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Tuesday 29th September 2015

Austin star man in Team of the Week

Craig Fowler from the Terrace Scottish Football Podcast runs through his SPFL Team of the Week

East Fife striker Nathan Austin bagged his third hat-trick in the space of 12 months on Saturday - for that reason he has been selected as star man in SPFL Team of the Week.
Craig Fowler from the Terrace Scottish Football Podcast runs through his top XI from the weekend's action and explains his choices (3-4-3 formation)...
GK - Danny Ward (Aberdeen)
The Dons' shot-stopper may have been beaten by a fine finish from Miles Storey and an absolute belter from Ryan Christie, though if it weren't for his efforts the league leaders could have found themselves trailing by three or four goals at the interval. His save from Liam Polworth was strong enough, but he somehow bettered it with an inexplicable close-range denial of a Christie header. One of the saves of the season so far.
DC - Lewis Toshney (Raith Rovers)
Toshney and Kyle Benedictus have formed a formidable partnership at the heart of the Rovers defence. Through eight games they've given up only nine goals, which is a very healthy record when you consider they shipped five in one match at Ibrox. At home they seem unbeatable, having racked up four wins out of four without conceding. The last of which came this past Saturday with a 1-0 win over Dumbarton where Toshney showed himself to be effective at the other end, bagging the only goal.
DC - Kieran Kennedy (Motherwell)
The young centre-back started the season as a reserve but has managed to force his way into the squad after Motherwell's disappointing start. And if performances such as the one against Partick Thistle on Saturday are anything to go by, it will be a while before he's back among the substitutes again. Solid all game long, Kennedy really showed his worth in the last 15 minutes. With Partick Thistle bombarding the penalty area, the 21-year-old held strong, repelling everything that came his way and helping the hosts preserve a 2-1 win.
DC - David Bates (Brechin City)
The Brechin revival has begun. After getting off to a very poor start, Darren Dods' men have now won two games on the trot. It's no coincidence that things started going well for the Angus club shortly after young Bates joined on loan for Raith Rovers. The centre-back is the perfect foil for Dods, his manager and central defensive partner, as he covers more ground. This enables Dods to stick to co-ordinating the team, and both players strolled through the win against Cowdenbeath.
MR - Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell)
When Ainsworth is on his game, there are few players more exciting or more effective in the final third. Against Thistle he was responsible for both goals. Breaking into the penalty area and seeing his effort inadvertently turned in by Thistle defender Frederic Frans for the first, and then clipping in a delightful ball for Scott McDonald to score the second. However, his most impressive piece of action was a charging 50-yard run which took him from the right wing, around the halfway line, through the centre, where he changed direction, rode a couple of challenges and powered into the penalty area, only to see his effort saved by Tomas Cerny.
MC - Jim Goodwin (St Mirren)
Easter Road on Saturday was treated to a vintage Jim Goodwin performance. Physically dominating opponents, playing the role of spoiler, keeping possession for his side, and riling up anyone not associated with the Buddies with his pantomime villain persona. His manager gushed about the performance in the aftermath of the 1-1 draw and he had every right to.
MC - Jackson Irvine (Ross County)
Baller. The Australian has been in sensational form so far this season for high-flying Ross County and was at his all-action best once more as Jim McIntyre's side took a point - and would likely have taken three were it not for a debatable penalty/red card - from their trip to Dens Park. The sight of Jackson Irvine charging through the midfield with the ball at his feet is one of the most pleasurable/intimidating things to witness in Scottish football right now. He notched two assists in the 3-3 draw and helped County withstand a late onslaught from the hosts.
ML - Dougie Imrie (Hamilton)
No Alex Neil? No Anthony Andreu? No problem. OK, maybe it was a bit of a problem to begin with, but we're now back in the familiar position of Hamilton Accies defying the doubters as they sit comfortably among the top six, level on points with Hearts in joint-third. On Saturday another impressive win was secured in come-from-behind fashion at Rugby Park. Beginning the comeback was Imrie as he rifled in an unstoppable 20-yard shot that went in off the crossbar. The winger was full of hard running with the ball and he showed a great tenacity off it, something which can be said for the entire Hamilton team.
FC - Nathan Austin (East Fife)
'Rollercoaster' is a term you could easily use to describe East Fife's season so far. Then again, you could use that word to describe just about every team in the SPFL's fourth tier. Five points separate 8th from 1st, and sitting top of the pile at the moment are the Fifers, who've now followed a two-game skid with back-to-back wins. In Saturday's 4-1 win at Montrose it was mostly down to Austin as the attacker bagged a hat-trick. His first goal saw him out-sprint the final defender before gliding past the goalkeeper, then he scored at the second attempt after his close-range header was saved, and finally he completed the hat-trick with a left-foot finish into the far corner. This week's star man.
FC - Martyn Waghorn (Rangers)
Waghorn has impressed at Ibrox pretty much from the start, though it took him a while to add goals to his game, or at least from open play. Having gotten the monkey off his back with a sublime strike against Livingston two weeks ago, he's now flying, and netted a hat-trick in a 4-0 win against in-form Morton on Sunday. The second goal, in particular, stood out. Receiving a cross from the left, he took a strong first touch before flicking the ball between his legs and firing a pinpoint finish into the far corner.
FC - Liam Buchanan (Livingston)
Buchanan and Livingston have both endured a slow start to this season. The striker had only netted twice going into Saturday's match against Alloa, a tally double that of the points his team had picked up. However, a thoroughly comfortable 3-0 win may represent the beginning of a brighter future for both, with Buchanan twice getting himself on the scoresheet. Lions boss Mark Burchill decided to pair him with striker Jordyn Sheerin and the duo complemented each other very well. Buchanan made the most of the space opened up by his new partner to put Livingston into a commanding lead.
The Terrace Scottish Football Podcast is a cracking listen. Subscribe to it on iTunes HERE.