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Tuesday 6th September 2016

SPFL Team of the Week

After a weekend of IRN-BRU Cup football, Shaughan McGuigan selects his SPFL Team of the Week, with Livingston forward Liam Buchanan the star man.

After a weekend of IRN-BRU Cup football, Shaughan McGuigan selects his SPFL Team of the Week, with Livingston forward Liam Buchanan the star man.
Goalkeeper: Fraser Hobday (Peterhead)
Most observers felt that Fraser Hobday's summer loan move from Huntly would see him play second fiddle to experienced custodian Graeme Smith but the 20-year old showed just why he's recently become the Blue Toon No 1 with this fine display against Dundee United. While Jim McInally's side eventually went out by the odd goal in five, Hobday's performance was one of the key reasons the tie went to extra-time, with his excellent second-half stop from William Edjenguele's header a particular highlight.
Right-back: Andy Munro (Forfar Athletic)
Forfar Athletic may be two divisions below Raith Rovers but they were worthy 3-2 winners against the Kirkcaldy side, thanks in part to a dominant performance at the back from Andy Munro. There were some eye-catching performances all over the park from the Loons, but none more so than the former Arbroath stopper, who worked hard to restrict Raith's chances to a minimum. The Station Park faithful are certainly getting their money's worth this term, with Forfar's 10 competitive fixtures featuring 44 goals. 
Left-back: Liam Dick (Stranraer) 
There was a surprise at Stair Park, where League 1 Stranraer advanced at the expense of Championship side Dumbarton. However, with the Sons now almost 12 months without an away win, Stranraer must have fancied their chances heading into the tie. Attacking full-back Liam Dick has forged a fine partnership with Willie Gibson down the left-hand side this term and his attacking impetus helped keep the Dumbarton defence on the back foot for long spells. His long throw was also an important factor in Mark McGuigan's late winner, as Brian Reid's men advanced 1-0.
Centre-half: Lee Ashcroft (Dunfermline Athletic)
When Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston moved to sign central defender Lee Ashcroft in the summer, he presumably did so with the belief that the ex-Kilmarnock man would be predominantly involved in preventing goals, rather than scoring them. However, Ashcroft helped himself to two as the Pars eased their way into the next round with a comfortable 5-1 win over Brechin City. The brace took his tally for the campaign to three, with Andy Geggan the only East End Park performer to have scored more. 
Centre-half: Ross Dunlop (Albion Rovers)
The IRN-BRU Cup third round was a weekend of high drama and even higher goal tallies, and nowhere was a better example than the Exsel Group Stadium, as Albion Rovers eventually exited the competition 4-3 to St Mirren, despite racing into an early two-goal lead. Both Dunlop brothers, Michael and Ross, were on the mark for the Wee Rovers in the tie but Ross managed the feat twice, with his well-executed volley making it 2-0, while his fine header brought the scores level again at 3-3. An extra-time winner from Lawrence Shankland prevented another surprise exit from a Championship side.
Right midfield: Lewis Morgan (St Mirren) 
With St Mirren 2-0 down after just quarter of an hour against Albion Rovers, the Paisley Buddies were in need of some inspiration. Thankfully for them it was provided by Lewis Morgan, whose thumping strike on 30 minutes reduced the arrears and gave Alex Rae's side a foothold in the match. The 19-year-old has established himself in the side this term and he played a vital role in Saturday's come-from-behind 4-3 victory. 
Midfield: Nick van der Velden (Dundee United)
The signing of Tony Andreu by Dundee United was considered one of the better pieces of business on transfer deadline day and his winning goal in the 3-2 triumph over Peterhead certainly bolstered that claim. His acquisition also helped free up Nick van der Velden into a more advanced role, a position he appeared to revel in, with the Dutchman providing a goal and putting in a man-of-the-match shift during the extra-time win. It's now just one defeat in 10 for Ray McKinnon's men this season.
Left midfield: Jordan Kirkpatrick (Alloa Athletic)
Alloa's incredible start to the season keeps rumbling along, with Saturday's 3-0 win over East Fife making it a club record 10 competitive wins from 10. Gary Naysmith's team had run them close in the league just two weeks ago, but it was a different story on Saturday, with Wasps midfielder Jordan Kirkpatrick a thorn all afternoon. His header opened the scoring as Alloa sprinted into a three-goal half-time lead.
Forward: Stephen Dobbie (Queen of the South)
He's starting to become something of a regular fixture in the SPFL Team of the Week but Stephen Dobbie's consistent excellence for Queen of the South thoroughly justify his continued inclusion. The former Swansea forward's deflected effort made it 3-0 against Stenhousemuir at the weekend and his wonderful swivel and finish made it five, as Brown Ferguson's Warriors side eventually went down 7-1. The win was Queens’ fifth successive victory, their best run since 2013.
Forward: John Baird (Falkirk)
Neither Falkirk nor John Baird have perhaps enjoyed the brightest of starts to the season, but their thumping 6-1 win over Elgin City could do both the power of good. Two first-half goals from Baird gave Falkirk a healthy 3-1 lead over their Highland visitors, and whilst they extended it in the second period, Falkirk's dominance could well have seen them win by more than the five-goal margin. Baird will be hoping he can now kick on and reproduce the same kind of form which saw him notch up 19 goals last term.
Forward: Liam Buchanan (Livingston) 
Livingston forward Liam Buchanan grabbed a double as David Hopkin’s side thrashed Celtic’s U20 team 5-1 at the Tony Macaroni Arena, with all the goals coming in the first half. He almost had a hat-trick but his potential third was credited to Jackson Longridge. Buchanan also provided an assist for Danny Mullen's goal, making him a worthy recipient of this week's star man award.