It took Osman Sow one league match to indelibly stitch his name into Hearts’ folklore with the winning goal at Ibrox. In incredible circumstances, the striker scored one minute and three seconds after Nicky Law had equalised for the hosts, and just nine seconds after Hearts had kicked off again in the centre circle.
Aside from the drama, Hearts proved beyond any doubt that Rangers will have to work incredibly hard if they’re going to live up to their pre-season tags of clear favourites to win the Scottish Championship. The notion that they would walk the division, which was foolishly stated by some experts in the weeks leading up to Sunday’s match, were wiped away by Hearts’ victory. It wasn’t just that the visitors won the match, it was that they did so without playing particularly well themselves and limited Rangers to a handful of chances throughout the 90 minutes.
• Staying in the Championship, we were treated to the rarest of sights this weekend with a goalkeeper scoring direct from a kick-out. On this occasion it was Mark Oxley of Hibs as his punt bounced over a hapless Darren Jamieson at the opposite end. Now, the done thing in such scenarios is for the scoring goalkeeper to act a bit sheepish, recognising that the goal is a fluke which requires a horrible mistake from his goalkeeping bredren to occur. So did Mark remain stoic? Did he ****! Too right, big man. Goals are to be celebrated, regardless of how they come about.
Speaking of which, did anyone else see Danny Wilson not celebrating his goal against Rangers? You’d have thought a Celtic fan scoring at Ibrox would enjoy the moment a little more.
• This week’s goat, other than Jamieson, was Aberdeen centre half Ash Taylor. The new recruit from Tranmere Rovers managed to turn a routine clearance into a Bambi-on-ice impression before selling the jerseys with a horribly short backpass which allowed Ryan Dow to open the scoring in Aberdeen’s 3-0 loss to Dundee United.
At only 23 years old, Taylor will get better with time. Besides, he’s not a regular starter having been brought to the club in order to back-up Russell Anderson and Mark Reynolds, with the former being out of action yesterday. It was a signing for the future, but it’s the here and now which has suffered. The deal indicated Derek McInnes’s satisfaction with Andrew Considine and Johnny Hayes as his left-back options this season.
Neither of whom are naturals in the position. In fact, Considine was partially at fault for the second goal after getting burned for pace by Gary Mackay-Steven. Instead of recruiting another centre half, allowing Considine to move into his favoured role and signing an actual real life left-back may have been a better solution.
• Lee Erwin saved Motherwell’s blushes after last season’s runners-up were put to the test by St Mirren at Fir Park. The 20-year old was making his first appearance for the club and displayed good predatory instincts to fire a loose ball past Marian Kello. Nice finish, but nowhere near as good as the thunderbolt he netted last year for Arbroath . Without using hyperbole, it’s one of the best goals I’ve ever seen.
From the same match, Jim Goodwin’s ambition to clean up his bad-boy image this season lasted an almost impressively short 72 minutes before he was sent off for a clash with John Sutton. Not since Macho Man Randy Savage has someone utilised the use of a flying elbow so much.
• Ross County have done pretty well since winning promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history, finishing fifth and seventh in successive seasons – though they didn’t so much claim seventh place last term as fall arse backward into it. However, one thing they have struggled with throughout their time in the premier league is finding a striker who knows where the goals are. Steven Ross, Gary Glen, Colin McMenamin, Steffen Wohlfarth, Kevin Luckassen, Yoann Arquin and Jordan Slew made 154 appearances combined over the past two seasons, and scored a grand total of 13 goals – over half of those belong to Wohlfarth and Arquin. Well perhaps, finally, they’ve gotten someone who can be relied on to regularly find the back of the net. Jake Jervis – who, incredibly, is now at his 10th club despite only being 22 – netted on his league debut against St Johnstone yesterday. It may not have won his side any points from the match, but if he can do that consistently then Derek Adams side might not have the same relegation fears as last term.
Now it’s time to hand out some weekly awards.
The Fabian Cabellero Award for best goal – This has to go to Craig Slater. Dundee goalkeeper Kyle Letheren makes the rookie error of drifting behind the defensive wall, but take nothing away from the quality of the strike.
The James Collins Award for biggest sitter – Sorry David Templeton. This one has to go to you. Six yards out, plenty of time and doesn’t even come close to hitting the target.