SPFL sides prepare for competitive action as friendlies continue: League One Round-Up

Albion

Albion Rovers played in the Alan Reid testimonial match on Saturday after their long-serving right-back got his big day against Dumbarton. It was Brian Kerr’s side who took the lead through Joao Vitoria but Calum Gallagher equalised for the Sons.

Alloa

Alloa fielded two teams on Saturday, with a home fixture against St Mirren as well as a youthful team being sent to the Oban Tournament.

Jim Goodwin’s first-team drew 0-0 at home with Jack Ross’ St Mirren outfit. The League One side will be the happier of the two teams after competing well against the Championship side who are tipped to have a good campaign this year under the former Wasps manager.

Alloa defeated South Lochaber Thistle 1-0 in their opening match of the Oban Tournament on Saturday. Consecutive 1-0 defeats followed to Oban Saints and then Dundee United before finishing off their afternoon’s work with a 2-0 defeat to Premiership side Hamilton.

Arbroath

Dick Campbell’s men narrowly lost out 2-1 to Dundee at Gayfield. Just over 2000 supporters turned up on a beautiful day on the Angus coast but it was Neil McCann’s men who snatched victory away from the Red Lichties. Steven Doris had slotted home a first-half penalty after being fouled to see his side 1-0 up at the break. But, late strikes from former Dunfermline player Faissal El Bakhtaoui and new Dutchman Randy Wolters saw the League One outfit fall at the last hurdle.

Ayr

A closed-doors match took place on Saturday between Ayr Unted and a youthful Motherwell select, managed by Stephen Craigan. T was the Well youngsters who came out on top, however, with a 2-0 victory at Somerset Park. No goalscorers have been announced from the match, as Ayr kept a low profile heading into this weeks big Ayrshire Derby to kick the season off in style, on Friday evening.

East Fife

Darren Young’s East Fife lost 4-1 to Stirling Albion in a closed doors match on Saturday afternoon. Liam Caddis fired the Binos in front on 14 minutes before Darren Smith made it 2-0 three minutes before the break. Summer signing Paul Willis pulled a goal back for the Fifers but Dave Mackay’s men finished stronger after ex-Fife player Sean Dickson and Peter MacDonald round off the scoring in a 4-1 victory for the home side.

Forfar

Gary Bollan’s men drew 1-1 with Formartine United on Saturday afternoon at Station Park as pre-season preparations continued for the Angus club. Experienced midfielder, Paul Lawson, scored from the penalty spot to put the Highland League visitors ahead but on the stroke of half-time, Andy Munro headed in an equaliser to put the scores level, and this is how the match ended. Another good work-out for the Loons, who have had a difficult summer after losing Thomas O’Brien, Danny Denholm and Gavin Swankie to local rivals Arbroath. Another chance to view trialists and enhance his squad will please Bollan with the BetFred Cup nnnow just 5 days away.

Queens Park

Scotland’s only amateur team in the senior ranks – celebrating their 150th birthday last weekend – drew 0-0 with Lowland League side Cumbernauld Colts as preparations continue ahead of their big game against Motherwell in the BetFred Cup next Saturday Gus McPherson’s side will be underdogs but will go into the game in a positive spirit after a low-key pre-season.

Raith Rovers

Barry Smith’s side were victorious with a 2-1 win over Clyde at Broadwood Stadium on Saturday. Lewis Vaughan was the key instigator in a lot of the good play for the Fife side and it was summer recruit from Livingston, Liam Buchanan who followed up Vaughan’s blocked effort to tap hime the opener. The Bully Wee equalised early on in the second half when David Goodwillie converted a penalty before an own goal, scored by Max Wright, proved vital as Rovers won the challenge match 2-1.

Speaking after the game, newly appointed player/coach Kevin Cuthbert had this to say, to RaithTV: “I thought we started the game really well – we got everything we were looking for going forward. I think we had 6 shots in the first 12 minutes, so, if you look at that, you have to say we have started the game great. The one thing the manager said before the game is he wanted an improvement from Wednesday; we aren’t going to be the final article right now, but, it is just a case of playing, learning and moving on to the next game. One thing we felt from Wednesday is that we didn’t create enough going forward, the manager recognised that and on Thursday and Friday we worked away at it and I think that showed today.”

Stranraer

Stair Park was the place to be on Saturday with Dutch giants FC Twente visiting Stranraer for a pre-season friendly. The Eredivisie side showed their quality as they eased aside their League One opponents. It was Dylan George who opened the scoring on 20 minutes before ex-Newcastle and Rangers playmaker Haris Vuckic scored eleven minutes later to double Twente’s lead. It was 3-0 at the break after summer signing Tom Lang scored an own goal from a corner before Jan Ooserwijk scored a double in the second half to seal a comfortable win for Rene Hake’s men.

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