The 10 best Scottish lower league players this week

March 1, 2018

10. Ouzy See (Berwick Rangers)

You’ve got to admire the producer of the Berwick Rangers highlights package. They presumably decided to include the moment Montrose’s Jamie Redman had the ball smashed into his genitals from close range, closely followed by a large cheer, purely because they thought it was funny. And they were right. Less amusing from a Montrose point of view was the concession of two points in this 2-2 draw,as Peterhead went top of League Two thanks to their midweek win at Clyde. Ouzy See didn’t enjoy a rare time of it at Forfar, but the forward got off the mark for his new club and put in a decent shift as the Wee Rangers upset the Stewart Petrie’s team’s title tilt.

9. Patrick O’Neill (Brechin City)

The surprise loan-signing of Kostadin Gadzhalov had boosted Brechin fans’ confidence going into this fixture against league leaders St Mirren – well, within reason at least. However, considering how their season is panning out, perhaps there should be no surprise that the Bulgarian gave away a penalty on his debut in this 1-0 defeat to the Buddies. That said, Gadz blushes was spared by Brechin keeper Patrick O’Neill, who repelled the penalty and made a number of other good stops in what was just his second appearance of the season. The 25-year-old has had to bide his time behind Graeme Smith this season, but his performances against both Falkirk and now the Saints suggest he perhaps should have been utilised earlier.

8. Jordan Marshall (Queen of the South)

In amongst the giggles and bad bovine puns, there was a degree of sympathy for Queen’s goalkeeper Sam Henderson after he was laid low by a rampaging cow last week. However, any fan who sat through the drudgery of this 0-0 draw between Q.O.S and Dunfermline would probably gladly force every participating player into the Pamplona Run. This was played out like a meaningless, end-of-season affair. And, to be fair, considering both sides form, it was probably very much the former. Queen’s left-back Jordan Marshall was probably the pick of a pretty rum bunch, as neither side did anything to suggest they could displace any of the current top-four.

7. Ross McGeachie (Stirling Albion)

It was a battle between League Two’s in-form sides on Saturday, with Stirling Albion and Clyde going head-to-head at Forthbank. It was the home side who eventually won out by two goals to one. And with Montrose and Peterhead both in dropsy mode in recent weeks, making up a ten point gap with two games in hand now looks improbable rather than impossible. Right-back Ross McGeachie has been something of an unsung hero for Dave McKay’s side this term, and the defender was outstanding on Saturday, helping to nullify Goodwilllie and co to make it five straight wins for the Binos.

6. Steven Bell (Ayr United)

The always-on-the-ball Sportsound Twitter account was quick to congratulate Ayr United as the first side in Britain to reach 100 goals this season, even though they weren’t. Admittedly it was an easy oversight to make, considering the first to achieve the feat were those unheard of minnows, Manchester City. Goal scoring exploits aside, this was a good weekend for Ian McCall’s men, who closed the gap to Raith to four points having played a game fewer, after this 3-0 win over Airdrie. A reasonably even first-half made way for a one-sided second as Ayr, featuring a dominant performance from Steven Bell, eventually pulled away to seal another there points.

5. Craig Sibbald (Falkirk)

With Falkirk needing all the help they can get these days, it was interesting to see they’ve signed a deal to have their post-match meals supplied by those well-known nutritional experts, McDonalds. An announcement that probably left Luca Gasparotto kicking himself for joining Morton. On the park there wasn’t too much to write home about in this 0-0 draw, a point which did little to help Dumbarton and made their extremely cautious set-up even more difficult to fathom. Falkirk were the better side, hitting the woodwork four times in the first half, but a stunted second-half performance saw the spoils shared. Craig Sibbald almost tipped the match into the home side’s favour, but the point will surely be good enough for the Bairns to stay up this term.

4. Michael McKenna (Arbroath)

Last week Raith Rovers contrived to throw away a lead in the last-minute against Albion Rovers, while the players and manager ranted about a penalty decision which the referee was quite right to award, and Bobby Barr had a meltdown in front of some fans. Switch Albion Rovers with Arbroath, and you’ve got the exact same scenario this week from a Raith team that’s looking increasingly dysfunctional. This 2-2 draw did little for their title aspirations, with a dominant first-half performance eventually giving way to a cowed second 45. The recently acquired Michael McKenna made his presence felt in the middle of the park in a result which keeps Arbroath on course for the playoffs.

3. Josh Walker (Edinburgh City)

If you haven’t watched the Edinburgh City versus Elgin City highlights (what have you been doing all week?) then we’d thoroughly recommend them. Craig Beattie is booked for a tackling someone’s leg with his head, Elgin goalkeeper Brett Long lets in a trundling long-range effort after appearing to forget how to goalkeep as the ball approaches, while the unmistakable figure of Duncan McKay is clearly visible, head in hand, as Long makes another mistake for the fourth in this 4-0 Edinburgh romp. Josh Walker’s input featured a goal and two assists, while in the aftermath Darryl McHardy was reduced to cuss words and calling folk fools, like an illiterate Mr T. on Twitter. Lovely stuff.

2. Jonathan Tiffoney (Morton)

Jim Duffy’s dynamos made it six wins and a draw from their last seven matches with this reasonably straightforward 2-0 win up in Inverness. This victory, combined with Dunfermline and Queen of the South playing out the most placid draw since Austria and Germany took part in The Disgrace of Gijon in 1982, means the Greenock side are well and truly in the box-seat for a playoff spot. The Caley Jags have had some sporadically decent moments this term, but this wasn’t one of them, with John Robertson’s team toiling to contain Scott Tiffoney and Gary Oliver. It was the former who opened the scoring as Morton leapfrog deteriorating Dundee United to go third.

1. Ryan Hardie (Livingston)

Remember the time Rado Cierzniak claimed Dundee United could win a treble? Must have been a lifetime ago, right? A bygone era when the Terrors were actually good. In fact, it was just over three years ago, an incredibly short period of time for a club to go from Premiership high-flyers to a haphazard gang of Championship ne’er-do-wells. This 2-1 loss to Livingston made it no wins in four, and after starting the season as title favourites they’re now more concerned with staying in the playoff spots. Ryan Hardie’s last-minute strike made it five goals in seven appearances for a rip-roaring Livi outfit, who now sit nine points clear of Csaba’s Laszlo’s team after their midweek win over Morton.


Written by Shaughan McGuigan

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