The 10 Best Scottish Lower League Players This Week

September 13, 2017

10. Iain Davidson (Raith Rovers)

Bret the Hitman Hart, Melissa Joan Hart, Miranda Hart and the couple from seventies/eighties crime show Hart-to-Hart all have certain common traits. The same surname, and they don’t know anything about goalkeeping. To that list, we can add Ayr goalkeeper Jordan Hart, whose jelly-wristed performance helped Raith to a 2-1 win on Saturday. Ayr had plenty of possession in this top of the table clash, but struggled to create anything too clear-cut against a Raith defence that headed, blocked and blootered anything that came its way, especially Iain Davidson, who produced his finest performance in some time as Raith moved four points clear.

9. Finn Graham (Brechin)

Most people are of the opinion that the Challenge Cup is pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but for Peter Houston’s sake he better hope his bosses think differently, since it appears to be the only tournament Falkirk can make an impression in this season. They’re now ninth in the Championship table, with the only positive of their 1-1 draw with Brechin that they didn’t lose and drop to tenth. Brechin may have felt a little unfortunate not to win this one, with Finn Graham worthy of a man-of-the-match award after his well taken goal, but with a run of difficult-looking fixtures on the horizon, Saturday’s game with Dumbarton is one they really to target for their first win.

8. Harrison Paton (Stenhousemuir)

Cowdenbeath manager Billy Brown confirmed after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Stenhousemuir that the club wouldn’t be in the market for Romelu Lukaku, an absolute zinger of a jape which confirmed that, while he may not know too much about football tactics and stuff, he does have some solid gold banter. It’s safe to say this match wasn’t exactly thrilling, and, to use a wrestling comparison, was akin to Undertaker versus the Great Khali in the Punjabi Prison encounter at Judgment Day. Although on-loan Hearts midfielder Harrison Paton did inject some brio, sticking out like a cobblers thumb in a field of pinkies. Stenny move up to third, while Cowdenbeath, who look wearily similar to last year’s vintage, slip to ninth.

7. Ross Perry (Albion Rovers)

Albion Rovers have tweeted out some surprising stuff in the past. ‘Sniff my big hairy toe Cowden,’ for example, and ‘Stick yer smelly fingers in my linguini Livingston’. But we were still taken aback by their announcement that Ross Perry was man of the match in their 4-1 win over Arbroath. The result itself was also a little eye-opening, considering both sides’ recent form, but the win meant Brian Kerr’s team retained their 100 per cent record away from home as they moved level on points with Ayr. Fair play too to the Rovers fan who went through on his pledge to get a tattoo if Perry scored a goal this season. He probably didn’t think he’d be pestering a tattooist after that wager.

6. Shaun Byrne (Livinston)

This drawing malarkey is proving to be something of a nuisance to Livingston. Including cup matches they’ve already drawn five times this term, and while it goes without saying that it’s preferable to losing, their general performances have probably merited more than single points or cup exits via incorrect penalty shoot-out methods. It was a familiar tale on Saturday, with David Hopkin’s men worth their 1-0 lead only for two Queen of the South humdingers to turn the game on its head before a late Dylan Mackin equaliser ended the scoring. Shaun Byrne put in one of his best performances to date this season in the middle of the park, but Livi need to be more clinical if they’re to push on this season.

5. Craig Barr (Dumbarton)

Dundee United manager Ray McKinnon seemed somewhat vexed by Dumbarton last season, blaming inclement wind and pitch conditions for their various travails against them. That then makes it all the more amusing that Saturday’s 1-1 draw between the pair means that United have beaten the Sons just once in their last five meetings, and it would have been even worse for them if not for James Keatings’ late equaliser after the Sons had taken an early lead. Craig Barr and his defensive partner Dougie Hill effectively shackled United’s forwards for the majority of the match, and as the Tannadice side’s woes increase McKinnon’s tenure is looking increasingly troubled.

4. Jai Quitongo (Morton)

This Morton versus Dunfermline match appeared to be going the way of most Pars matches this term: Allan Johnston’s men hared into a two-goal half-time lead, and while they didn’t look completely comfortable, it appeared it was going to take something exceptional, or disastrous, to haul the Greenock side back into it. Callum Morris’s woeful pass-back certainly ticked the latter box, while Jim Duffy’s decision to bring on Gary Harkins and Jai Quitongo with half an hour remaining covered the former. Harkins’ expertly plonked free-kick restored parity, while Quitongo’s energy and strength completely swung the game in the Greenock side’s favour, with his 93rd-minute winner providing some shirtless and downright arousing scenes.

3. David Goodwillie (Clyde)

Just where would Clyde be without the mercurial talent of David Goodwillie? That’s not a rhetorical question by the way, the correct answer is of course the Lowland League, and the former Scotland forward dug the Bully Wee out of another spot of bother again on Saturday, with a goal before setting up the winner in the 3-2 win over Stirling Albion. ‘It’s the curse of the manager-of-the-month award,’ lamented Albion fans, handily disregarding the countless times the recipient hasn’t actually lost their next match. But this was a sore one to take for the Binos, who remain top despite losing their 100 per cent record. We get the feeling League Two is going to be as radge as ever.

2. Grant Anderson (Stranraer)

If you’re a fan of Twin Peaks, then no doubt you’re disappointed that the show has finished its run. You’re also probably wondering where you can get your weekly fix of the surreal, absurd and inexplicable. To that end, we’d probably suggest watching Airdrie. We’re now almost halfway through September, and the Diamonds still haven’t appointed a manger, apart from the 20 minutes or so Willie Aitchison was in charge of course, and by jingo do they need one. Their initial form had been reasonably impressive, but they were on the receiving end of a battering on Saturday as Stranraer dominated, with winger Grant Anderson the biggest influence, netting a brace in the 3-1 win. Airdrie remain in the top-four but, based on Saturday, not for too much longer.

1. Lewis Morgan (St Mirren)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle fans may not have been overly enamoured with goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams, but the dumpling Welshman is starting to resemble Dino Zoff with each and every blunder Mark Ridgers makes. The gaffe-prone custodian was at it again on Saturday, at fault for at least two of the Buddies efforts, as St Mirren hit the Championship’s top spot with this one-sided 4-2 romp. Lewis Morgan looked quite the prospect for Scotland under-21s in their recent win over Holland, and he was a stand out again here, supplying the opening goal as the Buddies continued their unbeaten start to the campaign. Replacing Stevie Mallan has been far easier than expected.

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