SPFL sides prepare for competitive action as friendless continue: Championship round-up

Brechin

Darren Dods’ side continued their preparation for the new season by making the short journey to Angus rivals Montrose in a challenge match on Saturday. The Glebe Park side came out victorious with two quick-fire second half goals by Ally Love sealing the victory for City against their Gable Endies opponents.

Dumbarton

The sons travelled to Coatbridge to play Albion Rovers in Alan Reid’s testimonial match. It was the hosts who took the lead after Joao Vitoria scored but Stevie Aitken’s men battled back into the match to secure a draw courtesy of Calum Gallagher. It would be viewed as a worthwhile workout, I am sure, by the Sons management team who fielded numerous trialists, as their search for new faces continues.

Dundee United

A closed-doors match was played on Sunday afternoon between Dundee United and Peterhead. The Peterhead website describes the Dundee United side as “full-strength” with Mason Robertson and Russell McLean scoring the goals to give the Blue Toon the victory. The Terrors also played Blackpool in a closed-doors match on Friday afternoon which ended 1-0 to the Scottish side, Scott Fraser scoring the only goal of the match.

Ray McKinnon also had a side at the Oban Tournament this weekend with the United players taking on Oban Saints, South Lochaber Thistle, Alloa Athletic and Hamilton. The Terrors lost 2-0 to Premiership side Hamilton in the opening game before defeating Alloa 1-0. They then ran out 3-0 winners against South Lochaber Thistle before defeating hosts, Oban Saints, 5-1.

Inverness

John Robertson has been busy finding out about his new squad as well as looking at some potential new blood coming into the squad ahead of the new season starting on Saturday. On Friday night, Inverness travelled to Highland League side Nairn County, while on Saturday, they faced League 2 club Elgin City.

Inverness took the lead early on against Nairn with a trialist, Liam Shewan, scoring. Then, another trialist, former Motherwell left back Joe Chalmers scoring a superb long-range effort. Released East Fife winger Alex Cooper then grabbed a third for the newly relegated Caley before Aidan Wilson added a fourth. Kenny McKenzie added a consolation late on for the hosts, with the final score being Nairn County 1-4 Inverness.

On the Saturday, it was all change again with the majority of the first-team squad who are already signed up for next season getting more match practise. However, the result was to reverse just 24 hours later. Elgin ran out 2-0 victors on this occasion with Brian Cameron and Jamie Reid scoring the goals for the visitors.

Livingston

Livi came up against Premiership side Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday afternoon. It was a Calum Waters goal that was the difference between the teams as David Hopkin gained more match fitness throughout his side, as they gear up for the start of the BetFred Cup this weekend.

Morton

Jim Duffy’s Morton travelled up to the highlands on Saturday to pl;ay Turriff United. New signing Robert Thomson scored the opening goal of an emphatic win on 19 minutes. Fellow striker, and also a new signing, Bob McHugh grabbing a pre-season hat-trick with the ex Falkirk man firing in on 30, 37 and 53 minutes to make the scoreline 4-0 to the Ton. This was increased after Michael Tidser scored from the penalty spot on 67 minutes. Turriff did grab a consolation with Scott Miller scoring for Ross Jack’s side. However, this was cancelled out just two minutes later when Scott Tiffoney finished off the scoring in a 6-1 victory for Jim Duffy’s side.

The Ton gaffer, speaking after the match to his clubs YouTube channel said: “It was a very good workout. Turriff were very hard; they tried to close us down, all over the place. The pitch was lush – a wee bit sticky – so we couldn’t move the ball as quickly as we would have liked at times, but, take nothing away from Turriff as they made it hard for us and that is what you want as you want your players to quickly get back up to speed as well as playing nice football.”

Queen of the South

The Doonhamers’ third and final pre-season friendly was a fixture down in England, against Fleetwood Town. Gary Naysmith’s men had already faced Cowdenbeath and Annan Athletic, but in their toughest task to date, they ran out 1-0 losers against the English League 1 side. On loan Leeds player Lewie Coyle scored the only goal of the game as Queens’ pre-season preparations end as they now get ready to head into competitive action this Saturday against Stenhousemuir in the BetFred Cup.

St Mirren

Former Alloa boss Jack Ross returned to his old employers with his St Mirren side in Saturday’s pre-season fixture. The game finished 0-0, with the Buddies boss describing it as “not good enough”. The Saints manager told St Mirren FC’s YouTube channel: “I have told the players that [it wasn’t good enough]. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, as I have a huge amount of respect for this club [Alloa] that we visited today, as well as their manager and their players – they were good. We weren’t good in huge aspects of the game – our intensity, energy levels, attitude… like last year, I will always say publicly what I have just finished saying to the players and today wasn’t good enough if we want to achieve what we have set out to achieve this season.”

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