The Championship took centre stage this weekend with the Premiership on its winter break. There were shocks around the grounds on Saturday, resulting in a good day for those near the basement of Scotland’s second tier.
Here are five things we learned from the weekend’s fixtures.
The top three fail to gain ground on each other
Ayr and Dundee United looked set for straightforward victories at the weekend. The Honest Men took on basement club Falkirk, and the Arabs played a struggling Partick Thistle.
Both sides were dealt with a massive shock, as Falkirk beat Ayr 1-0 at Somerset Park, and Dundee United scraped a 1-1 draw with the Jags.
It didn’t get much better for Ross County either, losing 1-0 to play-off hopefuls Morton on Friday night. It was a chance for all three sides to break away from each other, but instead were victims of upsets over.
The Honest Men struggle without Shankland
With an injury ruling him out of Saturday’s game, Ayr were left with the task of finding victory without their prolific goalscorer.
It’ll be a worry for Ian McCall that they couldn’t even find the net against a poor Bairns side. Falkirk had many new signings in their team, and as they tired throughout the match, spaces opened up. Ayr still couldn’t exploit the Falkirk defence.
It’s a harsh reminder for the Somerset Park faithful of what life could be like without Shankland.
Partick’s new signings give them hope
They might have been placed at the bottom of the league on Saturday, but their was a major improvement from Gary Caldwell’s side at Tannadice, which was due to the performances of their new signings.
Steven Saunders was a rock at the back, following his move from Livingston. Gary Harkins looked composed on the ball and Celtic loanee Conor Hazard performed in goals. Wth more signings expected at Firhill this month, The Jags will hope it’s a sign of things to come.
Dobbie returns to save Queens
The Palmertson outfit endured a dip in form when top scorer Stephen Dobbie was ruled out for the majority of December.
He’s back now though, and netted the winner on Saturday, as Queens beat Inverness 2-1 in the Highlands. It would be unfair to say they are a one man team, but Dobbie offers so much to this side and the Palmerston faithful should savour every game he plays.
Amazing Alloa strike again
The job Jim Goodwin is doing at Alloa has to be recognised. He’s took Scotland’s biggest part-time team, and turned them into a very good side, despite the Wasps playing in a professional league.
They were down 2-0 to Dunfermline on Saturday, but still found the strength to come back and draw 2-2. They are undefeated in five now, and if they continue to perform like this, they will survive against all odds.