My match of the day had the goals flowing in as there was a shock in Dumfries. Queen of the South 4 Dundee 3 was certainly not on the agenda at 3pm on Saturday. At half time it was all square at 1-1 as Peter MacDonald opened his Dundee account before Derek Lyle equalised on the stroke of half time. There followed, in the second half, a Ryan McGuffie penalty and goals from Iain Russell and Michael Paton making it 4-1 for Jim McIntyre’s side. A late flurry from Dundee saw goals from Declan Gallagher and Iain Davidson in the last 11 minutes to give it a frantic feel at the end.
Elsewhere Alloa Athletic 1 Livingston 0 was settled with a Stephen Simmons goal in the first half and this is a very decent result for the Wasps. Raith Rovers 0 Hamilton Academical 1 was James Keatings’ getting all 3 points for Alex Neil’s side. Hamilton seem to be ready to continue from where they left off last season. Out west we had Dumbarton 1 Falkirk 1 with Connor McGrandles putting the away side ahead before Bryan Prunty equalised. Just how significant that point will be over the season will become clearer about March but it was a keenly fought contest that both could have won. Finally Greenock Morton 2 Cowdenbeath 0 saw last year’s runners up show they are determined, through their league of nations, to get back in the promotion mix. It was a goal either half that saw Archie Campbell adding to Reece Hand’s opener.
At Ibrox, in what was my match of the day in this league, it was Rangers 4 Brechin City 1. After the SFL Division 3 flag was unfurled Chris Hegarty opened for Rangers, followed by Nicky Law in the second half. Steven Jackson had the audacity to reduce the deficit before an Ian Black penalty from which Paul McLean was sent off and a Dean Sheils strike sealed the win for Rangers. It was a decent start to the campaign and with people in the stand due to be on the field come September the plans are progressing well.
East Fife 0 Dunfermline Athletic 0 saw the derby settled by a Ryan Wallace penalty in front of a huge crowd at New Bayview. Stenhousemuir 1 Stranraer 0 had the Warriors thanking John Gemmell for a first half strike that settled the fixture. Arbroath 0 Ayr United 3 had Mark Robert’s side playing some very decent football with a Michael Moffat double and the youngest ever Ayr player to score in a league fixture – James Forrest – show that his cup goal against Queen’s Park was no fluke. Finally Forfar Athletic 3 Airdrieonians 3 showed that their victory against Rangers was no fluke either for the Loons. This was an absolute cracker of a game with Gavin Malin putting the home side ahead, summer signing Jim Lister then equalised for Airdrie before Willie McLaren put the Diamonds ahead. A Paul Mc Manus double then had Forfar edging in front before summer signing Lewis Coult got the draw for the away side.
My match of the day – Montrose 1 Stirling Albion 2 was settled by Mark Ferry’s late goal after Dale Fulton put Montrose ahead and Graham Webster had equalised. For the Binos Ricky McIntosh was sent off.
In the highlands, Peterhead 2 Annan Athletic 2 saw league favourites, the Blue Toon stumble as they had to come from behind twice. David Hopkirk had put the visitors ahead twice and it was left to Bryan Gilfillan and then David Cox to equalise for a share of the spoils. Elgin City 1 Albion Rovers 2 was James Ward’s first ever (How many times could we hear that this season) visit as a manager to Elgin and thanks to Pat Walker and a David Crawford penalty it was a winning visit. For Elgin Neil Parry was sent off and Craig Gunn had reduced the deficit but the mountain as just too high to climb. There was a surprise at Hampden as Queen’s Park 1 East Stirlingshire 3 turned the table upside down as the team last, last year sat at the top at the beginning this year. For the Spiders Ricky Lamie got his marching orders with Iain Thomson scoring the resultant penalty. A Chris Townsley double sandwiched Blair Spittal’s response for the home side in what became a comfortable win. Finally Clyde 1 Berwick Rangers 0 saw Michael Daly seal the win for the Bully Wee in the second half.