This week was full of goals, Celtic claiming a win to assert their dominance early on Inverness keeping up their good start to the season and Highland neighbours Ross County struggling somewhat.
PARTICK THISTLE 1-1 HEARTS
Partick Thistle got denied their 1st home win back in the top-flight after Jamie Walkers’ late goal gave each side a point in an end-to-end match at Firhill.
Thistle began the match on the front foot showing their dominance over the financially stricken Edinburgh club, not long in Thistle had the ball in the next through a finish at the back post where Doolan knocked the ball home from close-range but Thistles’ joy was short-lived as it was ruled out for offside. Thistle again threatened their free-kick wasn’t properly cleared by the Jambos’ rear-guard which eventually was floated in for Conrad Balatoni to head over unmarked when he really should have given the home side the lead. Doolan came inches from putting the hosts in front Craigans’ ball in just missed by inches – it went wide of the goal and Hearts under severe pressure managed to hold on, Welsh was next to come close as he fired a powerful effort over MacDonalds’ bar. As the first-half ended all square.
At the start of the second-half the Thistle pressure continued- Craigan raced through behind the Hearts backline and fired his low shot inches wide of the post. Hearts then had an effort to take the lead against the run of play but Captain Danny Wilson headed wide. Thistle again came close when they broke Higginbotham found Craigan at the back post only for his header to be clawed away by MacDonald. Baird was next to test MacDonald but the keeper made a fine one-handed save to keep the score level. MacDonald was at it again this time denying midfielder Lawless and his long-rage effort from Bairds’ cut-back. The outcome of the game would be decided in a mad 2 minute period Jamie Walker shoved Baird in the back to hand Thistle the chance to take the lead from the spot, which Muirhead took. Walker however redeemed himself as he levelled with a wonderful right-foot strike from just outside the area, which sent the Hearts fans into raptures and rescued the most unlikely of points.
ABERDEEN 0-2 CELTIC
Aberdeen’s good start to the season hit a road-block when Celtic arrived at Pittodrie on Saturday lunchtime and took all 3 points back to Glasgow.
The home side started on the front foot with some good early pressure, but it was Langfield who had to make the first stop to deny Welshman Ledley. Just before half-time Mulgrew fired a long ball over the top of the Dons’ defence which Samaras ran onto he beat Anderson for Strength only to be brung down in the area by Langfield, as a result he was shown his marching orders and Celtic had the chance to take the lead from the spot. Commons stepped up and blasted it past sub keeper Nicky Weaver to give the visitors a lead at the break.
Samaras came close to doubling the lead just after the break a Celtic corner wasn’t cleared and the Greeks’ close-range volley flashed over the bar. McGinn called Forster into action when he headed Jacks’ cross towards goal only to be denied as the ten men pushed for the leveller. Brown came close to sealing the match but his low drive just went wide of the post. Forest did seal the win on the break he out-paced Reynolds before dinking the ball over Weaver from a tight angle to preserve their 100% start to the league campaign.
HIBERNIAN 1-1 DUNDEE UNITED
After this match ended in a goal apiece and one red card each, both sides are still looking for their first win of the season.
The away side started the match firmly on the attack good work by Gary Mackay-Steven and David Goodwille presented Stuart Armstrong with the chance to find the net but he fired over Williams’ crossbar. Rankin came close when good work from the tricky Mackay-Steven beat his fullback before cutting back for Rankin to fire over. Third time lucky for United when Butcher’s long diagonal caught out the Hibs defence before Armstrong gave the visitors a lead with a neat finish past Williams. Collins had the first effort for the home side but his long-range effort was beat away by the Pole in goal for United.
The second period began with United having the chance to double the lead but Goodwillie managed to head wide from close-range. Robertson came close but his shot following a good run and one-two hit the side netting. Two red cards followed due to a clash between Gunning and Thomson as the midfielder went late in on Gunning provoking a reaction from the defender. Craig was next to try and level for the hosts but his long-range strike was palmed over by Cierniak. Hibs finally levelled with 9 minutes left a Hibs free-kick cleared to the edge of the box and Robertson fired his shot through bodies to score against his former club for a share of the spoils.
INVERNESS CT 2-0 MOTHERWELL
Inverness continued their good early season form with a convincing 2-0 win at home to Motherwell who themselves have had a mixed bag of results with 3 points from 3 games.
It took Caley just 4 minutes to take the lead after a foul by Keith Lasley gave them a free-kick which was whipped in by Shinnie and met by the head of ex-Motherwell player Foran to give the home side the advantage. Caley largely dominated the first period Vincent came close after some good inter-play between himself and Doran. Motherwell had an effort from their skipper Keith Lasley but the shot was palmed away by Caley stopper Brill. The points were wrapped up 36 minutes in – a wonderful passing move ended up with Billy McKay firing home to double the lead. Long ball from Meekings flicked on by McKay for Vincent just to volley over as Inverness were giving Motherwell a footballing lesson.
The second half started with Motherwell finally waking up the Estonian Anier coming close only for his effort to be blocked. Iain Vigurs had an appeal for a penalty rejected as he looked to have been fouled following his bustling run into the box. Doran had two further efforts to try and extend the lead he was denied on each occasion by Hollis, as Inverness deserved the 3 points which left Motherwell well beaten.
ST. JOHNSTONE 4-0 ROSS COUNTY
Ross County and their poor start to the season continued as they were walloped by four goals as they visited McDiarmid Park on Saturday.
It took St Johnstone just 14 minutes to take the lead great work by Murray Davidson before cutting back for Nigel Hasselbaink to find the net with a cute back-flick. Four minutes later the Saints doubled their advantage as David Wotherspoon found the top corner with a magnificent free-kick. Wotherspoon was then taken down in the area by Ben Gordon and the ref awarded the spot-kick, Wotherspoon saw his penalty saved before May fired over the rebound, Murray Davidson also came close before the break but his shot went inches wide.
Five minutes after the restart May raced through and fired the third after a lovely through ball from strike partner MacLean. Davidson almost made it 4 but his shot flashed over the bar. The scoring was completed just 62 minutes in after Dave MacKay scored a wonderful free-kick to maintain the Saints 100% start and leave County struggling.
ST MIRREN 1-1 KILMARNOCK
St Mirren came from behind to get their first point of the season against ten-man Killie at St Mirren Park.
Steven Thompson came close to opening the scoring but seen his downward header well saved by Samson, Kenny MacLean then came close but couldn’t get a connection to Paul McGowan’s lofted pass. Killie’s first effort was through Barry Nicholson good hold up play by Kris Boyd as the ex-Rangers men combined to force a save from Cornell.
The scoresheet was filled in when just after the restart Boyd’s powerful shot beat Cornell in the Saints goal after a good Killie move. Just after the hour mark Boyd turned from hero to villain after seeing red for lashing out at Saints skipper Jim Goodwin, Saints equalised through Harkins when his a Killie corner fell at his feet before he turned and finished, St Mirren finished strongly with a few effort but the spoils were shared.
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