Scottish Championship Match Day 17: Playing In A Winter Wonderland

Scottish Championship

Well, what a weekend this has been. The icy Scottish winter continues to decimate the fixture list with Falkirk’s match against Brechin being called off, along with Livingston’s home tie against Morton. The real talking point of the afternoon occurred down in Dumfries, where Dundee United’s visit of Queen of the South was started, only to be called off at half time. Of the games that were continued ’til the end, Inverness and St Mirren both recorded hard fought 1-0 wins. Whilst I appreciate you taking the time to read this article, I must admit, you can probably find more riveting content on the By Far The Greatest Team website!

Queen of the South A-A Dundee United

This was a heavy-hitter contest, with Queen’s coming off a five goal performance last weekend, and Dundee United in rampant form since their managerial change. The game was a bitterly cold affair, with not much real football being played. During the half time interval, referee Craig Thompson came out of the tunnel early, concerned at the complaints made by the players over the slippy conditions. Despite the plastic pitch, the damp conditions meant that patches of ice were forming. Thompson felt that the players safety was in jeopardy and decided to call the game off. While it is admirable to think of the players safety, there are hundreds of fans who travelled three hours across the country to view the game. The weather conditions were known long in advance, and to call the game off at half time is despicable. One can only hope that the fans be completely refunded after being cheated out of their time and money.

St Mirren 1-0 Dunfermline

St Mirren took advantage of Dundee United’s postponement to leapfrog them to top spot in the league table, seeing off a down on their luck Dunfermline side. Dunfermline could count themselves lucky to play with eleven men for the full game, after their ‘keeper Sean Murdoch brought down a St Mirren player Gavin Reilly when he was through on goal. The former Hibs and Accrington Stanley man was lucky to receive only a yellow card for his challenge. St Mirren may have felt aggrieved by the decision, but were a bit happier late in the first half as Cammy Smith notched the game’s only goal to give St Mirren the lead. There was controversy midway through the match when Adam Eckersley clashed with Dunfermline’s Ryan Willamson. The referee awarded St Mirren a free kick, rather than a Dunfermline penalty, much to the annoyance of the home fans who packed out East End Park. Canadian international Fraser Aird had a chance late on to level, but he saw his effort go both high and wide, much to the despair of the Pars fans. Dunfermline remain in 5th place, but are level with Morton who have a game in hand, and are only three points above Inverness in 7th.

Inverness 1-0 Dumbarton

Inverness look like relegation is well and truly in the back mirror after another win, this time against mediocrity rivals Dumbarton. The only goal of the game was headed in by former Macclesfield defender Carl Tremarco, who latched on to Joe Chalmers free kick after half an hour of a dogged game of football. Scot Gallacher pulled off some heroics in goal to deny Liam Polworth and Connor Bell from adding to the scoreline, though it was Tom Walsh who was guilty of squandering the chance to equalise for Dumbarton. He was one on one with Mark Ridgers in the Caley goal, but the pressure got to him as he fired wide of the goal. Dumbarton slip to 8th, leapfrogged by Inverness, yet have a nine point gap over Falkirk, even though they have two games in hand.

Downtown

Partick Thistle. The writing is on the wall for Alan Archibald, who’s time in the Partick dugout must be close to over. They looked to have made progress after a big win over Motherwell last weekend, but they found themselves on the wrong side of a heavy defeat from fellow relegation rivals Dundee at Dens Park. Partick centre half Danny Devine was certainly not putting in a divine performance, conceding not one but TWO penalties against Dundee’s smaller side. Sofien Moussa converted both penalties to give his side a two goal lead, scoring on 19 minutes and 65 minutes. These two goals sandwiched a Mark O’Hara strike towards the end of the first half.

Moving on up

Ayr United went a goal down to East Fife midway through the first half, but enjoyed a magnificent second half comeback to go eight points clear at the top of the division. Michael Rose equalised then put Ayr ahead in the second half. Craig Moore added a third with fifteen to go, and the route was completed by Lawrence Shankland in the 88th minute. They are a couple of games ahead of Raith, but at this stage it is going to take a complete collapse by Ayr to see them not win the league this year.

The League Roundup

After match day sixteen, the league table looks like this:

Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against G.D Points
1 St Mirren 17 11 2 4 32 20 12 35
2 Dundee United 16 10 3 3 22 14 8 33
3 Queen of the South 16 7 5 4 28 21 7 26
4 Livingston 14 7 4 3 24 18 6 25
5 Dunfermline 17 6 5 6 32 23 9 23
6 Morton 16 6 5 5 24 18 6 23
7 Inverness 16 5 5 6 18 18 0 20
8 Dumbarton 16 4 6 6 14 21 -7 18
9 Falkirk 14 1 6 7 9 25 -16 9
10 Brechin 16 0 3 13 11 36 -25 3

It is a shame that the weather has once again caused the postponement of the Scottish lower leagues, with two games
considered total non-starters, while Dundee United’s visit to Palmerston Park was called off at half time. Both Jamie
Robson and Paul McMullan have come out after the event questioning why it was called off; both feeling that the pitch was entirely playable. In the two games that took place, St Mirren and Inverness both took advantage of their rivals lack of game time to secure wins which saw them leapfrog teams. Falkirk once again had a match called off, and this, mixed with an Inverness win, see’s the Bairns nine points adrift in the relegation playoff spot. To conclude this article I must give a shout out to Heart of Midlothian, who ended Celtic’s incredible unbeaten run with a shocking 4-0 win at Tynecastle.