03/01/2012 Sportscene


03/01/2012

Round-up of action from the weekend's Clydesdale Bank Premier League games, presented by Rob Maclean.


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The SPL story continues into a New Year. The first action of 2012

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coming up. And Scotland manager, Craig Levein, is here. Craig was at

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Easter Road yesterday for the second Edinburgh Derby of the

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:00:39.:00:44.

season. And there's been plenty going on since the first one.

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Hearts lead the Edinburgh Derby. Ince had sacked manager, Colin

:00:52.:01:02.
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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds

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Calderwood. The does not a first his first win as the boss.

:01:57.:02:06.
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Griffiths went down under pressure least it should have been on target.

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He began the move himself. Hibernian just a point from the

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time. The Hibernian masters of their own downfall. Stack brought

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds

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Vigil goes on between Black and the first time this season. Was

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Stephen Elliott interfering with play? In an offside position as

:03:42.:03:52.
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retaliation. It is 1-1. Zaliukas! This has come off the Hearts

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skipper. It was all about the power it. He was the closest that the

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds

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front it would just six minutes to go. Could this be the Derby winner?

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He Verney in have tried their best. They may be in trouble. --

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They say he cannot play away from home. Hearts of scored as many

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games away from home as they have Nine Derby's unbeaten for your al

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team. Are you impressed with what the manager has been able to do

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with the team, bearing in mind the sideshow going on away from the

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pitch? He deserves enormous credit, as to the players, they have

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managed to focus on their football. There will be some men on big money,

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but a lot of the guys rely very much on their wage coming in. All

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credit to the manager and the players to keep their focus.

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penalty which Hibernian conceded to offer hearts the chance to take the

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lead was typical of what happened to them. A couple of individual

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errors? They are lacking in confidence. There has been a lot of

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upheaval at the club. No doubt the manager will get it right and turn

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it round. Booth is a smashing player, but in a team that is

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struggling it is difficult for young boy to carry other team mates.

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It is difficult for him. The team itself is struggling for confidence.

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Stack made up for his mistake with the penalty save. A blatant offside

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for the opening goal? At the game, I did not realise because you're

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looking from a poor ball. When I see this again, is he interfering

:07:57.:08:01.

with the goalkeeper's line of sight and the answer is yes. So for me,

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it is offside. It Stephen Elliott was not there, there is every

:08:08.:08:15.

chance Stack saves that. I think Hibernian were hard done by. If the

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assistant and the referee had got together they may have decided he

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was in a line of fire and maybe a few feet offside? At the game, it

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just looked like there were bodies in the box. When you see it like

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that, it was blatant. At the time is the perception looking at the

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side for the officials is difficult to tell. It is probably a

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combination to try to work out, is he in the line of sight, is he

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offside? Between the two of them. What should have been good for

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Hibernian is that they hit back immediately? They did. At the start

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of the second half they played so much better. They look positive and

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this is a dangerous ball four any defender to deal with. It is on the

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goal side, when you are coming back towards the goal. It is a difficult

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one, particularly when the ball has bounced in front of him. I have

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seen that happen and I have done it a few times myself. It is a great

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ball across the face of the goal. They Benin had struggled for

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confidence and to get a goal so quickly after they lost a goal must

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have been great for the players and their manager. Hearts first and

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second goals owed much to the presence of set pieces? It was

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interesting for me, in the first half they did not use this tactic

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more often. Sutton was on by this time of course. His physical

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presence in the box allow them to get an opportunity. It is a great

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finish. This was the icing on the cake. Hibernian or pushing to try

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to get back in the game. It is a great ball from John Sutton. He has

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scored a lot of important goals in his time for Hearts. At that stage

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in the game, it was all or nothing and had then you have to push.

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MacGowan be hearing from the compliance officer? He gets irate

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because of the tackle from Sproule. It was a silly thing to do. I saw a

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similar situation with Scott Brown and Lafferty, head-butted into the

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midriff. What about the role of the compliance officer, does it

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undermined the officials? No, it is the transparency and the clubs

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agreed before this new system was put in place that it was a better

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system. They have been teething problems, of course, but the idea

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behind it is to move things a little bit quicker and also to be

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fair. It was bottom against top at East

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End Park. Celtic had overhauled title rivals Rangers in the last

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds

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because of illness and Jason Thomson has gone back to Hearts.

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Jon Potter came in at the back and able to saved that, it is a corner

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curling effort. Anthony Stokes without a goal in his last seven

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matches set Celtic ahead. It came down from Samaras. The control was

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perfect. He tipped it into the corner and left the goalkeeper with

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds

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defending from Dunfermline. He the volley past the goalkeeper. The

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Kenny got caught out and Celtic are Dunfermline to test the Celtic

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takers to finish off the run from James Forrest. His Scottish

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international was putting it on a not done that too often this

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should have dealt with this one. Got caught out flat footed at

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almost. Celtic get a simple goal from all groups. Number four for

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goalkeeper. The goalkeeper has So 10 straight wins from Celtic,

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but Dunfermline defending was not a terrific? When you are struggling

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you don't want to be playing against a rampant Celtic team. You

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can't afford to give him a sort of time on the penalty box to pick his

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spot. His marker was attracted to the ball, which is a danger when it

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is a man on man-marking. Does this opened the defending debate?

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does, but man marking, there is always a danger of getting blocked.

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Ledley gives Killie a nudge. So it is enough to get a couple of yards

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of space. Great delivery and a great finish. The third goal, it

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charlie his lethal from these situations. Smith will look at that

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and think maybe he should have done better. The Old Firm win for Celtic

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round an amazing turnaround at the top of the SPL. How significant do

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you think this win it will prove to be? Were Celtic take some stopping

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in their race towards the title? They have momentum and it is a huge

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thing. I was having real problems, financial problems at Rangers were

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as at the same time Neil Lennon, after the Kilmarnock game when they

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were 3-0 down at half-time, and he galvanised the troops. I looked at

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the strength of their squad. I was going through the substitutes,

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Kevin Wilson, fruiter macro, quality on the bench. If you of the

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national players. Bash macro fruiter macro unless Rangers can

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come up as some money, it will be difficult to keep tabs on what I

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say is a rampant Celtic side. It is grim for Dunfermline. The facts and

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figures don't make good feeling for their fans. Not winning at home in

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10 opportunities, just four points The goals against column tells a

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story. You cannot give away three and four goals most weeks and

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expect to win matches. They need to tighten up and get a couple of

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draws. Jim Macintyre is working with his hands tied behind his back,

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and it is extremely difficult for managers. And getting good players

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in, in January is not easy. He has got a tough job. But he will relish

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the challenge. Is it heads against Dunfermline for the drop and can

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had spent their way out of it? -- can Hibs? I think Hibs will spend

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money in January. I am not sure whether Dunfermline can. Inverness

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maybe just creeping into trouble, just five or so points in front of

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Hibs. It is early days. It looks like heads on Dunfermline. -- it

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looks like Hibs, or Dunfermline, but if any of those teams can

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Pickup two victories, then the picture changes. Rangers faced

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Motherwell at Ibrox. Nikica Jelavic was not in the Rangers team, and

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was said to be injured, although France their speculation continues.

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David Healy came in for his second David Healy came in for his second

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start of the season. Stuart McCall chose Tim Clancy in defence or the

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attacking qualities of Omar Daley. A minute's silence in memory of

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those who died in the Ibrox the top of the SPL. It is important

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that Rangers return to winning ways. Good play from Sone Aluko. This

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looks dangerous. And off his line comes Darren Randolph, the

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Motherwell goalkeeper making a good save. Some appeals for offside from

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away from Stephen Hughes. And what a chance for a David Healy to get

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Rangers in front. I don't think he can quite believe he managed to get

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Hutchinson, in fur David Healy, and it is 1-0. In his first SPL start

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of the season, his first goal of the season. Hutcheon soon should

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have done better. And even with his back to goal, David Healy knew

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exactly what to do. Rangers ahead, We have seen little from them, so

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far. And that is Michael Higdon. They have had so little of the

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match, Motherwell, but they might have squared the game here. Michael

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Higdon, unable to hit the target. Stuart McCall looks pretty

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deflected in that under it. And from Sone Aluko, and they header

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from Carlos Bocanegra, cleared off the line by Tom Hateley. Former

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Rangers manager Walter Smith is watching. Good work from Maurice

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ego, so industrious. Now, it is opening up for a Sone Aluko, it is

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2-0! 10 minutes into the second half, and Sone Aluko scores his

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first goal Rangers. Good build up and then a gap appeared, for Sone

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Aluko to fire past Darren Randolph, and you would not think there was

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any way back, for Motherwell. Steven Davis gets it back from

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David Healy. And that is a good strike from the Rangers captain.

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Plenty of power behind this, pushed that is clawed away by the

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goalkeeper. It could so easily have middle, from Morrissey do. And Lee

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Wallace charging down the line. -- from Maurice Edu. Still trouble

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here for Motherwell. And that is an own goal. Flashed into his own net,

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of the boot of Stephen Craigan. And Rangers have a 3-0 lead. Lee

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Wallace forced this back in be on the back post. And in it goes, or

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Stephen Craigan. -- off Stephen Craigan. Desperate defending by

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Motherwell, and Sone Aluko hits his shot, wide. Damage limitation at

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this stage. For Motherwell, conceding three goals has probably

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It was important Rangers got themselves back on track. That was

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a potentially awkward game against Motherwell who have been doing so

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well. I do not think anyone could have expected the one-way traffic

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that it turned out to be. I have only seen a highways but it looked

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like one-way traffic. They have managed to put on a good

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performance, after the Old Firm game. Motherwell have played some

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fantastic stuff and a are likely Inter place in the league. But they

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just did not turn up. Lee Wallace is good on one side of the pitch,

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Sone Aluko on the other. That is good news for Scotland? Yes, Lee

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Wallace, in recent games, he looks like he is finding form, which is

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important. He is earmarked for being involved in the national team.

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We are just waiting on him finding that level of consistency and form.

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Good to see David Healey getting a goal after sitting on the sidelines.

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Rangers lost Kyle Lafferty with a hamstring injury after eight

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minutes. He was stretchered off and it looks like six weeks minimum, he

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is going to be out. Nikica Jelavic did not play, allegedly because of

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injury, Steven Naismith out for the season, there is a lack of striking

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options, there. A bench, Fleck, Mackay, Macmillan, Salim Kerkar.

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Yes, I would not, could anything at this stage in the season between

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the Old Firm, Rangers going into the second half of the season with

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that group of players on the bench, they cannot compete with the

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strength in depth that Celtic have got. That is a packed. Unless there

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is more money available for bringing in better players. And if

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they get they offer for Nikica Jelavic in the transfer window, you

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would imagine, given the chance their -- financial predicament,

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they would have to take it. Yes, they might have to take the offer,

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:29:31.:29:31.

if it comes. Other McCoist is not Wigan manager, I was going to say

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Jong - he is inexperienced. And that is a difficult situation. The

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starting 11 it are good players, but their strength in depth, it is

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a worry. Kilmarnock and St Mirren have played some of the best

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football in the SPL this season and they are chasing a place in the top

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That was a teasing ball in from Dixon, and that is turned in by Jon

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Daly. It opens up and he dips that in perfectly. It is a lovely ball

:30:08.:30:16.

across, and that is a great header. Here is Steve Mackie, unmarked, off

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the line and back in by Murray Davidson and his son does it. --

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there is Francisco son does a, 2-0. Gary Harkins broke his ankle in

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training and does it for six weeks for St Mirren, replaced by

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helping the goalkeeper. It stayed in glee. And it sits up nicely for

:31:05.:31:09.

Thomson. Punched away by Cammy Bell. Kilmarnock eventually clear the

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danger. That is a lovely pass up to the chest of Heffernan. He was

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poised to shoot. Good defending. Kenny Shiels, will wrap up for this,

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as his side defence. And McAusland, off the crossbar. The danger not

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still clear. And another corner kick for St Mirren. Great pressure

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early on from the visitors. Coming so close with that effort. Lee

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Mair! And, this time, it is a goal! St Mirren have been threatening and

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they have the opening goal. Cammy Bell could not keep it out, the

:32:12.:32:22.
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powerful their there from -- powerful header from Mair. That is

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a magnificent save by Craig Samson to deny Dean Shiels. Nice trickery

:32:31.:32:40.

from the forwards. And a brilliant hand by Sampson to divert it wide.

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Can Kilmarnock find an equaliser? It is scrappy. And it is an

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equaliser. It is Paul Heffernan. No surprise that it is the Irishman

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scoring for, Mark. St Mirren could not clear their lines. And Paul

:33:03.:33:13.
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Heffernan, in a crowded penalty box, and also passed Craig Samson. --

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angles past Greg Samson. It was Liam Kelly with the challenge. That

:33:25.:33:35.
:33:35.:33:42.

looked to have the-50, didn't it? - - looked to be 50-today. -- 50-50.

:33:42.:33:49.

Bobby Madden, the referee, sees nothing amiss with that challenge.

:33:49.:33:52.

Paul McGowan was found outside the area, but having said that it

:33:52.:34:02.
:34:02.:34:06.

probably was not a free-kick. Not great defending. Moy With the final

:34:06.:34:10.

shot match should have hit the target from this distance. That is

:34:10.:34:17.

a decent opportunity. St Mirren advance again. Steven Thomson has

:34:17.:34:24.

done well. Another penalty claim from St Mirren, and another one

:34:24.:34:31.

that has fallen on deaf ears from the officials. He tries to pull his

:34:31.:34:39.

arm away, is that ball to hand, or hand to ball? St Mirren feeling

:34:39.:34:49.
:34:49.:35:04.

hard done by, in terms of the That was an easy take or Cammy Bell.

:35:04.:35:09.

It was a hefty clearance from there Kilmarnock goalkeeper to stop that

:35:09.:35:19.
:35:19.:35:24.

could cause problems. Can he find room for the shot? What a fantastic

:35:24.:35:34.
:35:34.:35:35.

goal! He surely wins it for Kilmarnock! Look at this, for skill.

:35:35.:35:40.

It might have just deflected off David van Zanten, but takes nothing

:35:40.:35:48.

away from the technique, and, Kilmarnock wrapping up all three

:35:48.:35:58.
:35:58.:35:59.

St Mirren reckoned they should have won a penalty when Stephen

:35:59.:36:05.

Thomson's cross was handled. What do you think? I wonder whether he

:36:05.:36:09.

deliberately handled the ball. Whether it is just his running

:36:09.:36:15.

movement and he has tried to take his hand away at the last minute.

:36:15.:36:20.

This is the corresponding game, the same two players. It was given on

:36:20.:36:27.

that occasion. But it was not given yesterday. His arm was behind him

:36:27.:36:36.

yesterday, how do you differentiate? For me, it is very

:36:36.:36:43.

difficult. In the second one, his hands behind him. But it is given.

:36:43.:36:48.

I do think he is trying to remove his hand, to get it out of the way.

:36:48.:36:54.

The ball was heading into the six- yard box. I don't know if that has

:36:54.:37:00.

any bearing on the rules, as such. Honestly, I don't know. Whether

:37:00.:37:06.

Portstewart up been penalties, or neither of them penalties. --

:37:06.:37:12.

whether both of them should have been penalties. It was a special

:37:12.:37:22.
:37:22.:37:23.

goal to win the game from Raki. What a moment of composure this was.

:37:23.:37:28.

I don't think he will ever score a goal as good as this. Great

:37:28.:37:32.

composure inside the box. His awareness of where the goalkeeper

:37:32.:37:39.

was, and where he was, and the discipline to finish. A sand iron,

:37:39.:37:48.

a little bit of backspin? Yes, and it ends up in the goal. In recent

:37:48.:37:53.

weeks, this shot from him was touched on to the post by petering

:37:53.:38:00.

common. And at 2-0 down at Celtic Park he scored a cracker. Maybe he

:38:00.:38:07.

proves that Aires calling the lower leagues in England. Yes, Kenny

:38:07.:38:10.

Shiels is good at. He digs up players also Paul Heffernan has

:38:10.:38:16.

come up from down south. He does well to go searching through the

:38:16.:38:23.

Law League's. You can find players restricted to the end of her

:38:23.:38:27.

neighbourly, physical game who can come up here, and the football has

:38:27.:38:32.

better up your, technically, deems to try to play. We have seen a lot

:38:32.:38:39.

of that this year. And he will not see many better technical skills

:38:39.:38:49.
:38:49.:38:51.

than from Raki there. Aberdeen against Dundee United at Tannadice

:38:51.:38:55.

pulled and a crowd of 14,500. pulled and a crowd of 14,500.

:38:56.:39:00.

Jonathan Sutherland lost it. The cross from Johnnie Russell bounced

:39:00.:39:03.

across the face of the Aberdeen goalkeeper, Jason Brown. It would

:39:03.:39:09.

have been more painful if it had been an own goal. No doubt about it.

:39:09.:39:13.

Dundee United were the better team than the first half. This cross

:39:13.:39:18.

from Paul Dixon might have lacked finesse, but Jason Brown had to

:39:18.:39:24.

make sure it did not just under the crossbar. It looked like it was

:39:24.:39:28.

shaping up to be a happy new year for the Tannadice side. United

:39:28.:39:33.

fielded at the same starting 11 for the 4th match in a row. That

:39:33.:39:37.

continuity look as if it was working for our Dome side. Finally,

:39:37.:39:42.

the breakthrough came from Jon Daly, firing home his 14th goal of the

:39:42.:39:47.

season, giving Dundee United 1-0 League that their overall play had

:39:47.:39:55.

deserve. And then, things started to go wrong for Peter the son's

:39:55.:40:00.

side. Johnny Russell went down in the box under a challenge from

:40:00.:40:03.

Andrew Considine but there was no penalty award from referee Stephen

:40:03.:40:12.

McLean. Russell denied a clear goalscoring opportunity and Andrew

:40:12.:40:16.

Considine lucky to stay on the pitch. United then have a throw-in

:40:16.:40:23.

decision given against them. Again, the assistant referee in the

:40:23.:40:28.

spotlight. Normally getting a throw-in against you is not be end

:40:28.:40:32.

of the world, but then Mahmood Chalali came on as a substitute for

:40:32.:40:37.

Aberdeen and, with his very crossed touch of the ball, the Algerian

:40:37.:40:41.

equalised for the away side. The throw-in decision now a major

:40:41.:40:49.

problem for United boss, Peter Houston. To rub salt in the United

:40:49.:40:56.

wins, jury Russell was then done the defender who had denied a bus

:40:56.:41:00.

will be shot at goal, escaping a penalty and the red card, with a

:41:00.:41:06.

fine block. Harsh words had been voiced at half-time in the away

:41:06.:41:09.

dressing room, and Aberdeen come out much improved in the second

:41:10.:41:19.
:41:20.:41:22.

half. Or were caught 1,000 Aberdeen fans made the trip south. Four

:41:22.:41:28.

minutes from time, they got their reward. This strike from Kari

:41:28.:41:34.

Arnason from 35 yards, crashing in off the underside of the crossbar,

:41:34.:41:39.

an absolute pile-driver, and there were the now, with a 2-1 lead. The

:41:39.:41:45.

scoreline, harsh on Dundee United after all that it happened. All

:41:45.:41:50.

three points headed up back north, to the granite City. Aberdeen now

:41:50.:42:00.
:42:00.:42:02.

10 points clear of bottom club, Peter Houston wasn't happy about

:42:02.:42:08.

that. It should have been a red card as well? I have every sympathy.

:42:08.:42:14.

The ball is out of his reach. He leans into him, so he cannot pull

:42:14.:42:22.

the trigger. I think it is a penalty kick. I can understand

:42:22.:42:32.
:42:32.:42:36.

Peter Houston being angry. Maybe the quick break, the speed, the

:42:36.:42:43.

officials could not keep up with it. It looked like a penalty to meet.

:42:43.:42:47.

He was so angry about the penalty not being given he was getting

:42:47.:42:57.
:42:57.:43:00.

angry about the throw-ins. I would separate these things. The throw-in

:43:00.:43:06.

results in a goal and the linesman should see that. It's came off Ryan

:43:06.:43:16.
:43:16.:43:17.

Jaques. There is still an opportunity to defend this. There

:43:17.:43:26.

is still two touches before that goal. And it was Considine, coming

:43:26.:43:36.
:43:36.:43:43.

on as a substitute. It was a good decision. -- Chalali. This was

:43:43.:43:53.
:43:53.:43:55.

special as well from Arnason. was swerving, it was dipping and

:43:55.:44:00.

difficult for the goalkeeper. You have to credit the player with that.

:44:00.:44:08.

Do it was from 40 yards out, it is incredible. It will be 45 or 50 by

:44:08.:44:12.

the time they stopped telling the story. There were more than 4,000

:44:12.:44:16.

Aberdeen fans, fantastic travelling support. It shows you what is

:44:17.:44:21.

possible for Aberdeen in the way of backing if they get back to a half

:44:21.:44:29.

decent level? This fixture at New Year, always bring a lot of

:44:29.:44:34.

supporters down. It has been disappointing for them over the

:44:34.:44:44.
:44:44.:45:08.

last few seasons, but hopefully Scotland, 2012 is a massive year

:45:08.:45:15.

coming up. I am interesting -- interested about Darren Fletcher

:45:15.:45:24.

who is out of action with Manchester United, how will that go

:45:24.:45:32.

on? He needs for months complete rest. This isn't so long ago, and

:45:32.:45:37.

he was suffering at this time. He is a fantastic example to the rest

:45:37.:45:41.

of his team-mates about fortitude and desire. He wants to play every

:45:41.:45:47.

single match. Probably to the detriment of his health. So for

:45:47.:45:51.

Mons complete rest to allow his body to recover, and then reassess

:45:51.:45:56.

and take things from there. Would you expect to have him for the

:45:57.:46:03.

qualifiers? I am desperately hoping. He is such an important player, not

:46:03.:46:08.

just on the field, but the way he behaves himself, his attitude on

:46:08.:46:13.

the park and off. How he inspires all the players within a team. Him

:46:13.:46:18.

being out is a huge Glass, not just his performances but the influence

:46:19.:46:23.

he has. I'm sure there is another Fletcher you would like to have in

:46:23.:46:29.

your squad, Steven Fletcher. He has been scoring lots of goals in the

:46:29.:46:33.

English Premier League for Wolverhampton Wanderers. This is

:46:33.:46:37.

his only Scotland goal. As soon as he indicates to me he wants to play

:46:37.:46:42.

for Scotland, I will consider him. Can you not ask the question of

:46:42.:46:47.

him? Presumably it will make your life easier if you have a great

:46:47.:46:53.

penalty box goalscorer? The rules are there for everybody. It might

:46:53.:46:58.

be he does not want to play for me, I do not know because I have not

:46:58.:47:02.

had that conversation with him. All the correspondence I have had is

:47:02.:47:06.

that he does not want to play for Scotland. Until he tells me

:47:06.:47:16.

otherwise, things will stay as they are. It is simple. Look at the

:47:16.:47:26.
:47:26.:47:44.

ready for 2013. We do have a tough group. It is different from the

:47:45.:47:51.

last group when we had Spain in the group. Everyone is expecting Spain

:47:51.:47:55.

to win the group. I do believe in this group there is two places

:47:55.:48:02.

available. Very good teams in the group. The teams supposedly below

:48:02.:48:06.

us and a roundabout Thos stronger than we liked, and the top two

:48:06.:48:16.
:48:16.:48:17.

I will be hopeful going into December next year. You have made

:48:17.:48:25.

progress. You have to take another step? The difficulty is working out

:48:25.:48:29.

a pot four. A few seasons ago we were working out a pop two. I

:48:29.:48:35.

firmly believe we have got players who are improving. Results are

:48:35.:48:40.

improving, performances are improving and in September, the

:48:40.:48:42.

players will be another 10 months older.

:48:43.:48:47.

We've more Scottish football action for you this weekend. It's the

:48:48.:48:50.

William Hill Scottish Cup 4th Round. Dundee against Kilmarnock is live

:48:50.:49:00.
:49:00.:49:02.

ties at 10:20. And the best of the ties at 10:20. And the best of the

:49:02.:49:05.

Sunday Cup action at 10:00. You can get SPL highlights online any time

:49:05.:49:08.

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