Monday SPFL verdict: Top players, teams & managers

GAMES across the Premiership, the Championship as well as League 1 and League 2 have all been taken into account for The Scotsman Weekly Website Awards.

Ryan Gauld wheels away in celebration, with Nadir Ciftci in close pursuit. Picture: SNS

There were impressive away victories in the Premiership for Dundee United, St Mirren, Hearts, Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle with St Johnstone winning well at home.

In the Championship, Hamilton extended their lead, whilst a new star emerged at Dens Park as Dundee moved into second place.

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Rangers defeated Airdrie to remain top of League 1, whilst Forfar advanced up the table at the expense of Brechin City.

East Stirling saw off a second challenge in a row to dethrone them in League so there was plenty to consider.

The destination of the Awards will please some (mostly in the City of Discovery) and disappoint others. Your views are welcome.

Good weekend for – Hearts

Just when it looked like their position in the Premiership was done and dusted the Tynecastle club travelled to Pittodrie after a run of 8 League games without a win.

They faced an in-form Aberdeen and trailed at the break, however they hit back through Jamie Walker, Callum Paterson and Ryan Stevenson to secure a 3-1 win. Gary Locke’s side are still on negative points for the season, and 13 behind Kilmarnock, however they have now won at Easter Road and Pittodrie in their last two away games. More importantly for maroon fans Hearts are still beating and a bit of belief has been restored.

Bad weekend for – Partick Thistle

The Jags are not so jaunty at the moment after losing 4-0 to Aberdeen last Monday and 3-0 to St Mirren on Saturday.

The Firhill side made a bright start to life in the top division after promotion, however their defeat from Danny Lennon’s men means that only three points have been earned in 7 home games.

Alan Archibald’s side won 15 and drew 2 as Firhill was a fortress last season and a return to form would help bring things alive again for Thistle.

Team of the week – Inverness Caledonian Thistle

The award could have gone to Celtic Dundee United, Hearts or St Mirren after their fine away wins or Falkirk’s 4-1 win over Livingston however none of those teams have had the managerial distraction that Inverness Caley’s players had.

Not only has there been constant will he or won’t he talk of Terry Butcher heading from the Highlands to Easter Road the Inverness players had to handle playing Butcher’s suitors in Edinburgh as well.

They dealt with it well with early goals from Nick Ross and Billy McKay giving them a 2-0 win and possibly more for Butcher to ponder.

Manager of the week – Jackie McNamara (Dundee United)

The award could have gone to Terry Butcher - or was it Maurice Malpas - but McNamara deserves it for guiding his team to a 4-0 win at Motherwell but also appealing correctly on Nadir Ciftci.

McNamara’s side handed out a thrashing to the Fir Park men just 2 days after Ciftci won his appeal against his red card in the Scottish League Cup quarter-final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle and saw a further violent conduct charge, for grabbing an opponent by the face, not proven.

The Tannadice manager backed his player, who still faces another charge after an altercation with a match official, however his man management is being met with a positive reaction.

Premiership Player of the week – Ryan Gauld (Dundee United)

The 17-year-old Boy Wonder of Scottish Football gave another indication of his potential as United won 4-0 at Motherwell. Gauld shot home to give his side the lead and he was involved in the second as well which had the game on its way to being won after only 20 minutes.

The Tayside club moved last week to tie Gauld to them until May 2016 and it must have seemed like very good business when he shot home United’s third goal in the second half.

Premiership Goal of the week – Andrew Robertson (Dundee United)

The former Queen’s Park youngster lost out on a Scotsman Weekly Website Award the last time the sides met when his 70 yard run and shot was just pipped by Lionel Ainsworth’s pile-driver.

However the Scotland under-21 player won this time out with his powerful finish from 15 yards that completed Dundee United’s 4-0 over the Steelmen.

Championship Player of the week – Craig Wighton (Dundee)

The striker earned rave reviews for his performance in his side’s 2-0 win over Raith Rovers. Wighton at just 16 is out to show that not all the talent in Dundee is in United colours and he notched his first senior goal with a second half header to seal the Dens Park sides win.

Championship Goal of the week – Ryan Conroy (Dundee)

Conroy took control of a set piece at Dens Park ahead of Peter MacDonald who also fancied his chances. After his first attempt had been blocked by an arm Conroy curled the second dead ball home from 25 yards to open the scoring against Raith Rovers.

League 1 Player of the week – Rab Douglas (Forfar Athletic)

The former Scotland shot-stopper rolled back the years for Forfar as he put up an impressive barrier to keep out an early onslaught from Brechin at Station Park.

Douglas made a number of fine stops and that allowed his side to go on and win the game 2-0.

League 1 Goal of the week – Alan Cook (Arbroath)

Cook is earning himself a solid reputation as a goal-grabbing midfielder for the Red Lichties following his summer move from Airdrie. He notched at Gayfield to open the scoring against East Fife with another trade mark thunderous left foot shot.

League 2 Player of the week – Rory McAllister (Peterhead)

It has been a quiet season from the best footballing plumber in Scotland however he was back to his goalscoring best on Saturday.

His quick-fire double for the Blue Toon just after half-time turned a 1-0 lead over hosts Elgin into a 3-0 lead and reminded everyone of just how deadly McAllister can be.

League 2 Goal of the week – Jordan White (Stirling Albion)

White was credited with three goals in his side’s 2-2 draw with East Stirlingshire after he notched an own goal.

His second goal just before half-time saw him send a delicate ship over the advancing Grant Hay in the The Shire.