The second week of the Championship season was a chance for some teams to put down a marker after victories last time out but it was also an opportunity for a couple of already under-pressure managers to earn themselves a stay of execution. It is still very, very early but every point counts in this incredibly tough league.
Dunfermline Athletic 1 – 3 Ross County
After a big result last week at Tannadice for Dunfermline it would have been a dream start if they could have beaten County in the first home league fixture of the season. By all accounts it sounded like the men from Dingwall were better in most areas of the park and they deserved their 3-1 victory at East End Park. For Ross County this was a massive test for them early in the season so their fans must be delighted to have maximum points on the board before a mini-break in the league. By the time Dunfermline play their next league fixture their fans would hope for one or two new additions to the squad after this reality check following a series of impressive results in recent weeks.
Alloa Athletic 0 – 2 Greenock Morton
Two games in and two defeats on the board for Jim Goodwin. Fans knew that they would face a difficult season and today it was a case of losing goals that were preventable. This season will require Alloa to be at their best defensively so it will frustrate Goodwin to see his side lose goals in such a poor manner (something the manager has already mentioned post-match). For Ray McKinnon it is a solid start to the campaign and he has veteran midfielder Chris Millar to thank for the three points in a close game.
Partick Thistle 2 – 1 Falkirk
It was the battle of the under-fire managers at Firhill with both Paul Hartley and Alan Archibald already facing the wrath of supporters after last week’s performances. What probably got Partick through this match is a bit more solidity in their side. Falkirk are still trying to make a brand new team click whereas Partick, who weren’t particularly great, have at least got a familiar shape and feel to the side. The worry for Falkirk fans must be that they have faced two sides who haven’t been at their best and have still managed to end up losing. For Hartley he needs to now use the break to get his team in shape otherwise he might become the bookies favourite in the ‘sack race’.
Queen of the South 1 – 2 Dundee United
A stereotypical game of two halves at Palmerston as United dominated the first 45 only for Queen of the South to repay the favour in the second. For Csaba Laszlo this was a massive three points to lift a little bit of pressure on his position but it still doesn’t do enough to appease the vast majority of fans. There is still a long way to go for the Hungarian. What will frustrate the Queen of the South fans is their ability to leak goal after goal at this early stage of the season. The squad Gary Naysmith has at his disposal is badly in need of reinforcements but due to budget constraints it might be that they have to get by with what they have.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 – 0 Ayr United
It might not have excited fans but a goalless draw is not a bad result for either side in the context of their score-lines last week. For Caley it is definitely a case of a missed opportunity as Ayr spent an hour with only 10 men. It is incredibly frustrating when you see your side squander a numerical advantage and a penalty but the social media reaction suggests that some fans took their anger too far with quite severe targeted abuse of Liam Polworth who missed the spot-kick. For Ayr United fans they will be delighted yet again with a great battling performance to hold on to a vital point on the road.
Team of the Week –
For sending a message out to the rest of the league it has to be Ross County. After last week’s poor showing at home against Alloa they dominated one of their title rivals away from home. Already they are showing why most have them down as strong favourites for the league.
Player of the Week –
If I heard correctly on the radio I think Chris Millar said it was his first double for 13 years yesterday (he only scored 6 goals in just under 300 games for St.Johnstone). In the summer the midfielder re-joined his first club Morton and today he made his return even more special by scoring the goals that secured his side their first three points of the season.