It was another all-action affair this weekend in the Scottish Championship, with many an intriguing result. Inverness toppling the turbulent Terrors at Tannadice was a standout, Queen of the South edged past Brechin City in a fiery affair at Glebe Park, and Falkirk played out another not-so-scintillating 0-0 draw with St Mirren. Our week ten analysis will begin at Tannadice Park, where the boo’s rang out in their thousands in protest to their terribly run club, and in particular, their manager, Ray McKinnon.
Dundee United 0-2 Inverness
Inverness hauled themselves out of the bottom two with an impressive 2-0 away victory at title candidates Dundee United. Dundee United have been very hit and miss this season, but few could have predicted the ease with which John Robertson’s side dismantled the Dundonian outfit. Former Falkirk star John Baird was causing the United defence real issues, testing Harry Lewis twice early on. Nearly 28 minutes into the match and Iain Vigurs saw his edge of the box shot deflected into the bottom corner to gift Caley the lead. Just eight minutes later and Inverness had doubled their lead. Just moments after Scott McDonald came close to equalising, Connor Bell finished off a counter attack to put Inverness in the driving seat. Inverness did the unthinkable by picking up their third clean sheet on the trot to see their side take a stride away from relegation.
Dunfermline 3-1 Livingston
After a bit of a blip, Dunfermline looked back to their best with a storming 3-1 victory over Livingston. Their day got off to a flier as Kallum Higginbotham put the Pars a goal up after two minutes. This was a goal of some fortune, as a botched clearance by Livi goalkeeper Neil Alexander smacked off Higginbotham and rolled into the net. Canadian international Fraser Aird enjoyed an excellent game. Firstly, he scored a calm finish half an hour into the match, then turned provider by sliding in Kallum Higginbotham for his second of the match. Dunfermline were cruising by halftime and showing all those at East End Park why they are title candidates. Danny Mullen grabbed a consolation goal with minutes to go, but very few Livi fans were still left to see the strike, such was their inadequate performance.
Brechin 0-1 Queen of the South
I feel like I’m writing the same thing over and over and over with poor Brechin City. Played well, tick. Showed potential, tick. Short of luck, tick. Lost, tick. Queen of the South took the lead after an hour. Connor Murray whipped in a corner kick which wasn’t dealt with well. Jason Kerr capitalised on the shoddy defending to hammer the ball into the bottom corner. Derek Lyle amassed most of the visitors chances, almost all of which came courtesy of the big man’s head. With Brechin players getting more and more frustrated at their shortcomings, tempers rose deep into stoppage time as goalscorer Kerr, and Brechin’s Ally Love came to blows with just seconds to go. The referee brandished both players with a red card before blowing full time on another close but not close enough game for Brechin.
Morton 1-1 Dumbarton
Dumbarton got off to a flier on Saturday, taking the lead after only five minutes courtesy of Mark Stewart tucking away a Tom Walsh cross. Morton tested Scott Gallacher hard in the first half, with Dimitrios Froxylias and Jai Quitongo forcing the Sons keeper into some top saves. An hour into the match and Morton’s tenacity paid off. Bob McHugh was in the right place at the right time to tap in the equaliser and rejuvenate the home side’s turgid display. This was an important point for Morton as it kept Dumbarton five points off them.
Falkirk 0-0 St Mirren
A second consecutive 0-0 and a third consecutive clean sheet may not be the most thrilling for the neutral, however, it is remarkable progress for a Falkirk team who have recently appointed Paul Hartley as boss. This also happened to be St Mirren’s first draw of the season. While it may not have been the most exciting game to have played out at the Falkirk Stadium, holding the league leaders to a goalless point is an achievement. St Mirren thought they had won the game late on as Cammy Smith fired low towards goal. Some excellent goalkeeping from young Robbie Thompson denied the young forward his match winner, and gave the Falkirk faithful something to celebrate late on. They may be stranded in the bottom two, but they are certainly showing signs of improvement since the termination of Peter Houston’s contract.
Partick Thistle sit 12th in the table, despite a last minute winner against Dundee’s second club. It was a mixed day for Dundee player A-Jay Leitch-Smith, who both saw his diving header give the visitors the lead after only eight minutes, as well as having his penalty kick saved by Partick’s Tomas Cerny. Ryan Edwards scored a precise finish with fifteen minutes to go to give the home side some excitement late on, and excitement was duly delivered. Former Aberdeen man Miles Storey turned in Kris Doolan’s low cross to fire his side to a well earned victory and give the home fans a sense of optimism. They may sit 12th in the table, but a win certainly will breed confidence.
Moving on up
Raith Rovers remain top of the league, however, they saw their away match against Stranraer abandoned at half time due to a waterlogged pitch. Lewis Vaughan had put the away side up on minute eleven, before Scott Agnew equalised with ten minutes left until half time. The match has no set date to be replayed, but due to Scotland’s governing body being quite terrible, they’ll probably schedule it for some time in deepest, darkest winter!
The League Roundup
After match day three, the league table looks like this:
|5||Queen of the South||10||4||3||3||15||11||4||15|
Another sob story for Brechin, another inconsistent display from Dundee United and Livingston, another snooze-fest from Falkirk and, of course, another barrage of goals from Dunfermline. This league is getting somewhat predictable… Although Inverness winning is perhaps far from predictable. Be sure to tune in next week to see the intriguing happenings at the top of the table. The aftermath of this weekend’s action has seen the league’s second managerial departure, with Dundee United’s crooked chairman Stephen Thompson losing patience with manager Ray McKinnon.