The dust has now settled on the three-day weekend that was the next stage of the league competitions and it does not seem that much clearer. With Queen of the South, Ayr United and Arbroath sitting at the top of each league though there are at least 3 sets of supporters with grins – whoever else has grins are the ones who got three points over those three days…
My match of the weekend in the Championship saw nothing much happen for about an hour before it erupted. We had 2 red cards, a 2nd penalty and 3 goals. In the first half Liam Craig had shot wide from the spot before the 2nd half had Sam Nicolson from 25 yards open the scoring, then Prince Reuben scored from the penalty spot to double Hearts’ lead. Scott Robertson had been sent off after bringing Reuben down for that penalty. Omar Sow then walked for a straight red card offence before Farid El Alagui smashed one back too late for a Hibernian recovery. Rangers had their 2-0 win against Falkirk on Friday night already recorded so Saturday saw a Raith Rovers side win 1-0 against Alloa Athletic thanks to Ryan Conroy, Dumbarton were thumped 4-0 by Queen of the South as Derek Lyle, Gavin Reilly, James Fowler and Iain Russell found the net. Finally Danny Mullen and Jordan White got Livingston’s two goals as they beat Cowdenbeath 2-1; Lewis Milne getting one back for the Blue Brazil.
It means we have 3 early leaders on full points as Queen of the South, Raith Rovers and Heart of Midlothian sit top. The one that really has something to crow about is the Jambos. With wins against Rangers and Hibs they need to step up and start taking points off the rest to maintain this momentum.
Underneath there are Rangers, Hibernian and Livingston (3) so no one can relax. Cowdenbeath and Falkirk (1) will be disappointed but not as much as Dumbarton and Alloa Athletic (0). They really need a result…
My match of the day saw Morton on fire as they smashed four past Stranraer. The goals came courtesy of Connor Pepper, Jamie McCluskey and a double from on loan Declan McManus. To make things worse Stranraer had goalkeeper David Mitchell and Barry Russell sent off. Keigan Parker was also sent off for the Diamonds as Airdrie fell to a 2-0 defeat to Peterhead; Andy Rodgers and David Cox got the Blue Toon goals. Alan Trouten’s injury seems to have been far less serious than feared as he popped up to get the only goal of the game in Brechin City’s 1-0 defeat of Stenhousemuir. Forfar Athletic, thanks to Dale Hilson and Darren Dods managed to dent Dunfermline Athletic’s push for the title. Ayr United took that top spot as two goals from Alan Forrest accompanied one from Brian Gilmour whilst Stirling Albion got a consolation penalty from Gordon Smith.
It means that Ayr United (6) are clearly in front though they shall surely face tougher opposition soon. The chasing pack – Forfar Athletic, Peterhead and Brechin City (4) are very much on their shoulders. I reckon that only two of these sides will still be in the hunt come May but all 4 have got there through merit. As for Morton and Stenhousemuir (3) they sit well placed. Morton’s win at Stranraer, along with their good cup form is likely to help things along. Finally Airdrie (0) have started where they started last season and will be dangerous for anyone in the coming weeks.
My match of the day saw Arbroath go 3 points clear at the top as Paul McManus got the only goal of the game against Albion Rovers at home. Queen’s Park managed a win as Shaun Fraser scored for the Spiders and Annan Athletic’s Peter Watson got sent off. A late winner got Berwick Rangers all 3 points as David Gold, Paul Currie and an Allan Walker own goal did it for the Borderers as the Fifers – who were 2-0 up at half time – collapsed after goals from an Allan Cook penalty and Steven Campbell. East Stirlingshire managed a win too thanks to Chris Townsley and David McKenna. Elgin City found divine intervention through Marvin Andrews with a consolation.
It leaves Arbroath (6) out in front with 7 teams behind them on 3 points… East Fife and Annan Athletic are the only teams without any points and will be hoping for something from next weekend’s ties.