Jonathan Sutherland introduces highlights of the weekend's matches in the new SPFL Scottish Premiership, with comment on and analysis of the week's main talking points.
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Oh, what an impact! Ryan Gauld could finish. Still Johnson. What a goal
that is from the youngster. What a strike from Jamie Hamill! That is a
beautiful finish. Good evening and a happy new year
from us all at Sportscene. It's been a cracking New Year of derby duels
in Scotland's top flight. My advice, to sit back and enjoy - in the
company of these two. Two halves of the Edinburgh derby
divide represented in full this evening - Michael Stewart and Kenny
Miller join us tonight. And it's in Edinburgh we start. Despite
languishing at the bottom of the Premiership on a negative points
tally it was two wins out of two this season for Hearts over Hibs.
However hopes were high amongst the Easter Road faithful. They packed
out the stadium this evening, with Terry Butcher in for his first taste
of Edinburgh derby action. Commentary comes from Rob Maclean.
Terry Butcher's first Edinburgh derby team selection not too
difficult. It is the same line up which beat Kilmarnock in the last
game of 2013. Illness depriving Hearts of Danny Wilson. Jordan
McGhee is drafted in. That tinge - saved by Williams. What
a chance for the young midfielder, on the end of Paterson's cross. Very
much on target. In from Craig and Jordan Foster's
heading crashing back off the bar. And that is the nearest thing to a
goal in the Edinburgh derby so far. Macdonald looks back with relief.
The tip over the top from Macdonald. It was the youngster, Jason
Cummings. The first Edinburgh derby of 2014 still goalless. Cairney
trying to do something about that. It is a great run and the cutback
and Collins had the shot and there were screams for a penalty.
Hanlon was up and James Collins scores the goal of his derby dreams!
61 minutes at Easter Road. Hibs are in front. A cluster of players in
the six-yard box and it was Collins who got the important touch.
A brilliant run by Smith and that is Paterson and that is in off Ryan
McGivern and it's all-square in the derby. 72 minutes gone, six minutes
on the pitch for Smith. Williams couldn't hold the shot. Paterson
with the follow up attempt. In off McGivern. And having levelled this
up, Hearts now fancying themselves to grab all three points. A great
run from Walker. Down he goes. McGivern was the defender involved.
And there is a yellow card out here. For the Hearts winger. And that
looks like the right decision. McGhee makes the challenge and
that's a penalty! And Hearts cannot believe it. Ryan Reevenson --
Stevenson wags his finger in the referee's face. Liam Craig, she Sen
minute - seven minutes from time with his seventh goal of the season
and it looks like the goal that has won the Edinburgh derby.
That is a stinging shot from McHattie and Williams solidly behind
this. Heffernan! That would have settled
it. That would have been the icing on the cake. It has flown wide.
Hibs close in on victory. And another chance! And Collins doesn't
quite know how he missed that. This would have made it 3-1. What a
chance. Our fans have suffered at the hand of Hearts and it is nice to
win a game. I felt we deserved the win. We dominated the game. Just
that bit of quality in the final third just wasn't quite there. But
we felt if we could persevere and keep on going, something would
happen. We did well to get back in the game. It was a difficult night
for us. They put us under pressure, specially on set plays. But we
battled well and it is a controversial decision that has cost
us a point. Fantastic to see a pulsating Edinburgh derby. Kenny
Miller, was it the right result? I think so. On the balance of play,
particularly in the second half, Hearts maybe started the brighter
teams, but Hibs came into it and there was only one team in it in the
second half. You have seen the chances that were created. Bigger
they may be aggrieved they didn't get more. It seemed like a whirlwind
start from Hibs, but you saw good signs from Hearts to start with?
Yes, there was no doubt Hibs were the better team, but the first sort
of five or ten minutes there was bits of play from Hearts like we see
here. A bit of an idea of what they were trying to do, without, far too
often there has just been aimless balls from the back. There seemed to
be good movement off the ball. This one here, a great cross from
Paterson and Tapping was unfortunate. That is something that
has not happened a lot for Hearts. But after that, Hibs were the better
team. We have seen some bad defending from Hearts this season,
the 7-0 hammering from Celtic springs to mind. How much was it
down to bad defending for the Collins goal. Well, I don't want to
be too critical, but the gap between the full back and the centre half is
alarming. That is something that has cost them this season. They have
conseepeded a lot of -- conceded a lot of goals from bad defending.
They're not picking nip up. You see -- picking anyone up. Collins is the
quickest to react and gets the goal. That is something that needs to be
rectified. It should have been done yesterday and it will need to be
done quickly. What did you make of the equaliser for Hearts? Well, I
couldn't see it coming. Hibs were the dominant team in the second
half. But Smith came on and he has picked the ball up in the Hibs' half
and he was direct. It is something that Hearts were missing all day. He
has beaten a second man too easily and had a fantastic shot and been
first to the rebound. But he has deserved that for being direct and
getting at the Hibs' defence. A poor goal to lose. In terms of the
penalty, let's look at that. Any doubts about the decision? No, I
think it is a penalty. You see there, it is his leg, he lifts his
leg and steps across Stevenson. If he was just to run across and shield
it, he would be OK. But he lifts the leg and it becomes a tackle. And
Craig dispatches it well. A great win for Hibs. To the first of our
matches from yesterday, and the match of the day was at Tannadice.
Dundee United and Aberdeen both impressive so far this season - this
New Year, New Firm derby probably one of the most anticipated in the
last 30-odd years. It would be a dramatic afternoon. Commentary comes
from Paul Mitchell. Fopp top top Another slew of changes for Dundee
United with seven players coming from for the side that lost in
Perth. That is a heavy challenge from Flood
and the yellow card will come out from Willie Collum. The winger
certainly wasn't going past. He accepts the booking willingly does
Flood. Paton goes down and reacts angrily
to the referee. Flood didn't think there was much in it. Flood just
catching his foo. A great atmosphere at Tannadice.
Pawlett for Aberdeen. The keeper saves. United causing their own
problems here. Dwelt on the ball too long.
Low into the box and Pawlett. A sore one for Gunning. He had to make the
block - at some personal cost! Good play from McGinn, determined down
that wing. Pawlett caught that well. Pawlett rifled it in. Pawlett
unmarked at the edge of the box. He really hammered that in. That is a
good stop from the keeper. Langfield has come wandering, his
net was unguarded and Soutar said thank you very much. It is his 26th
appearance and his first goal. It was gifted to him by Jamie
Langfield. Easy for central defender.
Paul Paton up against Pawlett. The arm came across but was it hard
enough to knock him to the ground? Pawlett thought so. The referee will
redress things with the yellow card for Paul Paton. He believes his case
without success. -- he pleads his case. That time it was Paul Paton on
Pawlett. Play on, says the referee. Well, he was wholehearted in his
challenge on Pawlett there. There was a movement of the arm and the
referee has given a penalty. Robertson came across. Magennis was
in the box. The question is, was it deliberate? His arm moved towards
the ball. Penalty kick given. Barry Robson drills it down the middle. He
beats Cierzniak and celebrates with the Aberdeen fans. He pummelled the
ball into the net, penalty scored. Great save from Radoslaw Cierzniak.
The goalkeeper flying across. The free kick was deflected on to
the goalkeeper and in by Peter Pawlett. The goalkeeper could only
push it away, and in stoppage time, Peter Pawlett looks to have won it
for Aberdeen with a header over the goalkeeper on the ground. Robson's
delivery, and the header gives Aberdeen the lead.
goalkeeper on the ground. Robson's delivery, and the header gives I
think we can play a lot better. It was a stop start game. Percentage
football at times. Disappointed with some of our passing at times.
Disappointed to lose the goal when we did. The keeper pulled off three
or four saves and you start to think it is not going to be your day. To
lose a goal from a set piece when they had not been threatening was
disappointing but the response was to reflect. To come from behind in a
game I thought we were in charge of in the second half, to come from
behind and win it at the death, I think we got the reward we deserved.
The players were outstanding in the second half.
think we got the reward we deserved. The players were outstanding Jackie
MacNamara might not have thought it was entertaining but it made for
entertaining highlights and Peter Pawlett with the winning goal. How
impressed have you been with him this season? He has been strong.
Yes. He has benefited from a good structure and shape to the team. He
has flourished this season. Last year he had problems with being
marked as somebody who went down easily, but this year he has raised
his game and become an influential player for Aberdeen. He is very
direct. We spoke about that already tonight. Was he targeted by Paul
Paton. For Paul Paton, what worked in his benefit was that Flood got
let off with something similar. He has two good feet. I have been
impressed. He was alert, getting in at the back post and he put in the
winning goal. The Aberdeen fans behind the goal. What we saw in the
first game, and this game, two stadiums where the fans were jumping
and it is great to see. That is what the players want to play in front
of. They were local derbies, which adds spice to the game. You want to
have a full house, to have the atmosphere, to have a fantastic
game, and on the highlights it looked a great game. It looked as if
Pawlett could have had three or four macro goals. He was at the heart of
everything for Aberdeen. Where do Dundee United go from here? That is
three straight defeats. They will definitely be in the mix at the top
end of the table because they have too many quality players in the
final third to be anywhere else. They are a talented bunch and they
will be back. 20 more to come. And we are back for more in a few days.
What do you do when James McFadden hopes to inspire you to a 5-1
victory over Partick Thistle? Drop into the bench. But who is to argue
with Stuart McCall, who masterminded his side's right to second in the
table? They looking for their fifth straight win in a row. May had taken
his tally to 15. It began with a moment of
controversy. Did this effort from McManus crossed the line? No, was
the decision of the officials. It struck the bar twice. The second was
definitely on the line. It remains 0-0. But this would be a match of
countless chances. Over 24 hours on, the frames of the goals are
probably still reverberating. Next to go close, Scott Brown, the Saints
youngster making his first start for the club. Iain Vigurs has an eye for
the pass, and Brittain knows how to score when he gets service like
this. -- Sutton. His 10th goal of the season. The tricky feat of
Lionel Ainsworth have been to the fore in recent weeks, almost leading
to goal member two, Carswell's effort locked on the line. --
blocked. In the second half, Motherwell sought to extend their
lead. Ainsworth with the direct run, and Vigurs was there to make it
2-0. He scored nine times for Ross County last season but this was his
first goal for Motherwell. It was not quite over for St Johnstone but
when the ball ended up at the feet of David Wotherspoon, he lacked
conviction. And by the time May had a chance, a combination of defenders
and woodwork kept him at a. At the other end, Ainsworth continued to
minister St Johnstone back line. Again, the frame of the goal
rattled. And it had barely stopped rattling when Hutchinson's header
came back off the post. Not that Motherwell gave up. And when the
ball fell to the feet of Ainsworth, always a chance of danger. The man
on loan from Rotherham United, for the fourth game in a row, on the
scoresheet. Motherwell well on their way to a fifth straight win. James
McFadden was back to something like his inspirational best in the last
game, and on freight brief cameo he got number four. These are heady
games once again -- heady days once again for Motherwell fans. I thought
we were as good as we could have been. In the second half we were
outstanding, creating good chances and playing some smashing football.
St Johnstone could have got a couple and we could have had more. It was a
good game from our point of view. Clinical again. We had chances as
well and we failed to take them. Disappointing for us. But Motherwell
were excellent. Disappointing for us. But Motherwell
were Motherwell lost in the Scottish Cup and then got hammered by Celtic.
And then they got five in a row. Explain that. It is something Jackie
MacNamara will want to be looking at. They are similar teams as well
and they will be competing at the top. The thing with Motherwell is
that the Albion Rovers game was a shock to the system and gave them a
kick up the backside. Clearly, it has pushed them on and they are
doing fantastically well at the moment. They are clearly in the
groove and Lionel Ainsworth, on loan from Rotherham United, twinkle toes,
that is for sure. He had an outstanding game. Stuart McCall was
saying he hopes to extend the loan. He is direct, quick, tricky. He
always seems to have an end product, whether it is a shot or a
cross. And he scored a fantastic goal as well. Here's one they will
want to keep hold of. That is something you look for, end
product. Many flatter to deceive, but everything he does has an end
product. I am pretty sure he will be going back to Rotherham -- back to
Rotherham. I have to ask you about Stevie May. He was not on the
scoresheet for St Johnstone against Motherwell but scored a hat-trick
against Dundee United. How impressed have you been by him this season?
Very impressed. 15 goals this season. He is still a young lad. He
will be looking to improve. To score that level of goal already, it is
definitely a fantastic achievement. I would not be surprised if a few
teams south of the border will be circling him. Certainly in January.
The Highland derby next, the first for the new Inverness manager, John
Hughes, still looking for his first home win since taking over from
Terry Butcher. Ross County were looking for their first victory away
to Inverness in over four-year 's. They have not managed a victory
against anyone in the last ten matches.
John Hughes sees no reason to change the Inverness team which lost 1-0 to
Celtic. There is a new name in the Ross County team, Jordan Slew, on
loan -- on loan from Blackburn, making a derby debut.
Back off the post, and Billy McKay. You had your money on the top scorer
tucking it away on the rebound. Scott Boyd fires Ross County in
front. And could they get the ideal start to the New Year and a badly
needed win? They are on their way. The shot was inflected off
Tremarco. 15 minutes gone and Ross County in front.
And Cooper scores. It is two in not much more than a minute. It is a
double blow for Inverness on Derby day. And all of the composure, and
Cooper just took his time before driving that home.
Straight at Michael Fraser. Lovely touch from Billy McKay.
Fraser made the save, and Scott Boyd tidied things up.
Ross Draper went in against Kettlewell. Was he leading with the
elbow? Well, he is leaving the scene of the crime. But it is a red card
for Draper. And a dismal derby day continues for Inverness. Two goals
down and one man down. Agdestein, the Norwegian striker,
with a good hit but just too high. Aaron Doran has got it over Michael
Fraser and nodded home in the 89th minute, to give Inverness a goal.
Fraser hesitated as he came off his line.
Credit to them. They came in and they hit us on the counter and it
worked for them. We were a little over committed and a bit expensive.
It resulted in us losing two goals. Disappointing. We have been looking
for the break and we probably got it in the first half when Inverness hit
the post. Then we were able to get the first goal. We have been waiting
for a number of weeks to get the first goal. We saw the confidence
after that happened. A fantastic win for Ross County. They did well by
bringing in Slew from Blackburn. Registered just in time for the
match. A big striker, what did you make of his contribution? From what
you see, he has ended up with two assists. He is a big lad. He will be
a target man. You see from the touches he has for the two goals, he
picks up a nice position there. He works himself in front of the centre
half. works himself in front of the centre
And has the awareness to flick it on to a team mate. This one is
fantastic play. Grat touch. He has the support. You need runners and he
has played a fantastic ball into the space for his team mate to go
through. It leads to a goal. That is what you need - your striker to be a
platform to get you up the park. And that second goal has everything.
Blackburn paid ?1 million for him at one point A massive win for Ross
unty. When you look at what they did last year, they set the bar high. It
was going to be difficult to reach those heights again. But this year
has been a struggle and Slew has been a big plus, because they have
struggled in the forward area. Somebody that will give them the
platform to get forward. We will accused of trial by TV, but we have
to look at this. The Ross Draper sending off. What did you make of
it, Kenny? It is a harsh decision. He has led up and his arms are up,
you always have to jump with your arms. I don't think there is any
real intent by sending his arm into anybody's face or head, I think it
is harsh. The problem is when the impact of the ball's very low, had
it been, he was higher up he may have been able to get his head on
it. But I don't think there was any intent, but when you raise your
arms, you run the risk of a red card. Next we're off to the top
flight Glasgow derby between unbeaten Celtic and Partick Thistle.
Plenty of speculation swirling around the futures of both Joe
Ledley and Giorgios Samaras, out of contract in the summer - Ledley
started, Samaras was on the bench. Partick Thistle were hoping for a
massive improvement after losing 5-1 at home to Motherwell in their last
match. New loan signing Lyle Taylor - just arrived from Sheffield United
and formerly a free-scoring striker at Falkirk - went straight into the
starting 11. Brian Mclaughlin reports.
After consecutive 1-0 wins on the road, Celtic were back in front of
their own fans. Pukki almost gave them the perfect start. Only denied
by Fox. Lyle Taylor made his debut for Thistle, but his herd was wide
of -- header was wide of the target. Fox saved again for Thistle. At the
other end, Forster still has aspirations of a World Cup spot with
England and saves like this from Balatoni, he may well make to it
Rio. Again he was called into action. Forster going the wrong way,
but somehow managing to still get a hand to Elliott's header. A terrific
reaction save by Celtic's number one. Neil Lennon hopes that Joe
Ledley will sign a new deal and the Welshman made the break through just
before half time. This was Ledley's fourth goal of the season. His 25
yarder creeping in between the keeper and the post. Pukki has yet
to win over the Parkhead faithful, but he came close with this effort,
but Fox again denied him. One final chance for the Jags late on, Celtic
famed to clear the corner. Lawless with the shot cleared off the line.
The danger still there and Elliott with the header just wide of goal.
Adam Matthews with the clearance as Celtic make it seven clean sheets in
a row. We had chances and you have to take them. I felt our strikers
were more attacking. We were deliepgted with the -- deliepgted
with the way we played. The performance wasn't great, but it was
a good result and under the circumstances a win. But we were
flat today. It has been coming for a couple of games. They're starting to
look heavy-leagued. So we -- heavy-legged and we will to assess
them before the St Mirren game and try and get a spark in there. Leddy
with the goal and speculation about his future. How important do you
feel its for Neil Lennon to keep Joe Ledley? He showed with his goals. He
probably doesn't get the credit he deserves for the, there is others
who steal the headlines. He is reliable and pops up with a lot of
goals and important goals that win games. I'm sure Neil will help he
can keep ahold of him. But he is an important player. Along with
Samaras. Equally important to keep hold of Samaras? Yes, over the last
few years big George has proven, he has scored a lot of goals in the
Champions League and Old Firm games. He has been a great acquisition for
the club. I am sure he will look to keep both. But with six months left
it gets to that stage where they can speak to anyone. Neil Lennon talked
of the flatness of the game and the stadium far from full. What can they
do about that? Not a great deal. They have got to wait until Rangers
get back until league, that is what drives them on. Neil Lennon talks
about the players, but you said the stadium is half empty. The players
are no different to the supporters, they're not as excited about the
league, because they don't have that challenge from Rangers. When they
come back, you will see a direct impact on the crowds and they will
come back. Would you agree with that, Celtic are showing signs of
missing Rangers? I think so. They would have missed them last year. I
know from being at the club, when you're at the Old Firm, you're
always playing catch up, one team will play Saturday the next the
Sunday. There is always that reaction. If the team wins, you need
to win to stay up with them. And if they drop pain moints -- drop
points. There is always something driving you on. With no disrespect
to the other teams, Celtic women win the -- Celtic will win the league.
We finish the night at Rugby Park, where the home side Kilmarnock this
afternoon took on St Mirren. A home victory would see Kilmarnock
overtake Saints in the Premiership table. Commentary comes from John
Barnes. afternoon took on St Mirren. A home
victory would see Kilmarnock For Kilmarnock's first match of the
year, Alan Johnson fields the same side that lost the last of 2013 to
Hibs. With Jim Goodwin suspended, Adam Campbell gets his debut on loan
from Newcastle. Slater! So close to his first goal
for Kilmarnock, slater there. Back off the cross bar.
Thomson is captain for the day. Dancing feet on the wing as well.
This is Adam Campbell - good strike and St Mirren are in front with 17
minutes played. Adam Campbell on his debut gets a goal, celebrating his
19th birthday yesterday - that is a belated birthday present!
A fine strike. What an effort that was from Rory McKenzie to level
things. He was involved in the initial move, linking with Johnson.
He just found that yard of space for the shot. And directed it beyond
Kello. A second of the season. Newton to Thomson. It looked
destined for the bottom corner until Samson's intervention. The former
team mates acknowledge each other's efforts. Newton set it up and it was
the right boot of Samson to turn it away.
Samson again to the rescue for Kilmarnock. The shot took a
deflection, the keeper saw it late. Kris Boyd! Oh, it looked as though
it was a great opportunity for Boyd just to put his side in front. Neat
skills by the big striker. It may well have taken a bobble as he was
about to pull the trigger. A chance for granger and it shame
off Slater and directed it wide of the target.
Muirhead, not a bad strike from the teenager, on as a substitute. It
swerved in the air. Through to Kris Boyd and a minute
into stoppage and Boyd scores! That will secure the win for the Rugby
Park side. It is a sixth goal in six games. His fourth in four against St
Mirren. His 12th of the season. He was onside. Played onside by
McGregor and he buried it in the bottom corner. Very disappointed,
but Wen you give a top marksman like Boyd an opportunity, that is the
damage he can do. I thought we handled him well for the 90 minutes.
Just not for the 92. The boys have had confidence. Stipes when you get
-- sometimes when you get beat you see the lack of confidence. But it
is good to see the results are coming. A good winning goal from
Boyd. But how important were the saves? You have got to make yourself
difficult to beat. Samson did that for his team for Kilmarnock. That is
a fantastic save from Thomson. He is going the other way and that is a
great save. There was a number of them through the game. A strong hand
to it and getting it away from the goals. Yeah, it gives you the
opportunity, the chance to stay in the game. Gary Harkins maybe giving
the ball away. He is off on loan to Oldham. But Kris Boyd, your old
striking partner, are you surprised by this rejuvenile lacing he has had
-- he has had at schizophrenia? -- at schizophrenia. He has had a tough
couple of years. But it is great to see him back a and playing. Now, he
has had a run, you are starting to see the best of him and he is doing
what he does best. He will get them every week if he has the chances.
Kenny, your situation in Canada is that the situation in the future.
There was stories of a move back to Rangers. No. Put you on the the
hotspot! I have got another three weeks of the break, where I'm
working down at Murray Park after a minor knee operation, I'm getting
back to almost full training. I will be doing that for a few week and
then back to Canada. Thank you. And here is the table as it stands.
Celtic remain 11 points clear. Hibs now into the top six as we have
seen Kilmarnock now above St Mirren. And Ross County move to within a
point of Partick Thistle. And that's it. 2014 is safely in through the
door and Scottish football continues to look much like it did in 2013 -
blooming marvellous as far as I'm concerned. We're back on Sunday,
thanks for watching. Until next time, goodnight.