The opening weekend of any league campaign is very much a lottery given the nature of the fixtures and the fitness levels, morale and planning of the teams in involved. Whether or not the results give an indication as to where the season is headed is yet to be seen but already you can see fans (especially at clubs like United) feel the pressure.
I will attempt to have a weekly update when I have time to put one together and I will try my best to collect as many clips of the goals and incidents from the weekend when they are available.
Ayr United 2 – 0 Partick Thistle
The performance of the day came at Somerset as Ayr United managed to brush aside Partick Thistle. Even after just one game you must be looking at Alan Archibald as being one of the managers who may be under some real pressure. A quick look at social media shows that fans are already calling for the manager’s head. From an Ayr perspective the star of the show was Lawrence Shankland. Two goals in the opening fixture means they might have a few bids coming their way but if Ayr can hold on to him then they may have a very decent season ahead of them.
Dundee United 2 – 3 Dunfermline Athletic
The Pars did not have to be at their best to beat United yesterday and the real worry for fans at Tannadice is the sea of opposition that Csaba Laszlo now faces. If you are a Dunfermline fan and you were there you witnessed the first victory over United in 15 attempts and you will have headed home last night with real confidence that this could be the year that Dunfermline mount a genuine title challenge. The scoreline actually flattered United in the end and there is seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel for Laszlo at the moment.
Falkirk 0 – 1 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
With practically a brand new team it was a case of Paul Hartley’s side just not doing enough against a decent, if unremarkable Caley side. From what has been said it seems like the men from Inverness were in control for a large chunk of the first half but after that it was more a case of Falkirk just not pushing enough and running out of ideas despite a great deal of pressure in the second 45. Not really time for panic stations just yet for Hartley but he will need to get his side to gel quickly.
Greenock Morton 2 – 2 Queen of the South
Morton will be gutted to let a two goal lead slip on the opening day of the season. It sounds like despite being in front it was actually a case of good fortune more than good football. Some Morton fans have said that they were actually lucky to escape with a point given how little they created so maybe a point is actually quite a positive result with a new team, manager and system still to bed in. Queen of the South will take a great deal of confidence from the comeback (despite missing quite a few good chances early on).
No official highlights to see yet but hopefully some will be uploaded later and I can add them in.
Ross County 1 – 0 Alloa Athletic
Despite dominating large spells of the game it was a case of the late, late show from County to get the win against promoted Alloa. The County management team were quite honest about the time-wasting and defensive tactics they had to face so it is pleasing for them to simply get three points on the board as they start their race for the title. The work Alloa put into the game means that their fans are disappointed at not getting any return but you would expect then to pick up points if they continue to make it hard for teams to score.
Team of the Week –
You can’t look past Ayr United for their fantastic start to the season at home against one of the big sides in the division. Is it too early to say that Ayr might be challenging at the upper end of the table? With the continuity in their squad and the ability they have going forward they could end up being this season’s big surprise package.
Player of the Week –
Sticking with Ayr United it has to be striker Lawrence Shankland. The only downside to his performance yesterday is that it might press some of the Premiership sides to go chasing Ayr for his signature. The club have set a high asking price and are adamant they won’t sell unless they receive a substantial offer. If they did lose him it could completely change their season.