Week 9 in the Scottish Premiership saw Celtic open up a five-point lead, St Mirren win their first of the season and St Johnstone gave Inverness a hammering.
ST JOHNSTONE 4-0 INVERNESS
St Johnstone ended their run of five matches without maximum points, as they beat Inverness by a four-goal margin.
The home side took the lead eighteen minutes in, Stevie May got on the end of a slick move from the home side as he stabbed home Gary MacDonald’s cross. The lead was doubled nine minutes later, a similar move led to Dave McKay bursting through the visitors’ defence; even though Brill got a hand to it, he couldn’t keep it out.
Caley Thistle made the better start to the second half, but it was Hasselbaink for the home side that brought Brill into action when he saw his effort tipped over the crossbar. Doran’s 25-yard effort, similar of that of Hasselbaink brought Mannus in to action. St Johnstone sealed the three points, when May picked out McLean at the edge of the box, then the former Rangers youngster sent his shot past Brill into the bottom corner. McLean ended the scoring by grabbing his second and St Johnstone’s fourth. The brilliant May outfought Graeme Shinnie at the corner flag before playing the ball across for McLean to tap home.
ROSS COUNTY 1-0 ABERDEEN
Ross County moved on to ten points as they beat Aberdeen in Dingwall.
Rocco Quinn could have given County an early lead, after being put through by Richard Brittain but he fired high and wide. Niall McGinn had the best chance of the half for Aberdeen but he fired wide. Quinn came close just before half-time as his shot went wide then McGinn brought a saved out of Mark Brown in first-half injury-time.
Quinn who missed the two chances in the first half, gave his side the lead his low angled shot beat Langfield after De Leeuw played him through. Aberdeen responded when Vernon seen his header saved by Brown. County almost doubled their lead on two occasions Carey and Luckassen failed to find the net. One goal was enough to give the Highland side the victory.
DUNDEE UNITED 1-0 KILMARNOCK
Dundee United continued their good form leaving Killie winless after ten games.
In a less than exciting first half, Souttar put through Gauld, who was denied by Samson. Then Goodwillie hit the post after Gauld’s great pass.
United took the lead after 56 minutes, United hit Killie on the break, Goodwillie crossed for Ciftci, who fired low across Samson into the bottom corner. Jackson Irvine and Sammy Clinging forced Cierzniak to make two top-class saves, before Gauld and Goodwille both had shots beaten away at the near post by Samson. United held on for the points.
CELTIC 2-0 MOTHERWELL
Celtic moved to the top of the league after defeating Motherwell with minimal fuss at Parkhead.
Anthony Stokes gave the home side a 21stminute lead after capitalising on some horror goalkeeping by Lee Hollis. Before that, Mulgrew saw his shot blocked behind for a corner which came to nothing. Hollis then made a good save to deny Commons from Van Dijk’s cross. Motherwell threatened through Ainsworth but his shot just before half-time went high and wide.
Four minutes after the restart, Commons doubled Celtic’s advantage; he beat Lasley and McManus before lobbing the ball over Hollis into the back of the Motherwell net. Van Dijk then went on a solo run; beat the Motherwell defence only to shoot wide. Anier had a chance to halve the deficit after miscommunication in the Celtic defence, but he fired past Forster’s post. Forster had the final say as he made a superb close-range save from John Sutton’s header.
HEARTS 0-2 ST MIRREN
St Mirren got their first win of the season at Tynecastle to pull 13 points clear of their relegation rivals.
Danny Wilson was first to test Dillo in the St Mirren goal but the goalkeeper was equal to his headed effort, tipping it over the bar. Callum Paterson was next to test him but his long-range shot was well saved. MacDonald had to save with his chest when Dylan McGowan’s short backpass allowed McLean one-on-one with the Jambo’s ‘keeper. McLean went close with a 25-yard effort for the visitors; Paul McGowan almost scored but saw his lob just go over the bar. McGowan had another effort when he found himself on the edge of the box; he ought to have done better. McLean went close yet again this time with a curling free-kick. The Saints took the lead just before half-time, McGinn headed Conor Newton’s cross high in to the back of the net.
Hearts almost got level but Paterson shot over from just 16 yards out. St Mirren went up the other end and doubled the lead. MacDonald could only palm Van Zanten’s cross-come-shot before Paul McGowan bundled the ball home to give the Buddies a priceless win.
PARTICK THISTLE 0-1 HIBERNIAN
Partick Thistle are still looking for their first home win of the season after losing against Hibs in the live Monday night fixture.
Four minutes in the home side had an indirect free-kick for a backpass but Walsh’s effort was blocked by Nelson. Higginbotham then brought the best out of Williams when he saved the midfielder’s superb half-volley, Hibs came close when Heffernan’s shot went just wide of Fox’s right-hand post. Doolan headed over just before half-time from O’Donnell’s cross.
After the restart, Doolan was clean through but could only fire directly at Williams. Welsh had a penalty claim waved away before Hibs went up the other end and got the vital goal. Zoubir cut the ball back for Liam Craig to fire high past Fox with 69 minutes on the clock. Williams had to be at his best to deny Elliot’s shot and then Forbes poor free-kick made sure Hibs came away with the win.
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