As we are fast approaching the end of the first quarter of games the shape of the leagues are beginning to look more settled. Having said that, in the past good first quarters have not guaranteed promotion and relegation has not come after a bad start either. We are likely to find the major players though and whilst league two took a break for Scottish Cup duty there was plenty to spectate and cogitate over.
My match of the day saw Hamilton Accies back to winning ways as they halted the Livingston revival thanks to 2 goals from James Keatings. Raith Rovers negotiated a tricky visit to Dumbarton after they went 3-0 up thanks to Callum Eliot, a Greig Spence penalty and Dougie Hill. The Sons then got one back through Bryan Prunty before Prunty then got a 2nd after Reece Donaldson was sent off for bringing Prunty down in the box and Prunty scored the penalty. It was 3-2 until Lewis Vaughn punished a stretched Dumbarton with the final kick of the game to make it 4-2. Falkirk saw a Rory Loy double keep them in 3rd though Iain Russell had equalised for Queen of the South. Dundee were victors thanks to Craig Beattie and Ryan Conroy putting paid to Cowdenbeath. Finally Alloa Athletic heaped more misery on Greenock as Graeme Holmes and Andy Kirk got the goals that gave them a 2-0 win.
It means that Hamilton are still 4 points out in front with the play off spots in the hands currently of Raith Rovers, Falkirk and Dundee. Sitting just behind and just a point behind Dundee are Alloa who can’t be discounted though survival remains their goal. A 3 point gap keeps them from Dumbarton who are mid table and between promotion and relegation. Morton are sitting in bottom spot 1 point behind Cowdenbeath whilst there are a further 2 points between them and both Livingston and Queen of the South. Pressure will be mounting on both Colin Cameron and Allan Moore whilst John McGlynn is hardly ten minutes in though Jim McIntyre was never fooled about the job he took on.
SPFL League One
My match of the day brought a spectacular 2nd goal from Lewis McLeod in front of a near capacity crowd at Somerset Park that was live on Sky. Bilel Mohsni got the opener that meant Rangers went home happy with their 100% league record intact. Ayr United have not won in 6 games and their position in the league needs a timely boost. Ayr’s previous opponents, Dunfermline Athletic, who thrashed them 5-1 last weekend were themselves on the ends of a doing last weekend. They fell apart at Forfar who had Paul McManus, Stuart Malcolm, Gavin Malin and Dale Hilson on target for their 4-0 win. Stenhousemuir meanwhile saw a John Gemmell penalty equalised by Craig Johnstone to save a point for East Fife. Stranraer got the win at home to Arbroath as a double from Martin Grehan and 1 from Jamie Longworth gave them a first half 3-0 lead. The Red Lichties fought back in the 2nd half with Lee Erwin and an Alan Cook penalty getting them close but they couldn’t get a 3rd. Airdrie also won to tighten things at the foot of the table. Martin Hardie, Liam Coogans and Lewis Coult got 3 goals whilst Brechin City had to settle for a consolation through Andy Jackson.
It means Rangers are running away with things but the fight for the play offs remains entertaining. Dunfermline look, despite their slip over the weekend, likely 2nd place whilst Stenhousemuir are creating distance between themselves and the rest. Ayr United, Brechin City, Arbroath, Stranraer, Airdrie, Forfar Athletic and East Fife (That’s the rest of the league) have only 3 points between 4th and 10th – it means any slips will be costly.