This week in the Scottish Premiership saw Celtic avoid a European hangover, a great 2-2 draw in the live TV game and Inverness’ unbeaten run come to an end.
Aberdeen 1-0 Inverness CT
Inverness’ unbeaten start to the season came to a halt. As the highland club were beaten at Pittodrie 1-0 by Aberdeen.
The home team started in brighter fashion. Calvin Zola won a corner, which saw Michael Hector’s effort deflected behind for another one. From the second corner, Zola blocked Joe Shaughnessy’s effort on the line. Aberdeen continued to attack, this time Peter Pawlett saw his 20-yard effort go well wide. Inverness who were second best all through this match had their first effort, as David Raven won the ball in midfielder which ended with Ross Draper’s deflected shot in the arms of Langfield. That was the signal for Aberdeen to continue their attacking ways. Dean Brill was in great form as he denied them twice. First, it was young Smith who was put through by Zola, then he denied Hector’s header by tipping it over the crossbar.
The second period continued in the same way with Aberdeen on the attack. Smith was denied by a superb last-ditch tackle from Warren after he had turned Meekings. Brill had to make another save when he saved Shaughnessy’s header from a neat low cross. With not long left Inverness almost hit the home side with a sucker punch. An Inverness corner met by Warren almost went in only to be denied by Smith’s clearance off the line. Inverness were coming into the game after a less than productive opening, they went close through another header from Warren. The deadlock was broken with 9 minutes left, substitute Scott Vernon brought down a cross inside the box, before hitting it on the turn past Brill, as Aberdeen’s pressure finally told. They almost doubled their lead minutes later. Hayes’ solo run and shot just went wind of the post. One was enough as the hosts held on for the win.
Celtic 2-1 St Johnstone
Celtic avoided any European hangover as they swept St Johnstone aside with a 2-1 victory at Parkhead.
Celtic dominated from the outset and it took only 10 minutes for them to take the lead. Anthony Stokes set up the opening goal, he played a nice pass to Pukki inside the St Johnstone area and the Finnish striker fired the ball in-between the legs of Mannus to give Celtic the lead. Celtic could have doubled their lead when a move involving Adam Matthews and Stokes ended with Pukki heading past the post. The second goal did arrive before half-time, Charlie Mulgrew profited from some poor defending to fire the ball into the net from 25-yards. Celtic almost got a third before the half on two occasions, Mulgrew came close from long-range and Boerrigter missed when it looked easier to score after getting himself on the end of Stokes’ cross.
Stokes came close at the start of the second period. Then St Johnstone began to get into the game going close with a Stevie May header from Wotherspoon’s cross. Stokes then had his header from Mulgrew’s corner cleared off the line. Celtic had Forster to thank when he saved Miller’s effort with 11 minutes to go. The away side did half the scoreline. McKay’s cross was headed in from close-range by Caddis as he got in front of Ambrose. St Johnstone could have stolen a point; Stevie May’s header hit the post, then Forster made another good save to deny McKay at the death. It was a nervy ending for the home side but they held on for the three points.
Hibs 2-0 St Mirren
Hibs piled on the pressure for under-fire St Mirren boss Danny Lennon by defeating his side 2-0 at Easter Road.
As expected, Hibs were the better side in the opening periods. With just 9 minutes on the clock, they took the lead. James Collins punished the hesitant Buddies’ defence as he latched onto Michael Nelson’s knock-down from Thomson’s free-kick to head past Dilo. Collins went close soon after, he played a neat one-two with Kevin Thomson before firing his shot over Dilo’s crossbar. It was certainly one-way traffic. St Mirren gave the ball away to Lewis Stevenson the midfielder cut the ball back to Heffernan he was denied by Dilo.
Hibs threatened in the second-half as they searched for the second goal. Dilo had to make two good stops to make sure that didn’t happen, one from Scott Robertson at the near post. The other came from Liam Craig’s thunderous shot. The second and killer goal did arrive just after the hour. Alan Maybury, Hibs’ right-back crossed for Heffernan to apply the finish and seal the three points. Collins later had a goal disallowed for offside and then Craig went close from 45-yards in an effort to add to the scoreline. St Mirren’s miserable day was compounded when Danny Grainger saw red for kicking the ball at the referee after he awarded Hibs a free-kick.
Partick Thistle 1-1 Kilmarnock
Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock played out a 1-1 draw at Firhill, leaving Kille boss Allan Johnston still searching for his first win as manager.
Thistle had the ball in the net after 4 minutes but it disallowed. Referee Bobby Madden blew for a handball after Doolan’s close-range effort found the back of the net. Just 9 minutes later, the away side did find themselves trailing. Manuel Pascali’s high challenge on Lawless meant the referee awarded Thistle a spot-kick. Aaron Muirhead stepped up and fired the ball home. Thistle almost doubled their lead; Doolan’s header and a half-volley from Lawless were both stopped by Samson in Killie’s goal. Killie almost got level but Barry Nicholson could only head wide of the target. Kallum Higginbotham came close before half-time but saw his header tipped over by Samson.
It was Kille who got their name on the scoresheet, through Kris Boyd the striker planted a super header past Scott Fox to level and get his third goal of the season. Boyd came close yet again, this time Fox saved his headed effort. The away side continued to press; Bouzid had an effort saved by Fox before Boyd fired over the bar. Both sides were looking for the winner late on. Elliot Christie hit the post before Higginbotham’s shot was stopped by a fine one-handed save from Samson.
Ross County 2-1 Hearts
Ross County got a good win as they came behind to score two goals in the closing minute to inflict Hearts’ second loss in two games.
The home team started on the front foot as Richard Brittain’s long-range effort went well wide of MacDonald’s goal. County almost took the lead when Graham Carey’s free-kick found the head of defender Scott Boyd, he could only head over. Ross had a turn and shot which went just wide then he was claiming for a penalty as he felt McHattie brought him down. Hearts took the lead against the run of play. McHattie fired in a free-kick which Paterson knocked past Brown to give the Jambos the lead. Hearts almost made it two when Paterson raced on to a long through-ball but couldn’t get his effort on target.
County started the better of the teams in the second period, as they needed the equaliser. Nick Ross’ effort on goal flew high and wide 10 minutes into the half. Paterson came close again for Hearts but could only help Jason Holt’s cut-back past the post. Just when it looked like County would never score, they brought De Leeuw off the bench. He headed the equaliser after Brittain’s cross. Scorer turned provider in injury-time; he crossed for Brittain to win the game with a header.
Dundee Utd 2-2 Motherwell
Both teams here served up a good advert for Scottish football, as the live TV game on Sunday afternoon it finished in a highly entertaining 2-2 draw.
The visitors almost took the lead within the first 10 minutes. Stephen McManus who could only head wide from 10-yards out met Iain Vigurs’ corner. Henri Anier was next to come close for the away side, he ran on to the pass by Vigurs only to fire over the crossbar. Motherwell took the lead due to a Henri Anier finish – Francis Angol got away from two United players before cutting the ball back for the Estonian to volley home. John Sutton could not add to the lead as he headed wide from Ramsden’s cross. United had two efforts – one from Dow, the other from Armstrong both set up by Ciftci but neither effort found the net.
The home team equalised 8 minutes into the second period. John Rankin found Ciftci in space; he fired the shot under the body of Hollis in the Motherwell goal. The second for United, was a fine solo effort, Robertson picked the ball up in his own half and ran, he unleashed an unstoppable 25-yard shot past Hollis to make it 2-1 to United. Lasley came close to levelling when but his 30-yard free-kick could only come back off the post. Armstrong could only stab the ball into the arms of Hollis after good work by Ciftci. The equaliser came when Hollis’ long kick was controlled by sub Ainsworth before he fired past Czierniank into the top corner. Both sides pushed for the win Sutton and Goodwille both should have scored with headers at the death, but that match ended in a draw.
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