Scottish Championship Match Day 11: Inverness above par

Scottish Championship

Week 11 of the Scottish Championship saw managerless Dundee United win in the face of adversity, Brechin do their usual play quite well then lose anyway, and Falkirk end their three game clean sheet streak in magnificent form, by shipping four goals away to Queen of the South. The weekend saw the ten teams share 18 goals, with only two of the ten failing to net. We’ll start this week’s action in Dumfries, where Queen of the South played out a thrilling 4-2 win over Falkirk.

Queen of the South 4-2 Falkirk

Stephen Dobbie did what Stephen Dobbie does best; pouncing on lose balls in the box to grab a goal for his team. He capitalised on a mistake from Falkirk’s Robbie Thompson to put Queens a goal up sixteen minutes in. This lead was then doubled just three minutes later, as Stephen Dobbie turned from scorer to assister, lying the ball to Lyndon Dykes to put the Doonhamers in cruise control. With fifteen minutes to go, the home side netted a third goal through Darren Brownlie, whose header saw many Falkirk fans give up and head to the exit. Those that left early didn’t miss a winning comeback, but they did miss two goals. With five minutes to go, Joe McKee fired in a terrific free kick to raise a small smile from a couple of fans. This may seem insignificant, but in the 89th minute Jordan McGhee grabbed a second goal for the Bairns. This gave Paul Hartley’s side some late hope, and ultimately caused the fourth goal scored by Queen of the South to sting that little bit more. With Falkirk throwing everything bar the kitchen sink at Queens, they were caught out on the counter attack as Lyle Taylor grabbed the winner. This result was a tricky one for Falkirk, who had been showing steady signs of improvement in recent weeks, a few backwards steps were taken this weekend.

St Mirren 2-2 Morton

This fiery derby may not have the allure in Scotland of Hibs – Hearts, Dundee United – Aberdeen or that Glasgow derby that Celtic routinely win, but the Renfrewshire derby between St Mirren and Morton was a fiercely contested affair. Jai Quitonga and Cammy Smith both came close in the first half, but it wasn’t until the second half that the goals flew about. The league leaders won a penalty just over an hour in, which was converted confidently by Ian McShane. There was some controversy over the penalty; while there was no question that Michael Doyle had committed a foul, many believed that the foul was outside the box. The Paisley club’s lead lasted all of two minutes, before Andy Murdoch levelled for Morton on minute 68. Gavin Reilly put the Buddies back in front on 72 minutes. He converted the cross from Cammy Smith, gifting him his 11th goal of the season. Morton once again fought back on 79 minutes from future sumo-wrestler Gary Harkins. Gregor Buchanan committed a foul, and Harkins put the ball low beyond Craig Samson. Gavin Reilly tried his best to gift St Mirren a winner, falling over in the box in injury time. The referee adjudged this to be a dive and showed the forward a yellow card for simulation.

Inverness 1-0 Dunfermline

John Robertson’s side took the momentum from their win over Dundee United last weekend, and gave a strong Dunfermline side a tricky battle in the highlands. This win saw Caley go four games undefeated, seeing them shoot up to 7th in the table. Inverness took the game by the scruff of the neck and punished the Pars, with John Baird and Iain Vigurs squandering chances to put their side ahead. It only took 23 minutes for the surmounting Inverness pressure to turn itself to a goal. Jake Mulraney whipped in a low cross which was tapped in by Connor Bell. This proved to be the only goal of the game, but this game was important for both ends of the table. It lifted Inverness away from relegation, and pulled Dunfermline further away from top spot.

Livingston 3-2 Brechin

Brechin played well. Brechin scored a couple goals. Brechin defended a little bit shit. Brechin lost. You could have guessed all this. In modern football, results are everything, and Darren Dods simply is not having the results necessary to survive. Jack McMillan bagged the game’s first goal after only three minutes, to give Livi the dream start. Brechin fans were encouraged to see their side nab an equaliser just five minutes later courtesy of a Jordan Sinclair free kick. While shots were a premium for Brechin City, they had over 60% possession and felt somewhat shocked to go a goal down on the hour mark, as Craig Halkett put the home side ahead. They got a third minutes later through Dylan Mackin to punch the life out of Brechin. Kalvin Orsi scored a penalty with five minutes to go to give the visiting fans a glimmer of hope, but once again it was a case of good but not good enough for Brechin City, who are yet to win in the league this year.

Dumbarton 0-2 Dundee United

This was a bad loss for the Sons. You want to believe that you can beat a managerless side, and with Dundee United without fired Ray McKinnon, untested Laurie Ellie took the reins for the visitors while crooked chairman Stephen Thompson is still searching the bargain basement for a replacement. Summer signing Sam Stanton put United ahead after just two minutes, curling in a delightful shot from outside the box. The second was another Stanton effort, converting a cross from young left back Jamie Robson. Dumbarton’s task was made even more difficult as he was sent off for a second yellow card midway through the second half. It was a good win for Dundee United who showed that there is still a talented group of players buried deep inside the team. Despite his win, stand-in boss Laurie Ellis has ruled himself out of taking on the role full time.

Downtown

Dundee FC find themselves propping up the foot of the league for the first time in a couple of months. They lost at home to 10-man Hamilton, who themselves ended an eight match winless streak. Goals from Iannis Skondras, David Templeton and Antonio Rojano proved overwhelming for the hosts, who themselves netted via an A-Jay Leitch-Smith penalty. A surprise draw for Kilmarnock against Celtic saw the west coast side move above the Dee on goal difference.

Moving on up

Raith Rovers are still holding onto top spot in League 1, however, they are on some not so great form. After building a solid win some weeks ago, they are now only above Ayr United on goal difference. Former Blackpool midfielder John Herron scored the game’s opening goal on the hour mark. Mark Miller equalised for Forfar from the penalty spot, after Raith had Iain Davidson was sent off for a professional foul. While Raith may have lost their dominance in the league with this draw, it is worth remembering that they have a game in hand over their rivals.

The League Roundup

After match day eleven, the league table looks like this.

Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against G.D Points
1 St Mirren 11 7 2 2 23 15 8 23
2 Livingston 11 6 3 2 20 15 5 21
3 Dunfermline 11 6 2 3 25 11 14 20
4 Dundee United 11 6 2 3 12 11 1 20
5 Queen of the South 11 5 3 3 19 13 6 18
6 Morton 11 4 4 3 15 12 3 16
7 Inverness 11 3 3 5 13 16 -3 12
8 Dumbarton 11 2 2 5 8 16 -8 10
9 Falkirk 11 1 1 5 8 18 -10 8
10 Brechin 11 0 2 9 8 24 -16 2

Eleven games have been played in the Scottish Championship this year, and the stories are starting to develop in so many different ways. John Robertson looked dead and buried a few weeks ago, yet four games undefeated see’s him in a strong position. The turmoil at Dundee United was hushed for a few hours as they put the boot into Dumbarton, a bogey team of sorts to them. Brechin continued to play well but fail, and Falkirk, having taken a few steps forward in recent weeks, took a large step back after shipping four goals to Queen of the South. There are some mouth watering fixtures next weekend, and I am going on record as saying that Brechin’s home tie against Dumbarton will see them claim their first league victory of the season.