Monday SPFL verdict:top players, teams and managers

We look back at the SPFL and William Hill Scottish Cup matches over the past few days and give our verdict on the weekend’s top performers.

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon. Picture: SNS
St Mirren manager Danny Lennon. Picture: SNS

This week’s selection includes players from the Lowland league, the Highland League and the Juniors.

This week we have our first Lowland League winners as well as St Mirren boss Danny Lennon moving from the bad weekend winner to the good weekend winner.

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Good weekend for

Danny Lennon and his St Mirren side.

Saturday’s first SPFL premiership win of the season was not crucial or indeed vital to his side surviving in the top flight but it was hugely important.

After showing promise against Aberdeen in their 1-1 draw on Monday night the Paisley side travelled to Tynecastle and saw off Hearts 2-0 thanks to goals from John McGinn and Paul McGowan. Lennon, who must have seen and heard the vultures circling over him recently at St Mirren Park, will have been able to breathe a small sigh of relief on Saturday night.

Bad weekend for: Hearts

The Tynecastle side’s hopes of making inroads into the gap between them and St Mirren at the foot of the Premiership table suffered a blow on Saturday. Their 2-0 defeat from the Paisley side is by no means fatal, but they are now 12 points behind the Saints with nearly a quarter of the season played.

It was a fourth defeat in five games for Hearts. However there is now another target for Gary Locke’s side to aim for with Kilmarnock still winless and hosting Hearts in a fortnight.

Team of the week: Forfar Athletic

It could have been St Mirren, but Forfar Athletic produced the result of the weekend when they hammered Dunfermline Athletic 4-0 at Station Park.

It lifted the Loons off the foot of the League 1 table and gained a small measure of revenge following their play-off defeat at the end of last season - not to mention manager Dick Campbell’s sacking from the East End Park side back in 1999.

Manager of the week: Paul Hartley (Alloa)

Again it could have St Mirren and Danny Lennon but we have plumped for Paul Hartley of Alloa. The Wasps ended Hamilton Accies unbeaten start to the league last weekend and they won 2-0 against Morton at Cappielow on Saturday. It was his club’s first win in Greenock since 1928 and lifted Alloa into fifth place in League 1. Just two years ago Alloa were playing in the Second Round of the Scottish Cup alongside the rest of the sides they competed with in Division Three.

Hartley keeps on impressing and sorry Alloa, it must be getting picked up on.

Premiership Player of the week: Steven McLean (St Johnstone)

The striker was pivotal in his side’s 4-0 demolition of an Inverness Caledonian Thistle side who had been at the top of the table. The 31-year-old has a far travelled CV but he looks like he has played alongside Perth hotshot Stevie May for years. McLean scored goals three and four as the Saints ended a five game run without a win.

Premiership Goal of the week: Kris Commons (Celtic)

Commons goal in his side’s 2-0 win over Motherwell took the Celtic Park club back to the top of the table. On 49 minutes Commons picked the ball up just into the Steelmen’s half and darted past former Celt Stephen McManus before slipping the ball past Lee Hollis to add to a fine strike from Anthony Stokes that opened the scoring.

As Commons continues to impress, he gave the Tartan Army some good news when he revealed today that he is considering coming out of international retirement and making himself available for selection to Gordon Strachan again.

Championship Player of the week : Tony Andreu (Hamilton)

Andreu has given his Hamilton Accies player/ manager Alex Neil a selection headache. Neil was suspended for the visit of Livingston on Saturday and gave the former Livingston man his first start since his summer switch.

Andreu shone as the Championship side won 2-0 and now a free of suspension Neil will need to choose between himself and Andreu for the game with Morton next weekend.

Championship Goal of the week: Craig Beattie (Dundee)

Beattie has played in many fine stadiums during his playing career in Scotland, England and Wales as well as at International level, but he showed his class at the less glamorous Central Park at the weekend. With his side’s game against Cowdenbeath goalless Beattie chested down a long pass from Iain Davidson before turning on the spot and lobbing over the stranded Thomas Flynn in the home goal.

League One player of the week: Liam Coogans (Airdrieonians)

Airdrie’s 16 year-old wonderboy Coogans crashed in his side’s second goal in their 3-1 win over Brechin City. Coogans is earning rave reviews for the Diamonds and looks like he could be Tony Watt - Mark II.

League 1e goal of the week: Lewis Macleod (Rangers)

It had shades of Pele in ‘Escape to Victory’ so the award this week has to go to Lewis Macleod of Rangers. With his back to the Ayr goal the Ibrox youngster sent in a superbly executed bicycle kick from eight yards.

Scottish Cup player of the week: Gordon Donaldson (Edinburgh City)

Jamie McAllister of Culter, Auchinleck’s David Gormley and Turriff’s Gary Harris deserve mentions for grabbing Scottish Cup hat-tricks, but the award goes to Gordon Donaldson of Edinburgh City.

The defender had the misfortune to score an own goal to put visitors Fraserburgh 3-1 ahead however he ensured a Roy of the Rovers type storyline by netting a last minute equaliser as the sides drew 4-4.

Scottish Cup Goal of the week: Jamie Brown (Preston Athletic)

Brown earns it for his sublime finish at the stadium where the Scottish Cup Final is usually played. With the Prestonpans side losing 1-0, Brown came off the bench and with his first touch sent home an inch perfect shot from 20 yards over a packed box and just under the bar after home goalkeeper Blair Lochhead had spilled a free-kick.