The 10 Best Scottish Lower League Players This Week

September 27, 2017

10. Iain Davidson (Raith Rovers)

Airdrieonians may not be much cop at football at the moment, but when it comes to cringe-inducing, rambling, nonsensical statements, they really are second to none. Chairman, Jim Ballantyne took to the website on Saturday evening to jab more accusations at a local reporter, while pointing out that Airdrie couldn’t match up to Raith Rovers’ “expensively assembled squad”. Now, we’re not 100 per cent certain what the wage structure is at Stark’s Park, but we sincerely doubt Greig Spence and Jason Thomson spend their days off counting up their cash like Scrooge McDuck. Rovers’ 2-0 win was less convincing than their recent results, but it was thoroughly merited, with Iain Davidson, who is enjoying something of a purple patch, again at the heart of things, as Raith kept their sixth clean sheet in eight outings.

9. Mark Durnan (Dundee United)

If the newspapers are anything to go by, Paul McMullan appears to be keeping himself busy during these autumnal evenings. Pictures suggested he’d been turning out for the curiously named, Groin Strokers in Glasgow’s Power League 5-a-side, although McMullan suggested an image showing him in trainers and not boots, proved he didn’t actually participate. Right enough Paul, as it’s impossible to change footwear, or play football in trainers. With their 25-7 win, the Strokers were more convincing in victory than United, although the Terrors 2-1 win over Morton was a welcome fillip after a rather tawdry start to the campaign. Mark Durnan was restored to the side and justified his inclusion with a decent showing, in what was arguably United’s best win of the season. This weekend’s match-up with Dunfermline should be a bit of a beezer.

8. Josh Mullin (Livingston)

We’d never revel in anyone losing their job, but we weren’t entirely non-plussed at Peter Houston receiving his jotters after Falkirk’s latest debacle. Not because we felt sorry for the Bairns, but purely on the basis that we’d run out of shades of red to describe Housty’s coupon. The now former Falkirk boss had suggested in the build up to Saturday’s match that Myles Hogarth could make a return, and while we think he meant Hippolyte, perhaps desperate times left him contemplating calling a 42-year-old retired goalkeeper. They certainly lacked inspiration in this 2-0 defeat to Livingston, with Josh Mullin supplying a fine second goal, as the supposed title contenders remain rooted near the foot of the Championship table. There’s a team in there somewhere, it just requires the right man to coax it out.

7. Ryan Williamson (Dunfermline Athletic)

Ryan Williamson looked somewhat pensive in front of the camera on Saturday, apparently taking prompts from the Barry Ferguson book of mannerisms, crossing and uncrossing his arms and clawing at his face like he was stricken with prurigo. In fairness to the right-back, if keeps up the level of performance which he demonstrated in this 3-0 win over Brechin, he’ll get a lot more practise at being interviewed by the media in the future. Williamson popped up with two assists in what was a tricky but thoroughly deserved win for the Pars, and with each passing week it’s difficult not to think that Allan Johnston’s men will be there or thereabouts come season’s end.

6. Callumn Morrison (Stirling Albion)

The Binos kept up their excellent start to the season with a 3-2 win over Annan Athletic, although they made it hard work for themselves in this bitty performance against the Galabankies. Dave Mackay made the bold decision to replace goalkeeper Cameron Binnie with Mark Foden, but the young Ross County loanee had a difficult afternoon and was no doubt thankful to another loan player, Callumn Morrison, who again impressed, adding another two goals to take his season’s tally to nine. With Stirling looking strong contenders for the title, Dave Mackay will be keen to prolong the 18-year-old’s contract past its January expiry date.

5. Alan Trouten (Albion Rovers)

While Alloa’s start to the season could be described as thoroughly beige, they at least had the caveat that they had an unbeaten record at Fortress Indodrill. That’s no longer the case though, after Albion Rovers inflicted something of an embarrassment on the woeful Wasps, who continue to look a pale shadow of last year’s vintage. They could certainly have done with bringing in someone with the nous of Alan Trouten, who provided two of Albion Rovers goals in their 5-2 win, as the Wee Rovers continue to make a mockery of preseason predictions that they were heading for the drop. Oddly, Rovers have a 100 per cent away record, and a zero per cent home record. If they can pull their socks up on the latter, they could be potential gate-crashers to the top four.

4. Mark McGuigan (Stenhousemuir)

“Goal of the season, Mark McGuigan. My goodness!” That was the bold exclamation from the Warriors tannoy announcer on Saturday, and to be fair, he may have had a point. Allowing a long diagonal ball to bounce once, he leathered a looping, first-time effort past Berwick goalkeeper Robby McCrorie from distance to hand Brown Ferguson’s men a one goal advantage after just three minutes. Considering some of the striking luminaries League Two has to offer, such as Rory McAllister and David Goodwillie, it may be a little surprising to mention McGuigan in the same breath, but considering his brace in this 3-0 win made it seven in seven, it’s far from hyperbole. The win lifted Brown Ferguson’s men into third, as they continue to dangle on the coat-tails of Stirling Albion and Peterhead.

3. Danny Denholm (Arbroath)

If only Arbroath could play every game away from home. Their incredible 6-2 win over Stranraer made it 19 league matches unbeaten away from Gayfield over the last 12 months, and they did it in style, blowing away a woeful Blues side with consummate ease. It was only last week that we singled out Danny Denholm for praise, with the caveat that he had to find his shooting boots, and he’s clearly went raking for them at some point over the last week or so, as he grabbed a double in another one-sided Red Lichties romp. His second was quite something, although was probably just behind Mark McGuigan’s in the rasper stakes, as Dick Campbell’s men moved above Ayr United into second place on goal difference.

2. Lewis Morgan (St Mirren)

It’s hardly the hottest take in town, but Lewis Morgan is becoming quite the baller. The Buddies midfielder popped up with another two goals in this 3-1 win over Queen of the South, which kept Jack Ross’s team tucked one point behind Dunfermline, taking his total for the season to eight. This was a strange match for lengthy spells, with Queens faring reasonably well, at least initially, but with Allan Martin apparently forgetting how to perform basic goalkeeping duties such as diving and stopping the ball, they ended up with nothing to show from it. The victory sustained JRoss’s side’s 100 per cent home record in the league, and if they can correct their slightly shoddy away form, they’ll be credible title contenders this season.

1. Dimitris Froxylias (Dumbarton)

We do enjoy slipping in references to films and TV shows at The Terrace, which probably makes us similar to Keith Jackson (minus the unnecessary cultural racism of course), and for Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Saturday afternoons are increasingly resembling Groundhog Day. As has been the case most weeks, John Robertson’s side created chances, a raft of them in fact, but after passing the vast majority of them over, a second-half capitulation saw them lose 2-1 thanks to the input of Dimitris Froxylias, whose performances may see him moving from the Your Radio 103FM Stadium come the end of his contact in January. The Cypriot scored one and created the other, in a win which moved the Sons five points clear of ICT, and led to John Robertson again talking about a parallel universe where Inverness could be sitting near the top if not for some ifs and buts. Steve Aitken for Falkirk, anyone?

Writtten by Shaughan McGuigan (@ShaughanM)

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