SPFL Awards: Berwick | Airdrieonians | Celtic

IT IS back to league action only for the Scotsman Weekly Website Awards after two weeks where cup ties were prevalent.

Berwick Rangers midfielder Lee Currie makes the SPFL awards this week. Picture: Contributed
Berwick Rangers midfielder Lee Currie makes the SPFL awards this week. Picture: Contributed
Berwick Rangers midfielder Lee Currie makes the SPFL awards this week. Picture: Contributed

It was a great week for a player continuing his recovery from injury, however it was a bad week for Raith Rovers who went from top of the class to staying behind for extra lessons.

Airdrie’s climb off the bottom spot for the first time in four months is recognised, as are great goals from Partick Thistle, Livingston, Dunfermline Athletic and Berwick Rangers.

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Good performances from goalkeepers are recognised across the four divisions with the efforts of players in Celtic, Hamilton Accies, Rangers and Peterhead colours all being award winning.

Good week for – Nathan Shepherd (East Stirling)

Full back Shepherd is making his way back in the game after nearly a year out with a cruciate injury. The former Morton and Stranraer player played for a minute in the Shire’s 3-0 win over Elgin nine days ago to announce that he was back and head coach John Coughlin gave him slightly longer on Saturday at Annan as he put him on for the final 13 minutes.

The score was 2-2 in a game where both sides had been in front and Shepherd put nearly 12 months of injury frustration behind him when he slotted home the winner.

Bad week for – Raith Rovers

Raith received lots of praise for their recent William Hill Scottish Cup win over Hibs at Easter Road - however it was back to earth with a bump on Saturday. It was not so much a ‘Bad Week’ as a bad 45 minutes as Hamilton raced into a 4-0 lead by half time on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Lee Robinson who was making his debut must have been wondering if he was playing for the same team that defeated Hibs with great style.

Team of the week – Airdrieonians

It has taken them since mid-October and 14 games, however Airdrie are no longer known as bottom-of-the-table Airdrie. A last gasp 2-1 win over Brechin continued the recovery that has begun under manager Gary Bollan and they now sit two points ahead of Arbroath and four behind East Fife.

Manager of the week – Paul Hartley (Dundee)

Two games, two wins and two clean sheets for recently installed Dundee boss Paul Hartley has seen his side move four points clear at the top of the Championship. Just two weeks ago the Dark Blues lost a last minute goal to draw with Alloa and concerns were beginning to be expressed about gaining promotion under John Brown.

Hartley has gone in and got off to a great start although as he always said when he was leading Alloa – “I will take things one game at a time as that approach has worked well for me.”

Premiership Player of the week – Anthony Stokes (Celtic)

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Celtic bounced back from their William Hill Scottish Cup disappointment against Aberdeen by seeing off St Johnstone 3-0 at Celtic Park yesterday. Goalkeeper Fraser Forster kept a clean sheet for the twelfth league game in a row however it was Stokes who won the points with three clinical strikes.

Stokes netted from outside the area following a pass from Leigh Griffiths to open the scoring in 16 minutes and his quick-fire second half double secured the win.

Scott Brown set up Stokes to volley in his second and a well struck low drive completed a treble for the front man.

Premiership Goal of the week – Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle)

There were plenty of choices this week for the Premiership Goal of the week with Sam Stanton and Richard Brittain exchanging fine free kicks when Hibs met Ross County at Easter Road and Alexei Eremenko’s fine shot for Kilmarnock at Dundee United.

The winner, who deserved better than finishing on the losing side, is Partick Thistle’s Kallum Higginbotham.

The former Motherwell player darted through the home defence before slamming home an angled drive to put the Jags 3-2 ahead with just 18 minutes left.

Two late Motherwell goals stopped Higginbotham’s strike from even earning his side a point.

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Championship Player of the week – Tony Andreu (Hamilton Accies)

Andreu was the main man behind Hamilton’s fantastic four goal start at Stark’s Park against Raith Rovers. After just 4 minutes he ventured forward before unleashing a drive from 30 yards and he then headed in the second.

No more goals came from the Frenchman however a top drawer standard of performance was maintained by the former Livingston man.

Championship Goal of the week – Martin Scott (Livingston)

Scott grabbed Livingston’s second goal at Alloa on Saturday and it has to go down as a goal that was great in thought and execution.

Recreation Park goalkeeper Craig McDowall sliced a clearance into Scott’s path 45 yards from goal wide on the left and as it bounced towards him you could see Scott thinking that he could return it with interest.

He did with a first time left foot shot that curled and dipped and just beat the outstretched finger-tips of a despairing McDowall.

League 1 Player of the week – Cammy Bell (Rangers)

Bell had one of his busier afternoons keeping goal for Rangers this season down at Ayr. The Ibrox side have steamrollered their way through League 1 this season however the Honest Men were being stubborn opponents on Saturday.

The shot-stopper denied Craig Malcolm and Michael Donald before half-time and then denied Malcolm a second time not long after Nicky Law’s opener for Rangers.

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League 1 Goal of the week – Stephen Husband (Dunfermline Athletic)

Husband’s goal at Forfar’s Station Park receives an award both for its quality and its importance. The Loons had not long taken a 2-1 lead as they looked for a second home success over the Pars however Husband restored parity with a fine strike from 25 yards.

That settled Jim Jefferies’ men and they won 4-2 to move even closer to booking a play-off spot.

League 2 Player of the week – Graeme Smith (Peterhead)

The Blue Toon’s forward line of Andy Rodgers and Rory McAllister usually win all the plaudits however it was Smith that was the star in Saturday’s 2-0 success over Clyde.

The Bully Wee fancied their chances in the second half as they chased a one goal deficit with a rousing wind at their backs only to find Smith was in no mood to lose anything.

A superb stop from John Sweeney was the highlight in an assured display from the shot-stopper.

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

The former Hibs kid does not score many ordinary goals and Saturday’s strike from 30 yards against Elgin was another beauty.

Currie’s strike tied the score at 1-1 however it was not enough to inspire the Borderers as they went down to an unexpected 3-2 loss to Elgin.