The Scottish Championship results tombola struck again this week. The undoubted shock of the day was in Dumfries where Ayr’s bubble burst in spectacular fashion at the hands of Stephen Dobbie. Elsewhere the pressure continues to mount on Csaba Laszlo and the Hungarian is now joined by Allan Johnston on the watch list. This last week has also seen the first managerial casualty of the season with the sacking of Paul Hartley. His replacement, Ray McKinnon, may never be able to wander the streets of Greenock ever again.
The Championship takes a break next week with the return of the Irn-Bru Cup and Scotland’s matches against Belgium and Albania.
Alloa Athletic 1 – 1 Dundee United
In Alloa it was a case of United putting in a thoroughly underwhelming performance and they were possibly lucky to escape with just a point. Jim Goodwin’s side showed all the determination and will to win that United supporters haven’t seen this season and this result means Csaba Laszlo is yet again close to the end. For the second week in a row Alloa managed to fight back after falling behind and they did it in style courtesy of a stunning free-kick late in the game. Points like this will be vital for Alloa in their bid for survival but for United this is kind of game they need to be winning if they want to challenge for the title.
Dunfermline 0 – 3 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Some, myself included, had tipped Dunfermline to be genuine challengers this year. Despite their impressive opening win against Dundee United it has been a rotten start to the campaign for Allan Johnston’s side. They crumbled at home against Inverness and they are in real trouble given the form of those teams around them. Is it too early to be calling for Johnstone’s head? Some Dunfermline fans don’t think so. For Inverness they remain unbeaten in the league and seem to be going about their business without much fanfare, which might help them.
Partick 1 – 0 Greenock Morton
After the drama surrounding Ray McKinnon’s departure this was always going to be a tough afternoon for Morton. The club is seeking advice as to how to enquire further about what happened but regardless of the outcome the whole thing has been very strange. It is probably the case that McKinnon will get more money at Falkirk, and he is closer to where he lives, but to sign a whole team and then leave shortly after leaves a bitter taste for Morton fans. As to the game itself the only real talking point is the ‘ghost goal’ scored by Kris Doolan. It is a truly astonishing piece of officiating by the linesman to rule this as a non-goal but he did and we now have a rival to the infamous Paddy Connolly strike (also at Firhill) back in 1993.
Queen of the South 5 – 0 Ayr United
What goes up must come down and for Ayr United that was most definitely the case on Saturday. Many would agree that Queen of the South are basically cheating by having Stephen Dobbie in this league because he is, without question, the best player in the division. He was at it again as he bagged himself just the four goals against Ayr and in the battle of the strikers it was a case of Dobbie showing Lawrence Shankland that he is just a young pretender at the moment. With Ayr United already having an impressive points haul in the bag this defeat won’t be overly concerning but it is still a huge blow to lose so heavily.
Ross County 2 – 0 Falkirk
The second game this week to be overshadowed by Ray McKinnon and his decision to leave Morton. The former Dundee United manager was not in the dugout on Saturday but he has now officially taken over as Falkirk manager and he can begin the arduous task of trying to get Hartley’s gang of misfits playing like a team. For Ross County it was a case of ignoring all of the drama and they did so by securing a really important win that sends them back to the top of the league. After losing to McKinnon’s Morton they will be delighted to get things back on track.
Team of the Week –
A tough choice between two sides this week. It has to be either Inverness Caledonian Thistle for their fantastic away win at East End Park or it could also easily be Queen of the South for their demolition of Ayr United. I am probably going to opt for Queen of the South, partly because they thoroughly dismantled the division’s in-form team. A resounding victory for Gary Naysmith’s men who have now scored 8 in their last two games.
Player of the Week –
For the second week running this is an easy decision and for the second week running it is Stephen Dobbie. You run out of superlatives when talk about Dobbie but one thing that I would say is that in some ways it is quite sad that he hasn’t played in the top-flight since his return to Scotland in 2016. With 8 goals in 4 games he is worth his weight in gold for Queen of the South.