ANOTHER weekend of lights, camera, action across Scotland has come and gone and The Scotsman.com Weekly Awards are here to mark the good and bad of the last three days in Scottish football.
The SPFL Premiership saw a Glasgow derby for the first time in 18 months while the Championship saw Hamilton have a good weekend, League 1 saw Rangers defeat East Fife in front of watching would-be chairman Dave King, and in League 2 Queen’s Park came within three minutes of their first league victory of the season only to be denied by an own goal from captain Tony Quinn.
This week supporters of Kilmarnock, Annan, Clyde, Dundee United, Aberdeen, Queen of the South, Raith Rovers, Rangers, Ayr United and Montrose will see favourites honoured. Fans of Ross County may want to stop reading now!
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Good weekend for: Kilmarnock
A 2-0 home win over Hearts, a second win in a row, a move up to tenth place and a 16-point advantage over the bottom of the table Tynecastle team made it a good weekend for the Rugby Park side. Amid much displeasure being shown towards chairman Michael Johnston, manager Allan Johnston could have been forgiven for questioning his move to Ayrshire after a successful 12 months at Queen of the South just a few weeks ago. However successive wins over Ross County and Hearts have brought a smile to Kilmarnock and even talk of a Scotland recall for double goalscorer Kris Boyd.
Bad weekend for: Ross County
The first Highland Derby of the season was plunged into darkness at half-time on Friday night at the ironically named Global Energy Stadium. Three times the power came back on and then went off before the game was abandoned in front of a live TV audience with County Chairman Roy McGregor reckoning that the postponement has cost his club £30,000. In 2011 County had abandonment agony twice at Queen of the South when midweek games were both abandoned due to lighting problems. The third attempt to stage the game took place at Stirling Albion’s Forthbank although it is unlikely such a drastic remedy will be called for this time.
Team of the week: Annan Athletic
Two goals down away from home to a team on an eight-game unbeaten run is a difficult place to start a comeback from. Annan did it, however, as they recovered from seeing Craig Gunn and Brian Cameron score for Elgin to win thanks to goals from Peter Weatherson, Josh Todd and Kenny MacKay.
Manager of the week: Jim Duffy (Clyde)
The former Falkirk, Dundee, Hibs, Norwich and Brechin City boss has almost dropped off the footballing radar since taking over at Clyde in February 2011. Duffy has had to make do with limited resources at the Bully Wee due to historic issues over unpaid rent at Broadwood and working with youngsters released by full time clubs is a long way from the world class stars he had at Dens Park. However his side’s 2-1 win over Stirling Albion at the weekend built on last Saturday’s win over Berwick Rangers and the Bully Wee sit second in the ultra-competitive League 2. It is unlikely that he will ever need a helicopter to take him to his job at Clyde, but he deserves recognition for having his side flying at the moment.
Premiership Player of the week: Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United)
Dutch born Turkish striker Nadir Ciftci scored twice as the Tannadice men ended St Mirren’s recent revival with a 4-0 win. Ciftci stroked home a through ball from John Rankin to open the scoring before being fouled by Sean Kelly to earn his side a penalty that he converted to make it 2-0. The former Portsmouth, Kayserispor and NAC Breda 21-year-old was recruited by Jackie McNamara in the summer and is looking a shrewd piece of business.
Premiership Goal of the week: Scott Vernon (Aberdeen)
Aberdeen had been looking good for a win against Hibs at Easter Road but could not find a goal until Vernon came off the bench.The Englishman came on for the unpredictable Calvin Zola on 65 minutes and quarter of an hour later he helped team-mate Gregg Wylde harry Lewis Stevenson out of possession. Wylde then rolled the ball into Vernon’s path 19 yards out and he sent a shot screaming high into the top left hand corner of Ben Williams’ goal.
Championship Player of the week: Iain Russell (Queen of the South)
Striker Russell grabbed a double for the Doonhamers as they defeated Alloa 3-0 at Recreation Park. Russell headed the opener against one of his former teams after just 14 minutes and then grabbed the second with 20 minutes left. This time the front man skipped past home goalkeeper Scott Bain, cut past defender Darryl Meggat and then curled the ball over Ben Gordon on the goalline.
Championship Goal of the week: Kevin Moon (Raith Rovers)
Moon lit up his side’s home game with Morton just when it looked like a gloomy first half was going to end goalless. The midfielder ran on to through ball from Jason Thomson and showed great composure to lob over the advancing Nicolas Caraux and into the net.
League 1 Player of the week: John Daly (Rangers)
Daly grabbed his second hat-trick in four weeks as Rangers decided to turn up for the second half of their game against East Fife at Bayview Stadium. After a goalless first half the Ibrox side started on the road to their tenth straight league win thanks to an own goal from Gary Thom. Summer signing Daly then took over with two smart headers and then a low drive to seal a 4-0 win.
League 1 Goal of the week: Anthony Marenghi (Ayr United)
Marenghi kept calm to win the points for Ayr against hosts Airdrie after team-mate Kyle McAusland was fouled at the edge of the box and was sent off for retaliation. Marenghi took the Honest Men’s frustration out on the ball as he thumped home the only goal of the game from the free-kick.
League 2 Player of the week: Kenny MacKay (Annan Athletic)
MacKay was playing football for Greenock Juniors six months ago and now he is scoring the winner in a 3-2 comeback success at Elgin. The pacey striker slotted home the game’s decisive goal in injury time and with scouts picking up on his form his move to League 2 may not be as far as he goes.
League 2 Goal of the week: Terry Masson (Montrose)
Montrose’s Masson ended his barren run in front of goal this season with a fine drive against league leaders East Stirling. With his side one goal to the good Masson controlled the ball 25 yards out from goal before sending a left foot shot home from 25 yards to ensure there was no way back for the Shire.