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SPFL awards: Fraser Forster|Partick Thistle|Annan

Lyle Taylor celebrates in front of the home fans after putting Partick 2 goals ahead. Picture: SNS

Lyle Taylor celebrates in front of the home fans after putting Partick 2 goals ahead. Picture: SNS

  • by CRAIG P STEWART
 

THE SPFL provided a number of worthy candidates for the ‘Good Week’ awards this week with records being broken, a first win secured, a first home win secured, a hat-trick hero, a draw at Ibrox and a win over a league leader however there can be only one Award handed out

The ‘Bad Week’ award goes to a team that are beginning to look incredibly strong candidates for relegation from the Championship with Partick Thistle, Cowdenbeath, Kilmarnock, Dumbarton, Stranraer, Dunfermline, Annan and Berwick all receiving awards to mark positive contributions.

Good week for – Fraser Forster (Celtic)

There were several candidates for the top prize this week with Barry Smith securing his first win as Alloa manager, Partick Thistle ending a long wait for a Firhill league success, Martin Grehan notching all 3 goals as Stranraer got their promotion campaign going again, Stenhousemuir drawing at Ibrox and Cowdenbeath defeating Dundee.

However when a 43-year-old record is broken it is only right for it to be recognised, with the ‘Good Week For’ prize going to Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

The former Newcastle shot-stopper set a new Scottish record when he passed the 1,155-minute landmark without conceding a league goal in the first half of Celtic’s 2-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle.

The record had been held by Aberdeen’s Bobby Clark since 1970 with Forster now not having conceded a Premiership goal since Niall McGinn scored for the Dons on November 23.

Bad week for – Morton

Morton boss Kenny Shiels has put together a new look Morton side for the second half of the season and they have been getting praised for the manner in which they are fighting against relegation however losing to Alloa on Saturday was a blow.

The Greenock men sit 12 points behind a resurgent Cowdenbeath in ninth place and the safety of eighth place is now 15 points away after the Wasps success.

Morton Chairman Douglas Rae has often spoken about part-time football at Cappielow and if they miss out on the expected intense interest of a Championship containing Rangers and Hearts do not be surprised if Rae follows through and implements changes.

Team of the week – Partick Thistle

The Jags pulled off an unexpected 3-1 over Aberdeen on Saturday to send the Firhill faithful home happy for the first time this season.

Not many people expected a home win against a Dons side that had been in good form however everyone played their part from Paul Gallacher saving a penalty to Lyle Taylor getting a brace.

More importantly Thistle move above St Mirren in the race to survive.

Manager of the week – Jimmy Nicholl (Cowdenbeath)

Nicholl has guided the Blue Brazil to ten points from the last twelve with Saturday’s 2-0 win over Championship leaders Dundee pulling the Fifers further away from automatic relegation and closer to safety of eighth place.

The Northern Irishman is throwing his all into keeping Cowdenbeath in the Championship and using his contacts well with loan signing from Kilmarnock Rory McKeown hitting home the first goal at the weekend on his debut.

Premiership Player of the week – Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle)

Taylor grabbed a brace as Thistle secured that home success over Aberdeen. He added to Conrad Balatoni’s opening goal by converting a cross from Kallum Higginbotham to make it 2-0 however his next goal was more crucial.

Adam Rooney headed a goal back for the Dons however Taylor ensured that nerves were calmed by shooting past Jamie Langfield to secure the win.

He might have missed a couple of chances after that but he deserves the award.

Premiership Goal of the week – Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock)

Rory McKenzie is the winner with Kris Boyd winning the goal-maker stakes. Boyd picked the ball up with his back to the Hibs goal some 15 yards in his own half before swivelling and sending a diagonal pass through the visiting defence for McKenzie to chase.

The 20-year-old went after it and then drilled a fine low shot home to open the scoring at Rugby Park.

Championship Player of the week – Jamie Stevenson (Cowdenbeath)

Stevenson had disappointed manager Jimmy Nicholl last Saturday when he missed a last gasp chance at Morton however he made amends on Saturday.

Introduced as a substitute in the opening quarter of an hour against Dundee, Stevenson set up the opening goal for Rory McKeown and then repeated the feat by creating a chance for Greg Stewart to seal a 2-0 success.

Championship Goal of the week – Scott Agnew (Dumbarton)

Dumbarton and Raith Rovers were enjoying a ding-dong battle at the Bet Butler Stadium with the Kirkcaldy men taking the lead for the first time at 3-2 with nearly an hour gone.

Agnew decided to even things up again and sent home a thumping volley from 20 yards out when a Sons free kick was headed clear into his path. Good Tekkers!

League 1 Player of the week – Martin Grehan (Stranraer)

Stranraer were expected to struggle at Brechin after their midweek trip to the Inverness Caledonian Thistle and a 2-0 defeat on a quagmire of a pitch.

However Grehan ensured that no thoughts of tiredness came into play as he scored a first half hat-trick in his side’s 3-1 success.

He was eventually given a well-earned rest with 14 minutes to go.

League 1 Goal of the week – Ross Forbes (Dunfermline Athletic)

Forbes is showing Dunfermline fans why their manager Jim Jefferies was so keen to bring him to East End Park in January.

Former Motherwell and Partick Thistle player Forbes has a terrific left foot and he showed it on Saturday as he cracked home the opening goal against Ayr United from 25 yards.

He pulled the trigger again just before half-time with an effort that hit both posts and Lawrence Shankland tapped in.

League 2 Player of the week – Kenny MacKay (Annan Athletic)

MacKay played his first game in 5 weeks when the Galabank men travelled to Queen’s Park on Saturday and he was to prove to be the difference between the sides.

The jet paced striker darted through the home defence to lob the only goal of the game and went close on a further two occasions as the Galabank men moved two points closer to leaders Peterhead.

League 2 Goal of the week – Lee Currie (Berwick Rangers)

Two awards in a row for Lee Currie and as mentioned last week the former Hibs youngster does not score many ordinary goals. This time it was a 25 yard free kick to open the scoring against East Stirling although the game ended 1-1.

 

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