SPFL Championship: Dundee and Hamilton grab wins

Alloa's Jonathan Tiffoney tussles for the ball with Falkirk's Mark Millar. Picture: SNS
Alloa's Jonathan Tiffoney tussles for the ball with Falkirk's Mark Millar. Picture: SNS
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TABLE-topping Dundee’s 3-0 home win over eighth-placed Dumbarton would seem, on the face of it, straightforward enough, however the Dens Park clash left both managers unhappy.

An uneventful first half saw Dumbarton create the only real chance when Garry Fleming’s effort looked set to creep in until Declan Gallagher cleared off the line.

Things improved after the break and the Dark Blues got themselves in front just two minutes after the restart when Jim McAllister set up Peter MacDonald to score from a tight angle.

Dumbarton thought they had grabbed an equaliser on 52 minutes when Bryan Prunty headed past Kyle Letheren, who scrambled back to his goal to clear the ball away, despite it looking like it had crossed the line.

Referee Brian Colvin and assistant Graham Chambers waved play on and the goal that never was came back to haunt the visitors.

Kevin McBride blasted in a second from outside of the box with eight minutes left and MacDonald wrapped things up when he tucked away Carlo Monti’s cross in the dying seconds.

Despite his side’s success, manager John Brown does not feel his side and their fans are in perfect unison.

He said: “There are no easy games in this league and we won 3-0 but that was not enough for some of our fans. They are some fans who are extremely quick to criticise the players and it is very disappointing.

“It is only a minority but we need everyone behind us if we are to secure promotion.”

Visiting manager Ian Murray was still in a state of disbelief over Prunty’s goal not being awarded. He said: “Only two people in the ground could not see it was a goal. Unfortunately it was the two most important people.

“You look at the scoreline and think we have been well beaten but that is far from the truth. We played well and deserved our equaliser but it was not given.”

Hamilton remain in close proximity to the Dark Blues after their 1-0 defeat of bottom-of-the-table Morton, who gave debuts to new signing Darren Cole and new loan recruit Barrie McKay from Rangers.

The decisive moment came midway through the first half when James Keatings worked his way down the left wing and his back-post cross was headed home by Mikael Antoine-Curier.

The Greenock side showed some spirit that would have pleased the recently-appointed Kenny Shiels, and they came close to grabbing a leveller with just three minutes left when Reece Hands headed past Blair Currie, but Martin Canning popped up on the goalline to clear.

Falkirk moved into third place after their goalless draw at home to an Alloa side that sits just one point away from the play-off zone.

Both sides had chances, with the Wasps going close early on through Kevin Cawley, while Falkirk’s Connor McGrandles headed just wide and Mark Millar saw a fierce effort saved by Alloa goalkeeper Scott Bain.

Livingston announced their intention to be involved in the end-of-season promotion play-offs with a fine 3-0 win over Raith Rovers. The opening goal in seven minutes had an element of good fortune attached to it as Jason Thomson turned a Marc McNulty cross into his own net.

A defensive slip by former Livingston captain Liam Fox helped set up the 
second goal as he lost out to McNulty and, when he was denied, Andrew Barrowman failed to get the ball over the line but Martin Scott shot into an empty net. The third goal came just on the hour mark as Stefan Scougall darted into the Raith box and shot home via a deflection.

Cowdenbeath’s recent revival under Jimmy Nicholl, which had seen a win at Dundee and a battling point earned at Raith Rovers, came to an end with a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Queen of the South. Paul Burns gave the Doonhamers the lead right on half-time after goalkeeper Grant Adam had fumbled, with Iain Russell hitting home the second on 64 minutes after further home defensive lapses.