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Tuesday 1st September 2015

SPFL Team of the Week

Craig Fowler selects his latest SPFL Team of the Week, with Ali Crawford of Hamilton Accies this week’s star man for a fine performance against Hearts:

Craig Fowler selects his latest SPFL Team of the Week, with Ali Crawford of Hamilton Accies this week’s star man for a fine performance against Hearts:

Goalkeeper - Craig Gordon (Celtic)
The best goalkeeper in the SPFL and proved it again on Saturday with a stunning double save against St Johnstone. Twice in the space of a second, the Celtic No 1 showed incredible reactions - first to keep out a flick from Joe Shaughnessy, then to immediately spring back to turn Michael O'Halloran's rebounded effort wide. It was the kind of effort that got the home fans out of their seats in appreciation.

Central defence - Andrew Davies (Ross County)
The centre-back is proving to be an inspired signing and turned in another excellent display as Ross County underlined their top-six intentions with a victory over Dundee United. Davies won everything in the air, continually repelling the visitors’ advances with key headers. However, it was with his right boot that he made an indelible impact on proceedings, expertly turning home a corner on the half volley after finding himself free in the penalty area.

Central defence - Luca Gasparotto (Morton)
Morton have so far confounded some pre-season expectations that they might struggle. A big reason for their initial success has been a solid defensive unit. They have conceded only twice in four matches - the lowest tally in the division. On-loan Rangers centre-back Gasparotto has been one such defender who has impressed thus far, and he was in fine form again on Saturday as Morton recorded another clean sheet in his side's 1-0 victory at Alloa Athletic.

Central defence - Michael Bolochoweckyj (Clyde)
'Bolo' faced off against his old club at the weekend as Clyde kick-started their stuttering beginning to the campaign with a 3-1 home victory over East Stirlingshire. The centre-back has impressed in the lower leagues wherever he has been and was in typically flawless form to help Clyde register their first win since the opening day.

Right midfield - Michael Paton (Dunfermline Athletic)
Dunfermline pulled off a major coup when they convinced the former Aberdeen and Queen of the South midfielder to drop down into the third tier and Paton has been nothing less than excellent. With Joe Cardle on the other wing, the front pairing of Michael Moffat and Faissal El Bakhtaoui have been provided with a constant source of chances, and the latter once again benefited from a sublime piece of Paton play in Dunfermline's 3-1 victory over Stranraer.

Central midfield - Jason Holt (Rangers)
Another stand-out performance from a player who really seems to be thriving in Mark Warburton's system. Holt wasn't a bad player last season with Hearts but he has pushed on and is beginning to blossom as the fulcrum to Rangers' attack - he displayed his abilities yet again with a goal and an assist in Rangers’ 5-1 defeat of Queen of the South.

Central midfield - John McGinn (Hibernian)
The former St Mirren midfielder was considered an excellent acquisition for Hibs this summer and has already gone about proving he's worth the hype. Against Raith Rovers he showed all the tools in his locker that make him such a great all-round player. Tearing into tackles, dictating play, dribbling past opponents - it was a complete midfield performance from the new boy in Hibernian's 2-0 win.

Left midfield - Barrie McKay (Rangers)
McKay has been completely reborn at Rangers. A bit-part player in the Third Division title-winning side, McKay had loan spells with Morton and Raith Rovers and there seemed little chance of him making a first-team impact upon his return to Ibrox. Instead, he's been a constant source of danger for opposing sides since day one. His pace and direct approach had already contributed to a number of goals before he scored one and created another in the 5-1 win at Palmerston.

Attacking central midfield - Ali Crawford (Hamilton Accies)
Crawford was the stand-out performer in Hamilton's meeting with Hearts, even before he sent the ball crashing into the top corner from 20 yards, drawing the scores level and setting up a grandstand finish as Accies handed Hearts their first defeat as they lost top spot. He continually got into space in front of the Hearts backline, where he was not only able to demonstrate his terrific shooting ability with both feet, but also drive at defenders with his powerful running and skill. This week's star man.

Centre-forward - Nathan Austin (East Fife)
Quite simply, Queen's Park couldn't handle the young attacker as he ran riot in an impressive 2-0 victory at Hampden for in-form East Fife. His pace, skill and predatory instincts were a constant source of concern for the home side and it was no surprise to see him net the Fife's second goal with a fine run and shot. The victory propelled Gary Naysmith's side to the top of Ladbrokes League 2, alongside Elgin City.

Centre-forward - Sean Higgins (Clyde)
The 30-year-old was one of nine new players brought in by Clyde boss Barry Ferguson during the summer and his experience could be vital as the Bully Wee aim to live up to their tag of title favourites in Ladbrokes League 2. It's been a mixed start to the season for the Broadwood side but ex-Ross County forward Higgins - signed from Cowdenbeath - showed his quality by grabbing a double in Saturday's vital 3-1 home win over East Stirlingshire.