Scottish Championship Review: Dundee United and Ayr United continue to set the pace
Ian McCall saw Ayr keep pace with title favourites Dundee United but he looks set for Firhill (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ayr United continued to keep pace with title favourites Dundee United with a comprehensive victory at Alloa

After defeating the Tangerines at home last week it was imperative they followed that up with a performance against the part timers managed by Peter Grant.

Within the opening 31 minutes the away side had netted on four occasions and it was game over at the Indodrill Stadium.

Allan Forrest notched a brace with Sam Roscoe and Luke McGowan also getting in on the act.

Alloa did manage a consolation through Kevin O'Hara midway through the 2nd half but it did little to change what was remaining of the match.

In demand Ian McCall was full of praise given the rampant 1st half,

"I said to them at half time that in 20 years of management that's as good as any as one of my teams has ever played."

Shankland spares Tannadice blushes

Dundee United have had their troubles with part time sides in the last few seasons but this will have felt like a huge relief after last week's defeat away at Somerset Park. 

Heading into that last few minutes 2-0 down to the well organised Arbroath side up stepped goal machine Lawrence Shankland to add his 11th and 12th of the season in the closing stages to secure a win, albeit undeserved. 

United gaffer Robbie Neilson knows the value of having his front man: "They were very hard to break down and the two centre halves took care of Shankland for the majority of the game but when you start getting that quality into him, he does what he's good at."

On reflection Arbroath manager Dick Campbell was bitterly disappointed with the loss; "We should never have lost that game because we weren't professional enough to see the game out."

Thistle turned over 

After taking the decision to part ways with Gary Caldwell earlier in the week Partick Thistle were under caretaker charge for the important visit of fellow struggles Dunfermline. It was a day of disaster for the Glasgow side as they were brushed aside 3-0 and cut adrift at the bottom of the Championship after taking just two points in their opening fixtures.

Rumour has it that an official approach has been made for Ayr United's Ian McCall to take the reigns at Firhill.

Elsewhere there were victories for ICT and Morton over QOS and Dundee respectively. 

Up in Inverness a couple of early strikes in the first half was enough to secure the win for the hosts. Sean Walsh opened the scoring on 15 minutes before Tom Walsh doubled the lead a short time later. 

The win leaves John Robertson's men leading the chasing pack as they sit in third. He was very please post match saying: "We started really well and we forced the game onto them. We had two tremendous finishes and if it wasn't for Robby McCrorie (Morton Goalkeeper) it could have been five or six."

Dundee continued to get to grips with life after relegation with more dropped points in their early season struggle, this time away at David Hopkin's Morton.

A Peter Grant header in stoppage time at the end of the first half from a Nicky Cadden free-kick proved the difference. The result proved timely for the home side and moved them into the play off places, a position they'll be hoping to occupy come May 2020.

Morton visit Dundee''s city rivals Dundee United next weekend as the league continues to show it's unpredictability. 

Full Results

Alloa Athletic 1-4 Ayr United

Dundee United 2-1 Arbroath

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 Queen of the South

Greenock Morton 1-0 Dundee

Partick Thistle 0-3 Dunfermline Athletic