Well week three and it is probably safe to say that fans are now beginning to make definitive judgments about players, tactics and their managers. The results this week were all pretty surprising in many ways and it was a very, very tough week for one or two teams who continue to struggle. There is a definite possibility that we may only be one or two games away from seeing our first managerial change of the season and at the moment it is Paul Hartley who is odds on favourite to be the first casualty of 2018/19.
Greenock Morton 2-1 Ross County
With Ross County being the bookies favourites for the title this season it was at Cappielow where we maybe witnessed the biggest upset of the day. In these opening games it looks like Ray McKinnon is making a real difference at Morton and the fans seem to be really pleased with the early season performances. The victory was made all the sweeter as McKinnon’s side came from behind to inflict County’s first defeat in the league. In many ways this is the result that shows exactly why this Championship season is going to be such a rollercoaster.
Ayr United 4 – 1 Dunfermline
Although Cappielow provided a shock it is probably fair to say that Ayr United made a case for providing the result of the day at Somerset. The only reason I didn’t see this as being a shock is simply due to the fact that Ayr have had an unbelievably good early season both in the league and in the Betfred Cup. After dismantling Dundee at Dens last Saturday they continued their blistering form (and goalscoring) with a sound thrashing of Dunfermline. There is still a long way to go but at the moment Ayr United are the team to beat in the Championship. Dunfermline on the other hand will be gutted that after an impressive opening day result they have now lost their last two league fixtures.
Falkirk 0 – 3 Queen of the South
Yet another match that could make a case for result of the day. For Falkirk fans they will tell you that this was no surprise but for Hartley’s side to lose so heavily is surely an alarming sign. If you look at the match stats (pictured below) then you realise just how bad it was. There are currently no redeeming features about this Hartley side (apart from maybe the form of goalkeeper Loe Fasan) and it looks like potentially being yet another terrible campaign ahead for Falkirk. The board are probably now in panic mode because if they do sack the manager then they are left with an entire squad of Hartley’s players so any new arrival would want to have yet another rebuild. Could Falkirk afford to once again dismantle an entire squad of players?
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2 – 2 Alloa Athletic
The Championship goal-fest from yesterday continued up in Inverness as Alloa managed to fight back to secure a dramatic draw despite being reduced to 10 men. This type of result is always so pleasing for fans and it could be a massive psychological boost for Jim Goodwin and his players. On the other side of the coin you wonder what a collapse like this does to confidence amongst the Inverness Caley players and management. Alloa now have their first point of the season and that means they move off the bottom of the table.
Dundee United 3 – 1 Partick Thistle
It was the battle of the under-pressure managers at Tannadice yesterday with both Csaba Laszlo and Alan Archibald struggling to win over supporters. By the end of the 90 minutes it was Laszlo who secured a stay of execution and the result leaves Archibald a little closer to a possible sacking. The big worry for Partick fans would have been the toothless nature of the team despite having a decent amount of possession. United didn’t have to be at their best to stick three past Cammy Bell and when a side loses so meekly it is difficult to get your season going.
Unfortunately both Dundee United and Partick Thistle have their highlights behind a paywall so there will not be any video footage posted.
Team of the Week –
A really tough choice this week as you could argue for four or five teams. With Morton beating Ross County they would be a prime candidate in most weeks but to be honest you can’t look past Ayr United as they thrashed another team and this time around they dismantled another of the league’s potential title challengers. If they continue this form I will have to put a cap on how many times I can nominate them for this award!
Player of the Week –
Now this is an easy one. On his day he is the league’s best player and yesterday he secured a hat-trick to give his side their first league victory of the season. You can probably read a number of different reasons as to why Stephen Dobbie is at Queen of the South given he could be playing at a higher level but regardless of why he is playing his football in Dumfries, the league is lucky to have such a quality player in the division.
Next Week –