Well we are now very much down to business in the Scottish Championship. Fans across the country are now justified in their early season optimism or pessimism as things seem much more ‘real’ five games into the league campaign. Squads are now fully fit and in theory players are now settled. With this in mind we are now very much in the end-zone for some managers and I must admit I am surprised that we haven’t had any managerial casualties this weekend. I thought that one of Alan Archibald or Csaba Laszlo might have been sacked but both are still just about clinging on to their jobs.
Ayr United 3 – 2 Falkirk
At half-time up and down the country fans were probably muttering to themselves “well that’s Ayr definitely on a downward spiral now”. After being humiliated in Dumfries they found themselves 2-0 down within half an hour against Ray McKinnon’s Falkirk but somehow they managed to end up winning 3-2. With Falkirk’s team already quite fragile you have to wonder what this kind of capitulation does to a player’s confidence and for Ray McKinnon it was a sickener given he thought he was off to winning start as Falkirk manager.
Dunfermline Athletic 0 – 0 Alloa Athletic
There’s not a huge amount you can say about this match other than it is yet another vital point for Alloa and yet another disappointment for Allan Johnstone as his side continue to struggle. In the Alloa camp confidence must be high given their recent results and although they haven’t yet managed to win in the league they are managing to cause problems and clearly have the mental strength to pick up points. Who knows where Dunfermline go next given their performances of late. Manager Allan Johnstone doesn’t get talked about in the same company as Alan Archibald or Csaba Laszlo but he must be edging towards the exit.
Dundee United 1 – 1 Greenock Morton
I’ve written at great length about what this result means for Csaba Laszlo and I think the thing that is probably most apparent is the sudden change from United fans being annoyed and ranting online to the much more vocal anti-Laszlo sentiment at the match. Once fns start chanting for you to be sacked there is often no way back for you.
As for Morton it is difficult to judge what impact their new manager has had. The performance on Saturday was decent in spells but it is far too early to see any noticeable differences. Given the club haven’t yet brought in any additional coaching staff to cover McKinnon’s departure we may still see further changes behind the scenes at Cappielow over the coming weeks.
Queen of the South 0 – 0 Ross County
Right hands up who had Stephen Dobbie to score again this weekend? The in-form striker surely made the bookies a fortune this week as he, and his side, drew a blank against Ross County. Not that the Dingwall men managed any better and this 0-0 means that Ross County’s away record this early in the season does not look particularly impressive. They are still favourites for the title but teams that drop points on the road tend to struggle when it comes to the business end of the season. Queen of the South seem to be going about things pretty well at the moment and this point will be seen as a big result and one that puts them in the mix amongst the top sides in the division.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3 – 2 Partick Thistle
I’ll be honest I, and maybe many others, probably wouldn’t answer the question “who are top of the league?”, with Inverness as the response. They sit in top spot but they seem to have managed it by going under the radar. I probably had them down as strugglers this year and so far they have managed to prove me wrong with a string of impressive results. The highland derby next weekend should be a cracker.
From a Partick point of view it is just a case of how long the board want to give Alan Archibald. There is a very strong case for him to be relieved of his duties but at the moment the people at Thistle seem to be holding firm.
Team of the Week – A case of deja-vu but it really has to be Ayr United. They have managed to dismantle one or two teams this season but the impressive thing about this weekend was the resilience that meant they clawed back a two goal deficit to win against Falkirk. They continue to surprise and a victory like this will give them a huge amount of confidence.
Player of the Week – Time to be totally biased. For me the player of the week is Fraser Fyvie. He may have only played half an hour against Morton but his recovery from a career threatening injury has been a bit of a miracle and he managed to score late on to secure United a point against Morton. For my money he and Dobbie are the two best players in the division and if United are to achieve anything this year he needs to be fit and ready.