THE Scotsman Weekly Awards for the second week of 2014 have been selected after three days of action across all four SPFL Divisions.
The weekend saw the name of Albion Rovers talked about positively UK wide thanks to their ‘Pay what you Want’ initiative, however it was bad weekend for League 2 rivals Berwick Rangers who parted company with manager Ian Little.
Willo Flood’s thundering drive against Hibs is recognised as are significant contributions from Forfar, Livingston, Ross County, Dumbarton, Queen of the South, Rangers, East Stirling and Annan Athletic.
Good week for – Albion Rovers
Not only did the Coatbridge side defeat Montrose 1-0 to keep pace with the promotion pace-setters in League 2 they won acclaim locally and nationally for their ‘Pay what you Want’ day.
Fans could gain entry for any price they wanted with only a minimum of a £1 required and Chairman John Devlin’s determined plugging of the idea saw over 700 fans turn up at Cliftonhill.
Devlin provided the following statistics in comparison to Montrose’s visit back in August to back up the success - Crowd increase of 125%, Gate receipt increase of 160% and Cafe/shop/add-ons increase of 165%.
The Rovers idea showed that there are still football fans that are willing to turn up to games if the price and promotion is right
Bad week for – Ian Little (Berwick Rangers)
The Borderers parted company with their manager Ian Little yesterday after losing 4-1 to Annan on Saturday. Little’s side sit eighth in League 2 and the Board at Shielfield ran out of patience waiting for a play-off push to begin.
Little had has side playing really good football however they were not ruthless enough and he has paid the price.
Team of the week – Forfar Athletic
The Loons started 2014 with a fine 5-1 win over Brechin and they followed that up with a 3-0 home win over Stenhousemuir on Saturday. Dick Campbell’s side got their business done early with 3 goals in the first half and the win was important as it took the Loons above their visitors in the hunt for promotion.
They now sit one place off a play-off berth and if 2014 continues to their liking Forfar may well pull back the 7 point gap Ayr United presently have on them.
Manager of the week – John McGlynn (Livingston)
McGlynn’s Lions are emerging from the shadows as promotion candidates and Saturday’s 1-0 win over leaders Dundee at Dens Park will have done wonders for West Lothian confidence.
The Energy Assets Arena side were facing relegation play-offs when McGlynn started and now they are just 2 points off a top four place.
What makes McGlynn’s achievement all the better is that he headed for Tayside missing two key defenders however his legendary organised approach paid off.
Premiership Player of the week – Filip Kiss (Ross County)
Two goals, a booking and an injury is an action packed way to announce your arrival in Scottish football and that is exactly what Filip Kiss achieved at the weekend on his debut.
Ross County’s on loan signing from Cardiff smashed his side ahead on 25 minutes with a shot from distance and then four goals later he converted a pass from Richard Brittain to tie the score at 3-3.
The Slovak then limped off due to a calf injury however he did enough to indicate that Dingwall manager Derek Adams may have unearthed a gem.
Premiership Goal of the week – Willo Flood (Aberdeen)
It took something special to make the Aberdeen and Hibs game memorable on Friday night and Willo Flood delivered achieved that with 4 minutes to go.
Both sides had been cancelling each other out until a Niall McGinn cross was cleared to Flood nearly 30 yards out. The midfielder took a touch before firing in a fierce drive that left Ben Williams in the Hibs goal motionless.
Championship Player of the week – Mitchel Megginson (Dumbarton)
Megginson ended a 6 game run without a goal by hitting a double for the Sons against Cowdenbeath in their 4-2 success at Central Park. Former Aberdeen striker Megginson gave his side the lead at 2-1 and then calmed nerves 7 minutes from time when he added his second to complete the scoring.
The win means that Ian Murray’s side are closer to the promotion play-offs than the relegation ones.
Championship Goal of the week – Michael Paton (Queen of the South)
Another former Dons striker and he should be sharing this award for the opening strike in his side’s 3-1 win over Alloa with team-mate Paul Burns.
Paton picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and he found Burns with a pass with the midfielder outfoxing the visiting defence with a clever back heeled pass that Paton ran to and thumped past Scott Bain from 12 yards.
League 1 Player of the week – Dean Shiels (Rangers)
Striker Shiels had fallen so far out of the picture at Rangers recently that manager Ally McCoist was forced into answering questions over his future and which clubs he was free to move to.
The Northern Ireland striker had not started a game since August however he reminded everyone what he was about with both goals in his side’s 2-0 home win over East Fife.
Shiels volleyed in the opening goal after 4 minutes and the sent home an Andrew Little pass in the second half to ensure that the Fifers were seen off.
League 1 Goal of the week – Gavin Swankie (Forfar Athletic)
Station Park skipper Swankie may have been sweating over starting for the Loons as they beat Brechin 5-1 in his absence due to a hamstring injury. Manager Dick Campbell gave him a starting jersey and showed that he was more than worthy of it in the early stages against Stenhousemuir when he drilled home a shot form 20 yards.
League 2 Player of the week – Chris Townsley (East Stirlingshire)
Keeping Peterhead’s Rory McAllister quiet is usually enough for a nomination and keeping Rory McAllister quiet as well as scoring can win you an Award. Townsley was part of a Shire defence that made sure that the league leaders drew a blank and he also found time to open the scoring in his side’s 2-0 success when he headed home a Max Wright corner.
League 2 Goal of the week – Josh Todd (Berwick Rangers)
Todd has only just returned to Annan for a second loan spell from Carlisle and he celebrated in style with two goals in a 4-1 win at Berwick Rangers.
The 19 year old picks up the Goal of the Week prize for his first goal that made it 3-0 to his side with 35 minutes gone. Again the quality of the build-up play helps win the Award with Kenny MacKay setting Todd free with a perfectly weighted pass and the midfielder rounded the keeper to finish with a side foot into the empty net.