on to make difference for 10 man Partick and what a difference he made. The midfielder was only on for 30 seconds before he shot low into the corner and scored. Gordon would restore the lead just 7 minutes later with his second of the game. Partick will be hoping Gordon has sparked their big turnaround.
Christian Diodge – Hibernian
Who’d have seen this one coming? Five days after Paul Heckingbottom was sacked Diodge put in the performance of his life. The striker scored a hat-trick handing Hibs just their second win of the season. His first goal came after the strikers first shot was saved by Zander Clark allowing Doidge to have a tap in. The second was a first time flick into the bottom corner from a Kamberi cross. His third was wonderful header which saw Doidge rise above the St Johnstone defence.
Salim Kouider-Aissa – Queen’s Park
Without a doubt, Aissa has been one of, if not the, most impressive Spider’s player so far this season. He has struck six times, including twice in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over struggling Brechin City. Now just a point outside the play-off zone, and with a superior goal difference, who knows where Queen’s ceiling lies this year – and how many goals Aissa can grab.
Disagree with our choices? Tell us your team of the week on social media – @NE98FT