This week’s Scotsman SPFL verdict looks back at games across the Premiership, the William Hill Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup.
Dundee United were denied a first win at Celtic Park since 1992 with Charlie Mulgrew’s equaliser costing them two points and probably the team of the week nomination as well.
The William Hill Scottish Cup was low on shocks, with only Fraserburgh knocking out a senior side although Clyde defeating big-spending Brora Rangers was an upset of sorts as was Queen of the South’s success over Hamilton Accies.
Good weekend for – Fraserburgh
The Bellsea club who defeated Dundee back in 1959 and last reached the fourth round in 1954-1955 were giant-killing again at the weekend.
The Broch are not one of the big spending Highland League clubs in the mode of Brora Rangers, Nairn County or Turriff however they showed spirit to come back from a goal down to defeat Montrose. According to manager Kris Hunter Grant Noble’s winner sent Bellsea into raptures as well as sending them into the fourth round draw, which will be made by Sir Alex Ferguson in Aberdeen on Tuesday.
Bad weekend for: Hibernian
A 1-0 defeat from Motherwell ended a miserable few days for the Easter Road men and their supporters. A Scottish League Cup game that started off with dominance over Hearts was lost 1-0 on Wednesday and manager Pat Fenlon opted to leave on Friday. Jimmy Nicholl took charge yesterday as the Steelmen took three points thanks to Stephen McManus’ header. Another few days of management speculation beckons.
Team of the week: Aberdeen
The Dons now look like a team. Manager Derek McInnes appears to have forged a united mentality into his Aberdeen side - something his predecessors have struggled to do in the last two decades. A man down away to Motherwell for 77 minutes after Joe Shaughnessy was dismissed and Clark Robertson limped off. To keep a clean sheet and win through 2-0 is good going. The Dons now meet Partick Thistle tonight.
Manager of the week: Jim McIntyre (Queen of the South)
Unbelievably just a few weeks ago Queen of the South fans were putting pressure on McIntyre after his summer appointment to replace Allan Johnston. McIntyre stood strong and stuck to his belief that his team were playing well and just needed to get a break in front of goal to kick-start their season. A 3-0 Championship win at Alloa was followed by a 1-0 win over Hamilton Accies in the Cup at the weekend. Hopefully he will now get some breathing space from the Doonhamers.
Premiership Player of the week: Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United)
Armstrong put on a great display of attacking midfield play and of course the goal that was almost the winner. The 21 year-old took a pass on his chest from Nadir Ciftci before rounding Fraser Forster and shooting home from a tight angle.
Premiership Goal of the week: Graeme Shinnie (Inverness Caledonian Thistle)
Shinnie just saw off Steven May of St Johnstone for this week’s award. The full back darted forward from his right back position to join in a fine passing move by the Highlanders before cracking home a low left foot shot from 18 yards out. May curled home the Perth side’s second goal at Tynecastle in their 2-0 win however the build-up to Caley’s goal sealed their success.
Scottish Cup Player of the week: Graham Johnston (Fraserburgh)
The 27 year-old has been with Fraserburgh since October 2000 and has not generated too many headlines however his exploits on Saturday deserve an award. Losing by one goal against Montrose, Johnston dragged his side level 17 minutes from time with a fierce left foot shot. If that was not good enough he then set up the winner for Grant Noble in the closing seconds with a precise through ball.
Scottish Cup Goal of the week: Alan Trouten (Brechin City)
Trouten sealed Brechin’s win at Arbroath with a solo effort two minutes from time that brought comparison to Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsay. Trouten danced his way past a trio of maroon shirted defenders before gliding home an effort from the edge of the box to have manager Ray McKinnon say: “The only difference was that Ramsay beat five men and not three but everything else was just as good.”
Scottish League Cup player of the week: Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen)
Hayes has not totally lived up to what was expected of him at Aberdeen but his performance at Fir Park last Wednesday was top notch. The Dublin-born winger was forced into a wing back role after the sending off of Shaughnessy and injury to Clark Robertson and he worked his socks off. He even found time to dart forward in injury time to blast home Aberdeen’s second goal in their 2-0 success.
Scottish League Cup goal of the week: Ryan Stevenson (Hearts)
Stevenson was meant to be a spectator at Easter Road when Hearts travelled to face Hibs due to a knee injury. Stevenson donned his boots and his turn on the spot and first time shot from 20 yards changed the outcome of the all Edinburgh meeting and set up a semi-final meeting with Inverness.