Monday SPFL verdict: Top players, teams & managers

Delighted Hamilton star Jesus Garcia Tena, centre, celebrates his goal against Cowdenbeath. Picture: SNS
Delighted Hamilton star Jesus Garcia Tena, centre, celebrates his goal against Cowdenbeath. Picture: SNS
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THE Scotsman Weekly Website Awards in the Scottish Premiership were fairly easy to vote for this weekend, however across the three other Divisions there were some tough choices to be made.

The highlights in the Scottish Championship saw Hamilton secure a great comeback win at Cowdenbeath whereas Falkirk fought to the end to draw with Dundee. Alloa marked a century of games under Paul Hartley with a win over Raith Rovers and Dumbarton came from behind to defeat Livingston.

In League 1 Dunfermline consolidated in second place, Stenhousemuir scored against the wind with an in-swinging corner against Arbroath and Steven Bell continued his fantastic comeback after 3 years out with a match-winning goal.

League 2 had three leaders in a five minute spell and has 6 teams separated by only four points with East Stirling still holding on to top spot.

The destination of the Awards are much more Championship, League 1 and League 2 orientated due to the number of games played and also because Scotland’s nil nil game with America was far from the greatest.

Good weekend for – Steven Bell (Stranraer)

The former Dunfermline player returned to action last month for Stranraer after three years out with an Achilles tendon injury. Illness kept him out of the Blues’ headline making 6-3 win at Ayr United however Bell had his moment of glory at New Bayview on Saturday.

With the score tied at 1-1 Stranraer were given a last gasp penalty. The usually reliable Chris Aitken saw his effort saved however Bell was first on the scene to head the rebound home.

It must be great to be playing again and it is always great to score a last gasp winner.

Bad weekend for – Thomas Flynn (Cowdenbeath)

The Blue Brazil were two goals to the good at home to table-toppers Hamilton and with Morton losing by the same score-line it looked like being a bumper day for Colin Cameron’s men.

Flynn was standing at the edge of his box when Hamilton’s substitute Jesus Garcia Tena picked up the ball some 45 yards out from goal.

The Spaniard spotted Flynn’s position and lofted the ball over him to get the Accies back into the game.

That incident changed the game as Hamilton ran out 4-2 winners with Flynn left to ponder what would have happened had he been positioned closer to goal.

Team of the week – Stranraer

Two away games saw the Blues come up with 8 goals and six points. Stephen Aitken’s side are over delivering in League 1 at the moment and what was expected to be a season of fighting to avoid the relegation play-offs could become one of fighting to be involved in the promotion play-offs.

The 6-3 win at Ayr saw some swash-buckling attacking play with the 2-1 win at East Fife requiring a steely determination.

Manager of the week – Paul Hartley (Alloa Athletic)

A special landmark for Alloa boss Paul Hartley should not go past unnoticed. One hundred games in charge of the Wasps saw his side defeat Raith Rovers 1-0 to move into fourth place in the table.

The previous 99 games have brought a Third Division Championship and play-off promotion success. There are another 23 league games to go this season and he is on course to add Championship safety to his list of achievements at Recreation Park.

Premiership Player of the week – Jason Naismith (St Mirren)

The Paisley full back is just feeling his way into a first team environment and he can be proud of this performance. Strong at the back and exciting going forward were the attributes that saw Naismith crowned this week’s Premiership Player of the week

Premiership Goal of the week – Kenny McLean (St Mirren)

McLean grabbed the opening goal in his side’s 2-1 success over Ross County yesterday. Paul McGowan and Sean Kelly combined to set up the Scotland under-21 midfielder and he drilled a low right-footed shot low past Mark Brown in the County goal for his fourth goal of the season.

Championship Player of the week – Kyle Letheren (Dundee)

Although he suffered late heart-break against Falkirk if it was not for the Welsh shot-stopper the Dark Blues may not have got a point. Falkirk grabbed an equaliser in injury time from Luke Leahy however prior to this Letheren had been putting up a one man barrier to deny the Bairns.

Had Rory Loy’s late cross not been deflected to Leahy he would have won his side all three points.

Championship Goal of the week – Jesus Garcia Tena (Hamilton Accies)

Garcia Tena turned things around for his side at Cowdenbeath with his first contribution in red and white colours since joining from Livingston.

His clever lofted effort from 45 yards was a fantastic goal on its own and sparked off a comeback from two goals down as well that ended in a 4-2 success.

League 1 Player of the week – Jamie Longworth (Stranraer)

The striker has been showing terrific form for the Stair Park side with 6 goals in his last 3 games. A double against Auchinleck Talbot, a hat-trick against Ayr and then one goal against East Fife at the weekend.

Longworth is a striker that thrives on confidence and he is flying just now.

League 1 Goal of the week – Anthony Marenghi (Ayr United)

The Somerset Park midfielder is gaining a reputation for shooting from distance and it grew further at the weekend. The former Rangers youth won this award recently for a thunderous free kick and this time he wins it for a well struck open play effort from 25 yards in his side’s 1-1 draw with Brechin City.

League 2 Player of the week – Bryan Deasley (Montrose)

The on-loan Forfar frontman grabbed a double as Montrose defeated Albion Rovers 2-1. Deasley is on loan until January and Gable Endies boss Stuart Garden is already sounding out his Station Park counterpart Dick Campbell about a longer stay.

League 2 Goal of the week – Andy Rodgers (Peterhead)

The Blue Toon striker sent home a spectacular volley against one of his former clubs East Stirling to open the scoring with 15 minutes left. Unfortunately for the Blue Toon side his fine effort was worth the same as Jordan McKechnie’s scrambled effort in their 1-1 draw.

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