by John Reid

A nine goal thriller, two managers under pressure and a familiar name at the top of the SPL all feature in this week’s round-up.

The nine goals came at Love Street where Ross County staged a comeback from 4-2 down thanks to a double from Rocco Quinn, but St. Mirren grabbed the win thanks to a last minute Steven Thompson overhead kick.  Ross County have spluttered after their good start to the season whilst St. Mirren’s good form continues.

Now on to the managers under pressure – firstly Peter Houston at Dundee United.  United were tipped to be challenging at the top of the table and indeed won their first two games, but since then their form has went through the floor and they sit second bottom after being hammered 4-0 at Inverness.  Interestingly, there has been recent talk by Houston of not being offered a new contract, so it remains to be seen if he has a long future at Tannadice.

The other manager under pressure is Hearts’ John McGlynn, who saw his team go down 3-1 at home to Kilmarnock, for whom Cillian Sheridan scored a hat-trick.  It was always going to be difficult for Hearts to build on last season’s Scottish Cup victory as the board have been concentrating on getting the wage bill down and relying on youth, but even so Hearts’ fans have been perturbed by the inconsistent performances shown by the team. And with owner Vladimar Romanov not known for his patience, McGlynn has a  big job on his hands.

Aberdeen continued their decent start to the season with a 2-1 win over Hibs, who missed the opportunity to go top of the league.  Goalscoring has been the Dons’ biggest problem this season but they managed to grind out the win thanks to goals from McGinn and Rae.

St. Johnstone’s recent vein of form continued as they won 3-1 at Dundee, who remain rooted to the foot of the table, goals from Tade, Craig and MacLean giving the Saints the points.

In the game of the day, Celtic – playing their first away game at 3 o’clock on a Saturday in seven years – had a comfortable 2-0 win at Motherwell to go top of the league. Goals from Gary Hooper and an Adam Cummins own goal – the same player was later sent-off – set Celtic up nicely for their Champions League visit to Spartak Moscow on Tuesday.

In the first division Partick Thistle’s 100% record ended as they were held 1-1 at Raith, indeed the Jags needed a last minute Kris Doolan equaliser to salvage the point. Dunfermline are now only a point behind after their 3-0 win at Hamilton.

In the second division Queen of the South remain three points clear of Forfar after both sides beat Alloa and Albion Rovers respectively.

Rangers followed up their highly creditable 2-0 league cup win in the league cup over Motherwell with a highly unconvincing 1-0 win in the Scottish Cup at junior side Forres Mechanics. Manager Ally McCoist described the performance as ‘disappointing’.

The column returns next week with game of the week being the Friday night Highland Derby between Ross County and Inverness.