SCOTLAND: Scottish Premiership Week 2 review

Scotland

The second week had only five matches due to the St Mirren-Celtic match being postponed as Celtic played a glamour friendly in Dublin against English counterparts Liverpool. The action still went on as we had one big shock and the first Edinburgh Derby to look forward to.

Dundee United 0-1 Inverness CT

Inverness made it 2 wins from 2 when they visited Tannadice on Saturday with a narrow 1-0 victory against a Dundee United side still looking for their 1st win of the league season.

Inverness had the 1st chance of the match early on Chris Erskine gave the ball away just outside the centre circle and Caley launched a counter Billy McKay played the ball out to the left for Shinnie to run on to he left fly with the left only to be denied by the feet of Cierzniak. The only goal of the game came not long after, with 20 minutes on the clock good industrious play by Caley skipper Richie Foran to win the ball at the edge of the box before feeding Ulsterman McKay who rode the challenge of the defender before lofting the ball over the outrushing pole in goal for United. Caley could’ve made it two when a floated free-kick went into the box Cierzniak came out into no-mans-land as Warren headed over, Inverness were bossing the game at this point and well worth the lead. Foran was in the heart of the action again as he went in with a high challenge catching tricky winger Gary Mackay-Steven right on the kneecap which he should have seen red for, Stuart Mclean the referee was very lenient only booking the Irishman. The home side had their 1st meaningful attack when they countered Chris Erskine winning the ball and firing it out to Goodwillie on the left before the striker cut the ball back for Armstrong arriving late into the box to shoot low into the hands of Brill.

The start of the second period followed that of the first long ball from the Thistle defence up to Doran his shot was turned goal-bound by McKay if the shot would have been on target the lead would have been doubled as Cierziak would have had no chance. Inverness were bossing the game, a cross from Nick Ross was cleared by the United defence, from the resulting corner Draper fired his shot wide as Caley searched for the killer second. The pressure continued as the home side never looked in this game, Nick Ross and Billy McKay combined to set up Vincent and his long range effort went well over the bar. Dundee United should have levelled when Mackay-Steven took a long pass from Paton on his chest before finding the unmarked Goodwillie at the back post, he miscued his effort before Keith Watson fired over as the home side had the feeling it just wasn’t going to be their day at all. Shinnie had the last effort of the game when he nicked the ball from Butcher before finding McKay who returned the favour Shinnie fired wide from close range.

Ross County 1-3 Partick Thistle

The Jags picked up their 1st win back in the top flight after a surprising win in Dingwall. With a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Derek Adams’ men.

Thistle midfielder Bannigan had the first chance of the match when Lawless played the ball over the head of County right-back Kovacevic before the defender did well to block the shot. Thistle’s pressure paid off in the 18th minute Gary Fraser’s corner glanced to the back-post by Balatoni to find Doolan unmarked to give the Firhill side the lead at half-time.

Thistle again looking dangerous from set-pieces again a corner swung in met by the head of Welsh which was cleared off the line. Mark Brown had to be alert to deny Craigan – his poor clearance from a MacLean back-pass went straight to Lawless who played Craigan in and Brown got both hands to the shot to keep Thistle’s lead at one. Lawless scored a brace to put the game out of site and made sure the 3 points were headed back to Glasgow. For the first he latched onto a misplaced pass by County captain Grant Murno before playing Bannigan in his shot was pushed away by Brown only for Lawless to arrive on cue and double the lead. The second had Bannigan and Lawless combining after a through ball from Craigan, Bannigan ran onto it before squaring it for Lawless to tap home from a few yards out with the County defence nowhere to be seen. Chances were missed for Thistle- by Baird and Bannigan before County hit back with twenty minutes left- Graham Carey with a left footed long range effort which looped over the Thistle ‘keeper to half the deficit. Only five minutes later Carey could have levelled but his free-kick was kept at by Fox. In injury time Jags sub Higginbotham though he had made it 4-0 but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Kilmarnock 0-0 St Johnstone

Killie boss Allan Johnston is still looking for his 1st win as Rugby Park gaffer as his side drew 0-0 in a less than exciting match.

Paul Heffernan came close for the hosts only to be denied by Mannus earlier Stevie May had a few efforts for the visitors but neither managed to trouble the Saints defence. May and Heffernan had another effort a piece both firing straight at the respective goalkeepers.

The second period began and not long after Darren Barr forced Mannus into a good save to keep the game level as the ex-Hearts man headed goal-wards. Kis Boyd raced through yet his effort went well wide of the target. Rory Fallon came close as the deadlock was still to be broken when he headed his effort over the bar. St Johnstone appealed for a penalty when Murray Davidson looked to be pulled to the ground following a free-kick. Referee Collum waved play-on. Kris Boyd went close with two efforts hitting the woodwork on both occasions the 1st the ball was played over the top of the defence he ran onto hit before his shot came off the outside of the post. The second came off the underside of the crossbar after a thunderous shot as the game ended in a stalemate.

Motherwell 1-3 Aberdeen

Motherwell were the victims of a European hangover as they threw away an early lead eventually losing 3-1 to Aberdeen at Fir Park as the Dons keep up their 100% record after two matches.

It took just 39 seconds for the scoring to be opened in this contest after a long goal-kick John Sutton brung the ball down and slipped in Henri Anier to beat the Aberdeen offside trap and fire the home side infront. McGinn could have levelled but the shot of his was pushed away by Hollis after nice build-up play from the Dons which Willo Flood was central to and it was his slide-rule pass that created the chance for the Ulsterman. Peter Pawlett then rattled the crossbar for the away side as he picked up a pass from Ryan Jack before leaving Iain Vigurs and Stephen McManus in his wake before his powerful shot hit the woodwork. Aberdeen continued to apply the pressure looking for that equaliser Ryan Jack fired over from long-range. It was Calvin Zola who was next to hit the Motherwell crossbar he was fed the ball by McGinn before he surged past McManus and his shot crashed off the bar and rebounded clear.

After the restart Zola had a magnificent chance to level but miss-kicked the pass as he kicked fresh air with the goal at his mercy from about 8 yards out. The big striker again missed a good chance from a Johnny Hayes cross as he took the ball down away from Hammell and fired into the side netting. Finally all the away side’s pressure would tell as McManus clumsily fouled Johnny Hayes in the area- which gave Niall McGinn the chance to convert from the spot and he didn’t have to be asked twice, Aberdeen then took the lead 14 minutes from time, Motherwell old-boy Mark Reynolds rose unchallenged from a Johnny Hayes free-kick to thunder home to give the away side a well-deserved lead. Magennis came close to sealing the three points but he was denied by the legs of Hollis. Six minutes from time the points were heading back up-north when the referee blew for a 2nd penalty when McManus tugged Magennis in the box from the corner which McGinn dispatched to make sure his own personal performance was rewarded with maximum points for his team.

Hearts 1-0 Hibernian

The 1st Edinburgh derby of the season saw the Jambos take the bragging rights in the capital at Sunday lunchtime kick-off beating their fierce rivals by one solitary strike.

Hibs had the 1st effort on target through new boy Rowan Vine – long ball into the box cleared by Danny Wilson only for the clearance to land at the feet of Vine whose poor effort was easily held by MacDonald. Jamie Hamil was 1st to threaten for the hosts’ his deflected low free-kick would have found the bottom corner but Ben Williams was down low and at full-stretch to keep it level.

Just after the interval James Collins saw his effort go wide after he did well to take it down and get his shot off on the turn from Kevin Thomson’s lofted pass. Hamil tested Williams again from much further out than his earlier free-kick but similar to earlier he kept the tenacious midfielder at bay. Scott Robertson came close with a flying header with was supplied via a lovely left footed Ryan McGivern cross. Hibs again threatened Collins once more dragging his shot wide when he ought to have hit the target. Collins had the next chance but like the previous opportunity his weak finish was his undoing after good work by Thomson and McGivern. Tom Taiwo missed what was Hibs best chance all-alone at the back post from a cross from the left and he simply couldn’t get on the end of it, and contact would have given the away side the lead. With 18 minutes left Hibs and their missing of chances was punished a wonderful Dylan McGowan cross was met by the head of Callum Paterson and it sent three sides of Tynecastle into complete delirium. The final whistle was greeted with loud cheers form the home fans as they put their financial troubles behind them for one day as they have the bragging rights in the city until the next derby takes place.

STANDINGS

20130812 - Scottish Premiership

 

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