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Tuesday 8th September 2015

SPFL Team of the Week

Craig Fowler selects his latest SPFL Team of the Week, with Dunfermline’s Joe Cardle the star man following his hat-trick against Forfar on Saturday.

Craig Fowler selects his latest SPFL Team of the Week, with Dunfermline’s Joe Cardle the star man following his hat-trick against Forfar on Saturday.

Goalkeeper - Wes Foderingham (Rangers)
There weren’t an awful lot of stand-out candidates this week, which is why I've included the keeper from a side who waltzed to a 5-0 victory. That doesn't mean Foderingham didn't have a great match. His first-touch control and passing, often criticised by onlookers of Mark Warburton's Rangers, was much improved, and he really seems to be growing in confidence in that aspect of his game. Also, he pulled off a terrific save to tip over James Craigen's spectacular effort.

Right-back - Lewis Martin (Dunfermline Athletic)
The young centre-back started the season playing out of position at left-back to cover for the suspended Jason Talbot, and now he's illustrated his versatility to perform when stationed on the opposite wing. In Dunfermline's 4-0 win at Forfar Athletic, Martin continually got up and down the right flank to support Michael Paton, while also proving to be a rock defensively.

Left-back - Conor Pepper (Morton)
Usually an attacking wide player, Morton fans were perhaps a little apprehensive when Pepper was asked to cover at full-back due to the absence of Mark Russell. Instead, he's turned in a number of eye-catching performances - the former Inverness CT man uses terrific pace and fitness to get up and down the flank. The defensive side of his game has been solid as well.

Central defence - Andy Webster (St Mirren)
St Mirren are thanking their lucky stars that no top-flight club took a chance on the former Scotland international. His signing is a major coup for the Ladbrokes Championship side and he illustrated his abilities with a flawlessly-assured performance in the Buddies' 2-0 win at Queen of the South, their first league victory of the campaign.

Central defence - Chris Smith (Clyde)
After an indifferent start, it now appears that Clyde are getting their act together and living up to the pre-season hype. A second win in succession was secured against lowly Arbroath. Centre-back Smith scored the only goal in a 1-0 win, finding the net in the ninth minute before producing a stellar defensive performance to safeguard the clean sheet and ensure all three points.

Central midfield - Jim Goodwin (St Mirren)
Goodwin had to work to find a route back into the St Mirren team but, since his selection against Morton, his performances have indicated he's not going to relinquish his place under new boss Ian Murray. In the win over Queen of the South he was at his insistent best, dominating opponents both on and off the ball and providing the platform necessary for flair players to do their thing.

Central midfield - Graeme Holmes (Alloa Athletic)
The veteran midfielder was reinstated to the starting XI for the trip to Dumbarton and the switch proved to be a masterstroke from Danny Lennon as Alloa secured a surprise victory. Holmes' experience and nous helped balance the Alloa midfield. This enabled his midfield partner Connor McManus to have his best match to date, and the pair combined for the opening goal when McManus slipped in Holmes with a cleverly quick-taken free-kick.

Right midfield - Nathan Oduwa (Rangers)
Rangers, undoubtedly, are an entertaining team. Much of this is to do with Mark Warburton's style of play, since he insists the players pass the ball along the deck. But it's also down to some of the exciting attacking talents they have in the squad. One player who stood out more than any other in Saturday's 5-0 win over Raith Rovers was Oduwa. His two runs from the right wing, charging into the penalty area, brought goals three and five. The second dribble was particularly eye-catching as he used an outrageous piece of skill to take two defenders out of the game.

Attacking central midfield - Joe Cardle (Dunfermline)
Forfar set up to deny space to Dunfermline's on-form front two of Michael Moffat and Faissal El Bakhtaoui, who have been in terrific goalscoring form of late. And the tactic worked! Well, it worked to an extent. Neither striker found the back of the net, but Dunfermline still scored four and winger Cardle netted a hat-trick. The former Ross County wide man opened the scoring with a well-placed finish after being found free at the back post. He then doubled the advantage with a shot from 25 yards that squirmed out of the clutches of Rab Douglas. He initially looked to have spurned the chance at a hat-trick with a weakly-taken penalty but he wouldn't be denied and soon completed the treble with a cool finish past Douglas. This week's star man.

Left midfield - Barrie McKay (Rangers)
Rejuvenated under Mark Warburton, McKay's confidence could not be any higher at this moment. The winger never shirks an opportunity to run at opponents, and his direct style caused Raith Rovers all sorts of problems. His enthusiasm also led him to be in the right place at the right time to tap home Oduwa's cross after Martyn Waghorn had deflected the ball into his path.

Forward - David Cox (Airdrieonians)
Cox received universal praise from the Airdrie support after a tireless display in his side's 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Cowdenbeath. The striker opened the scoring with a well-taken goal, cleverly allowing the ball to come across him before he rifled home from an acute angle. From there he continued to press, harry and link with team-mates, ensuring Airdrie were in a position to stage their comeback.