Scottish Championship Review: Ayr join Dundee United in top spot
Partick Thistle Manager Gary Caldwell saw his side grab a point from Arbroath  (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Scottish Championship Review: Ayr join Dundee United in top spot

Scottish Championship action resumed after the international break this weekend. The Challenge Cup was staged whilst Scotland were in action but it was back to league duty for the clubs over the past few days

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Barry Spence

The Friday night offering from the Scottish Championship saw the BBC cameras head to Gayfield for the visit to Arbroath of Partick Thistle.

The part-timers more than held their own as they have done in each game since the domestic season got underway.

After forcing Thistle keeper Scott Fox into some good early saves they finally made the pressure pay off when Jason Thompson glanced a header into the net giving the Red Lichties a well-deserved half time lead.

Thistle equalised just after the hour mark, with veteran striker Kenny Miller confidently placing a right-footed shot into the bottom corner out of the reach of Jamieson.

The game went end to end as each side toiled for a winner and Arbroath's Michael McKenna thought he had secured the win, but his strike was controversially ruled out for offside.

Delight for McCall as Ayr go joint top

In the clash of the top two, it was the home side that came out victorious.

A 2-0 victory for Ayr United sees them draw level with Dundee United at the summit with both sides now locked on an impressive 12 points from the opening matches.

An early strike from Daniel Harvie put Ian McCall’s team in front before an Allan Forrest penalty clinched the points later in the game.

United arrived at Somerset Park having won all of their league games this season including a 6-2 victory over near rivals Dundee last time out but this wasn’t to be their day. Nicky Clark and Cammy Smith hit the post for the visitors but Ayr stood firm to claim the win.

Speaking to the press after the game manager Ian McCall said "At times we outplayed United and they couldn't get near us. They have one main player and we nullified him pretty comfortably. Some of our football was a joy to watch.

United’s cross street rivals put their Derby disappointment behind them with a 2-1 victory over hard-working Alloa at Dens Park.

Danny Johnson fired in a rebound from a Declan McDaid header to give the hosts an early lead before they were pegged back a few minutes later by Liam Dick’s leveller.

Defender Jordan McGhee was well placed just before half time to turn home a cross and make the midway team talk a lot easier.

Alloa spurned a glorious chance to take a point with an uncharacteristic spot-kick miss from Alan Trouten with the dark blues keeper Hamilton pushing the effort away.

It was a relief for Dundee boss McPake who has been questioned after a poor start to the season given their favourites tag to return to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Work to be done for frustrated Pars

Dunfermline Athletic remain bottom of the table after a late Sean Welsh penalty hoisted Inverness Caledonian Thistle up to third.

Substitute Danny Devine was penalised for handball three minutes from the end of a tight affair to gift the away side the opportunity to steal all 3 points from what was a tight encounter.

Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford who has yet to taste victory this term was subdued after the game, "It was a game we certainly didn't deserve to lose. In terms of effort and commitment, I can't fault them today and it's bitterly disappointing that we've lost to a penalty kick late on."

Elsewhere Queen of the South saw of Morton in an early-season mid-table battle. A 16th-minute effort from Moroccan Faissal El Bakhtaoui was enough for the home side in a game full of missed opportunities.

David Hopkins’ side pushed for an equaliser but Nicky Cadden, Bob McHugh and Kyle Jacobs all squandered their chances to get on the scoresheet.

Dobbie and Morton substitute, John Sutton, also missed with attempts you would have usually backed them to take.

Full Results

Arbroath 1-1 Partick Thistle

Ayr United 2-0 Dundee United

Dundee 2-1 Alloa Athletic

Dunfermline 0-1 Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Queen of the South 1-0 Greenock Morton

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