The 10 best Scottish lower league players this week

November 1, 2017

10. Rory McAllister (Peterhead)

“Peterheid? Mair like turtle’s heid.” chortled your auld man when you informed him the Blue Toon had inexplicably decided to tweet a video entitled ‘Rory McAllister and Jordon Brown Work Hard To Find The Target’ featuring someone exposing their backside to the camera whilst pulling apart their buttocks. The video had been deleted from YouTube within moments of it being uploaded, so we can’t say for sure what it involved, but that’s probably for the best. Perhaps the unlikely vignette did some good though, as Peterhead defeated Annan by a goal to nil at the weekend with McAllister the goal-scorer, as Jim McInally’s men took full advantage of Stirling Albion’s slip up to close the gape, sorry, gap to two points.

9. Scott Stewart (Airdrie)

“Can’t tackle in the game anymore.” So said Jason Marr on Twitter on Saturday evening after this 2-2 draw with Airdrie, before adding a thumbs down emoji to really hammer home his point. What Jason was presumably alluding to was his two dreadfully rash challenges in the Monklands derby, which saw him deservedly dismissed. He wasn’t content to leave it there though, and helpfully added: “Honestly some fans don’t have a fucking clue,” which is actually far more on-the-nose than his initial point, but still probably a little unwise. He was one of two Wee Rovers dismissals on Saturday, but they held on against an Airdrie side who continue to lurch from disaster to decent and back again. They did have the game’s best performer in Scott Stewart who grabbed their second, but Airdrie’s biggest battles look to be off rather than on the park this term.

8. Ally Sutherland (Elgin City)

Not to be undone by those Peterhead lads, Elgin defender Darryl McHardy tweeted out what appeared to be some transsexual sex on Sunday evening, which was a little unusual, but then we all try to fend off those Monday blues in our own individual ways, don’t we? Perhaps he was just carried away by Elgin’s 4-2 win over Clyde, which was partly thanks to two assists from Ally Sutherland. Considering the start Jim Chapman has made at Clyde, with just one win in nine league games prior to Saturday, you felt what was required was cool heads, patience, understanding and, more importantly, an upturn in results. What transpired instead was the manager using his programme notes to label fans nasty, while his assistant had a scrap with one of them at full-time. Unsurprisingly, it was their final contributions to the club, with the two jettisoned on Tuesday afternoon. A fine, understated exit, we’re sure you’ll agree.

7. Dylan Mackin (Livingston)

‘Oh hi there, I’ll be with you in a minute, I’m just copying and pasting last week’s entry about Brechin’s close-but-no-cigar effort into this week’s list. Cheers.’ Livingston were the latest side to be run close by the Glebe Parkers, eventually coming through with a 3-2 win, but the three points were in the balance until David Hopkin brought on Dylan Mackin at the interval with the scores tied. The former Motherwell player has had his detractors this term, but his introduction ruffled more than a few Brechin feathers, and he eventually knocked home Livi’s third, decisive goal. The result meant the Amber Machine marched into second place in the consistently fluid Championship table.

6. Coll Donaldson (Inverness Caledonian Thistle)

We’re not even sure the term much-maligned Dundee United defender would do justice to Coll Donaldson’s Tannadice career. Let’s plump instead for most-maligned Dundee United defender. Ever. And yet, when removed from the maelstrom that surrounds the Terrors and transported 140 miles or so up the road, the bold Donaldson has seemingly become the final spoke in a sturdy defensive set-up. One that’s now kept five consecutive clean sheets with this 1-0 win over Dunfermline, as Inverness slowly but surely start to look upwardly mobile. That’s no surprise to us here at The Terrace though, *crosses fingers behind back* as we never doubted John Robertson and his boys for one single minute.

5. Harry Paton (Stenhousemuir)

It was only a few week ago that Stirling Albion had started to look ominously strong at the top of League Two, and while they still reside there, their 2-1 loss to Stenhousemuir has left things completely open in the fourth tier. Just five points separate the top five sides in the table, but the worry for Dave McKay must be the nature of this recent defeat, which could, and would have been, far greater if not for some excellent ‘keeping from Cameron Binnie. The Warriors, and Harry Paton in particular, were far too strong on the day, and they’re now part of a chasing pack that also includes Montrose and Peterhead.

4. Lyndon Dykes (Queen of the South)

“We started the game well and were in control.” Considering Falkirk were 2-0 down to Queen of the South within 19 minutes on Saturday, that wasn’t a comment we expected to hear from Bairns defender, Aaron Muirhead, but then Falkirk are all about compounding predictions this term. The too-good-to-go-down shtick is probably still applicable, but that’s based on Falkirk being sandwiched between two part-time sides, rather than any evidence they’re capable of putting a run together. They were certainly dire in this 4-2 loss to Queen of the South, which we’re fine with, as it makes their Falkirk TV commentary a lot funnier. Lyndon Dykes hasn’t always curried favour within the Doonhamers support, but he was in fine fettle here, chipping in a decent second goal as Queens consolidated their position just outside the playoffs.

3. Cammy Smith (St. Mirren)

Buddies boss Jack Ross was keen to criticise referee Steven McLean in the immediate aftermath of this 2-2 draw with Morton. He soon changed his tune, though, bringing out a statement that he may have went in a little heavy on the referee, a move which saw an epidemic of clapping emojis on Twitter. Despite the four goals, this one only really got going in the final quarter, as St Mirren took the lead twice, only to be pulled back by Jim Duffy’s side on both occasions. Perhaps the nature of the draw simply riled Ross in the immediate aftermath of this one, although he could take solace once more in the performance of Cammy Smith, who appears to have picked up the slack left by the curiously underperforming Lewis Morgan in recent weeks. The leaders may have bunched up a a little, but the Buddies remain top of an impossible to predict Championship.

2. Chris Duggan (East Fife)

It wasn’t as dramatic as East Fife’s last home win, that incredible 5-4 win over Albion Rovers, but Saturday’s 3-1 win over Arbroath was arguably more important, and certainly more impressive. With an involvement in all three goals, forward Chris Duggan caught the eye with a brace and an assist, although he was helped considerably by David Hutton’s rather unusual goalkeeping technique, which involved him moving fewer muscles than the average Medusa victim. The win lifted Darren Young’s men up to third, a position that looked incredibly unlikely after their completely unravelling against Raith a few weeks back. They’ll get a chance for revenge this coming Saturday in the latest Fife derby.

1. Sam Stanton (Dundee United)

With Dundee United at a low ebb, and an unfathomably poor head-to-head record against Dumbarton, a trip to the YOUR Radio 103FM Stadium probably wasn’t an ideal starting point for interim United boss Laurie Ellis. Oddly enough, he performed the same function for Raith Rovers at the same venue after the departure of Grant Murray, although the stadium had a less silly name back then. With five amendments from the previous week’s farrago against Inverness, his side performed reasonably well, romping into a two goal lead after just 15 minutes against a brittle and downbeat looking Dumbarton team. It was the Sons former loanee Sam Stanton who did the damage with both goals, in a win which was a small, but possibly significant step forward. With St Mirren up next for United, sterner challenges lie ahead.


Written by Shaughan McGuigan

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