Scotland's Chris Martin and Steven Naismith press their case with goals

Chris Martin (centre) celebrates scoring for Fulham
Chris Martin (centre) scored his first goal for Fulham

Chris Martin and Steven Naismith made their contributions to the debate over who should play up front for Scotland with timely weekend goals.

Martin's first in 13 Fulham appearances since his move from Derby County came in a 4-2 win over Barnsley.

Naismith made only his second Norwich City appearance since August and scored in a 3-1 win over Rotherham United after coming on as a late substitute.

But injured Steven Fletcher was missing from Sheffield Wednesday's squad.

The goals for Martin and Naismith will be welcome news to Scotland head coach Gordon Strachan as he turns his attention to the World Cup qualifier against England on 11 November at Wembley.

Especially so after the choice of Martin to start against Lithuania has been the subject of much debate among fans and in the media following the 1-1 draw at Hampden.

Johnny Russell also supplied Derby's only goal in their win over Leeds United, but the former Dundee United man is another struggling for a starting place with his club and had come on from the bench to replace fellow Scotland international Ikechi Anya after 52 minutes.

Steven Naismith scores for Norwich City against Barnsley
Steven Naismith scored after coming off the bench for Championship leaders Norwich

With Tony Watt being taken off after 57 minutes of Hearts' 2-0 win over Dundee and Leigh Griffiths coming on for the last half hour of Celtic's 4-0 defeat of Motherwell, it meant that Ross McCormack was the only striker recently used by Strachan to play a full 90 minutes.

However, the 30-year-old's unimpressive scoring record since joining Aston Villa continued in the 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

There was a rare sight this season of Jordan Rhodes coming off the Middlesbrough bench, but he had little chance to prevent his side losing 1-0 at home to Watford in the two minutes he was granted.

Static in central defence

Grant Hanley, who was caught out for Slovakia's third goal, was again on the Newcastle United bench, but he at least got 30 minutes of match practice as a substitute in a 3-1 win over Brentford.

His partner in Scotland's central defence, Russell Martin, again played a full game for Norwich, while Christophe Berra was his usual ever-present with Ipswich Town and helped them keep a clean sheet away to Blackburn Rovers.

Rovers' Gordon Greer only lasted 45 minutes of that 0-0 draw after a recurrence of the groin injury that ruled him out of Scotland's games against Lithuania and Slovakia.

Right-back promise

Hearts celebrate Callum Paterson's goal
Callum Paterson (second right) has scored four goals for Hearts this season

Alan Hutton, who pulled out of the Scotland squad through injury, made a 25-minute cameo appearance for Villa.

However, Callum Paterson strengthened his case to hold on to his place under Strachan by scoring Hearts' opener against Dundee.

Meanwhile, Phil Bardsley has pushed his way back into Stoke City's starting line-up, although he came off after 65 minutes of the 2-0 win over Sunderland as follow Scot Charlie Adam made a rare appearance from the bench.

Left-back set-back

Just as Andrew Robertson had appeared to shake off stiff competition to become Strachan's first-choice left-back, the 22-year-old not only pulled out of the Slovakia game with a knock but has been ruled out for two months with a calf injury picked up with Hull City.

Celtic's Kieran Tierney and Rangers' Lee Wallace played their part in their clubs' clean sheets, but Stephen Kingsley's hopes of entering the mix will not have been helped by the 22-year-old being an unused substitute with Swansea City.

Keeper competition

David Marshall has become Strachan's number one goalkeeper, but the 31-year-old has suffered a horrendous start to his Hull career.

The new signing from Cardiff City has conceded 15 goals in four appearances, the latest coming in a 6-1 hammering away to Bournemouth.

Having won his own battle for the Celtic number one jersey, Craig Gordon kept a second consecutive clean sheet to strengthen his own case for another cap.

Midfield mix

Johnny Russell celebrates scoring for Derby County
Johnny Russell scored Derby's winner against Leeds

After playing their part in Scotland's two World Cup qualifiers, Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan and Crystal Palace's James McArthur both came off midway through their club's weekend games while Matt Ritchie was missing for Newcastle through injury.

Shaun Maloney was back in Hull's starting line-up, but he and Scotland team-mate Robert Snodgrass were on the receiving end of that heavy defeat in Bournemouth.

James Morrison was once more an unused substitute for West Bromwich Albion, but Scotland team-mates Darren Fletcher and Matt Phillips both started in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

James Forrest will be pleased to have been handed a Celtic start on his return from Scotland duty, especially with wing rival Oliver Burke having only played 10 minutes of Leipzig's 1-0 Bundesliga win away to Wolfsburg.

George Boyd will count himself unlucky if he has not forced himself into Strachan's thinking after another 90 minutes for Burnley in the top flight, albeit in a 3-1 defeat by Southampton.

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