Scott Binnie rounds up the latest results from Scotland.
Scottish Premier League
There’s only one game to start with in the SPL round-up and that’s the 5-4 thriller at St Mirren Park. The Buddies’ striker Steven Thompson scored the ninth goal late on to give Ross County their second defeat in as many games.
The Staggies took the lead through Iain Vigurs from the edge of the box, before Thompson equalised for the hosts, Grant Munro giving County a 2-1 lead at half time after netting from close range following Vigurs’ free kick.
Lewis Guy converted from the spot to make it 2-2 and goals from Sam Parkin and Kenny McLean had St Mirren 4-2 up with less than half an hour remaining. A quick double from Rocco Quinn brought Ross County level and the points looked likely to be shared but Thompson rose up majestically to meet Graham Carey’s cross with a stunning overhead kick that was well worthy of closing out a terrific game. That win put St Mirren 4th in the league and sent Ross County down to 10th place, just two off the bottom.
Surprisingly it’s Dundee United that sit a place below County in 11th after they were destroyed 4-0 by Inverness in the Highlands. A first half double from Richie Foran got Caley on their way and Andrew Shinnie added a third. The rout was completed by Philip Roberts, on-loan from Arsenal. This result leaves Inverness, Ross County and Dundee United all locked on 8 points, separated from the foot of the table only by Dundee.
Dundee look destined for an instant return to the First Division next season and they suffered another resounding defeat at home to St Johnstone. Gregory Tade put the Saints in front after 16 minutes but Ryan Conway equalised just six minutes later from the penalty spot. St Johnstone were back in front shortly after that through Liam Craig and they took their 2-1 lead into the second period. Steven MacLean secured all three points for Steve Lomas’ side just seven minutes after the interval with a header. Lomas is a huge shout for September’s Manager of the Month award after guiding his side to three wins and a draw in the league, including the scalping of Celtic, and a 4-1 demolition of Queen’s Park in the League Cup.
It was a terrible week for Motherwell who lost to both sides of the Old Firm in just four days. Their 2-0 defeat at Ibrox in the League Cup on Wednesday night was followed up by another 2-0 defeat, this time to Celtic at Fir Park. Gary Hooper opened the scoring just after half an hour and Adam Cummins, who was later sent off, scored an own goal minutes after.Celtic were excellent and if it wasn’t for a terrific performance from ‘Well keeper Darren Randolph, the champions could have easily neared double figures. For the first time this season, Celtic are now on top of the SPL table and on this form, they’ll stay there.
Hearts linger just a point ahead of Inverness and co. and they suffered a big defeat at home against Kilmarnock. Killie’s Cillian Sheridan scored a hat-trick in the space of 30 minutes and only an 88th minute goal from the Jambos’ captain Marius Zaliukas took some of the sheen away from a terrific Kilmarnock win that put them third.
For the second week in succession Hibernian blew their chance to go top of the table, this time losing 2-1 away to Aberdeen. Niall McGinn put the Dons in front after four minutes before Eoin Doyle equalised before half time with a good strike from range. Gavin Rae scored with 20 minutes left to end Aberdeen’s run of seven games without a home victory and Hibs’ run of six league games without defeat.
Scottish First Division
Livingston destroyed Dumbarton 5-0 at home in a rout that came after a very poor start to the season for Livi. A double from Marc McNulty and a header from Craig Barr put Livingston 3-0 up at half time, Callum Booth and Keaghan Jacobs completing the win in the second half. With just one point from seven games, things look very bleak for Dumbarton.
An exciting game at Stark’s Park finished 1-1 between Raith Rovers and league leaders Partick Thistle. Greig Spence put Raith into the lead after 67 minutes but Kris Doolan scored in injury time to keep the Jags unbeaten this season. Thistle displayed the kind of grit and determination that title wins are built on, so boss Jackie McNamara will be pleased with the performance despite his side losing their 100% record.
The distance was closed between Partick and their nearest rivals Dunfermline with Dunfermline’s 3-0 victory at New Douglas Park against Hamilton. The visitors scored three times after half time through a double from Ryan Wallace and a late header from Ryan Thomson.
Dunfermline are four points clear of third in the table Morton, who recorded their fourth successive victory with a 3-2 win over Airdrie United. John Boyle scored in each half for Airdrie but Archie Campbell’s double and David O’Brien’s tap-in gave Morton the points.
Cowdenbeath and Falkirk shared the points at Central Park after their 1-1 draw, David Weatherston scoring for Falkirk early on with Lewis Coult equalising inside 20 minutes.
Scottish Second Division
East Fife hammered league newcomers Stranraer 6-2 to claim their first league win of the season. Robert Barr, Paul McManus and Gareth Wardlaw had East Fife 3-0 up after 42 minutes, Ryan Borris pulling one back for Stranraer on the stroke of half time. Two from Jamie Pollock and a second from Wardlaw made it 6-1 to the visitors. Craig Malcolm netted a consolation goal for East Fife with 12 minutes left. The thrashing saw East Fife climb above their opponents into 9th position, leaving Stranraer bottom of the Second Division.
League leaders Queen of the South continued their fine form with a 1-0 win over Alloa Athletic, the win coming through Nicky Clark’s second half strike. The Doonhamers have won their last five.
Forfar Athletic beat Albion Rovers 4-2 thanks to Ross Cambell’s hat-trick and Christopher Templeman’s penalty. Two late goals from Mark McGuigan and David Crawford, from the spot, took the gloss off of Forfar’s victory.
Ayr United have struggled so far this season but they have now won two games in a row, their latest victory coming in the shape of their 3-0 defeat of Brechin City. Ayr were down to 10 men from the 15th minute but still managed to score through Michael Moffat, Marc Twaddle and David Sinclair.
Stenhousemuir drew 2-2 with Arbroath, goals from John Gemmell putting Stenny in front seconds after the interval and Lee Sibanda equalising for Arbroath in the 61st minute. There was a dramatic finish in store though with Paul Currie seemingly stealing the points for Stenny in the 90th minute, only for Kevin McKinlay to score in injury time to tie it up at 2 apiece.
The third round of the Scottish Cup saw the introduction of the Third Division sides and not all of the league clubs enjoyed themselves against their non-league opponents.
Peterhead and Montrose were the biggest casualties of the round, Clyde and Annan were taken to replays whilst Stirling Albion recorded the biggest win of the SFL clubs with their 5-0 win over Dalbeattie Star. Rangers, Berwick, Elgin, and Queens Park were also victorious.
Berwick 1-0 Wick Academy
Buckie Thistle 0-0 Annan
Clyde 3-3 Nairn County
Dalbeattie Star 0-5 Stirling Albion
Deveronvale 3-2 Peterhead
Elgin 3-1 St Cuthbert Wanderers
Forres Mechanic 0-1 Rangers
Fraserburgh 1-2 East Stirling
Montrose 1-3 Edinburgh City
Queens Park 3-0 Irvine Meadow