03/11/2013 Sportscene


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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Pat Fenlon Sportscene Constituency wants


High energy autumn weather. Enjoy tomorrow if you can, the driest day


of the working week before further spells of wet and windy weather come


across the UK. We Scottish football is never short on


drama and this Managerless Hibs without James Mc


pak. In come Maybury, Forrester and Hefernan.


Just wide. Managing to escape his marker in the


middle. Given away cheaply by Hibs and given


immediately back. Firing off target in the end.


He worked that opening himself. Elusive play from Hefernan. When he


cut in, you expect him to be working the goalkeeper. Hibs with plenty of


early possession. Stevenson bursting into the box.


Flinging himself at that. Simon Ramsden looks as if he's pulled up


with hamstring trouble. It is an early change, his match is over.


20-year-old Fraser Kerr takes his place.


Stephen McManus, another one at the front and it is his first goal for


the club. Good play from Sutton. This looks


promising. It spins off the glove of Williams. It could so easily have


gone in for goal number two. Suspended James McPake in the stand.


That is a clearance. From Neil son. Blocked by the goalkeeper. He should


have hit that quicker. That must have brushed the post.


Great run from the midfielder. So close to adding to Motherwell's


advantage. Robertson into a threat threatening


position and the shot comes off the heel of Hutchinson. And spins


behind. It might have been heading wide. But


Neilson wasn't going to be taking any chances and helped this on its


way. Taken out by Sean Hutchinson, it's


outside the box but it is still going to be a red card. A big chance


for Hibs as well. Did well to make contact outside.


Vine, off the wall. That's a real anti-climax for Hibs.


Is there to be one last chance? Big moment for the substitute and he


fires wide. Robertson's pass. There's Hefernan,


great stop by Neil sen and Motherwell look like they are


hanging on for all three points. It was a good foul by Hutchinson, he


genuinely went for the ball. We get that, thankfully. But I think


overall with the chances, we deserved to win the game. How did


the players respond to everything that's gone on? Well, I just thought


the first half we were better than that. There seemed to be a lack of,


lacking something, as if there's something eating away at them.


Second time was better. Half-time, getting into them a bit because of


it. Great three points for Motherwell, but how strange will the


preparations have been for Hibs players Pat Fenlon leaving on Friday


afternoon. It will be strange for them, a quick turn around for


Sunday's game. It is strange especially the ones he brought in


for the game. But looking at the team they played, it was the same


team, so they have a job to do and it's not too bad. We will talk more


about the managerial situation later on. But in terms of their form, not


so great and again today, bit slack at the back. When it really mattered


most, they needed a performance for Pat Fenlon, but it is easy to turn


round and say it, but as a player, they care about their manager, we


are going to do it for him. It was difficult for Jimmy Nichol


yesterday, but they go into the game and defending is not there and that


is one of the reasons why Pat Fenlon lost his job, poor defending that


lost Hibs a goal yesterday. Let's look at the goal here. Was Ryan ma


give earn at fault? The front two that shifted out of the area, that


is for starters, they both got attracted to the ball. You are


looking at ma given, he should do better. McManus wants it, attacks


it, poor defending again all round. I think so, clever Motherwell, they


try and move the front man and they take Stevenson gets attracted


towards the man and leaves a gap where they attack. Hutchinson


attacks the -- McManus attacks it brilliantly. Stuart not too upset


about the red card situation. What did you make of that? It was a good


foul. In the end he knew what he was doing. It was towards the end. I


think the young fullback has got to help him. The fullback has got to


come in to take Vine. Once he has gone the wrong side, I don't think


there's anything else he can do. In the end, Hefernan has a good touch.


Once he is there he is in trouble and should be five yards left of


him. Once they gets there he has to take one for the team. It's paid off


for them. They have won the game 1-0, so I think Stuart McCall will


be a happy man to take three points. We will talk about Butcher and the


Hibs managerial situation in depth shortly. How do you see that


situation briefly developing over the next few days? We will see, it


remains to be seen. Looking at it and you would say rod Petrie has got


to get it right. There's been four or five managers going into Hibs and


it's not gone right, and he is under pressure. It is going to cost top


dollar to get Terry Butcher. They must make it the right signings.


Hibs fans have not been happy. But if you get kwp butcher with the job


he's done, you will have to pay top dollar. It is going to cost them a


few bob if Hibs get him. We will revisit this shortly. Celtic started


the weekend six points clear at the top of the table. Thoughts would


soon turn to another Champions League mid-week mission, this time


to Amsterdam. Dundee United were in the east enld of Glasgow looking for


their first victory at Celtic Park in 20 years.


Armstrong scored here last season. That is a lovely ball for Gary


Mackay Steven. Really good play from United. So


many attacking options here. Great one-two between stokes and


Forest. It is a double clearance. Good defending by the youngster.


That's Graham. Forrester forced into action. A couple of times the big


Celtic number one has had to make a save.


Didn't have the power to trouble the goalkeeper. A bit more pace on the


ball perhaps he might have been able to generate more power in that


header. Celtic looking for the opener before


the break. That is for Ambrose. United managing to scoop it clear.


What a run that was from Armstrong, he's in here and it's 1-0 to the


visitors. A superb goal for Dundee United. Stuart Armstrong, finishing


it off, but it was the Celtic rearguard was open, still had a lot


to do, but do it he did. United think this came off van dyke.


They have a corner, do Celtic. It's over again. Anthony Stokes was


the match winner the last time the teams met at the end of August.


Another good ball. Stokes is in. United just managing to keep Celtic


at arm's length in the first half. They are looking for another one


here. Armstrong almost in, but for a terrific challenge from van Dyke. It


was good defending. Celtic continuing to knock on the


Dundee United door. That should have been 2-0. How he's


missed that, I don't know. Terrific instinct reaction from the


goalkeeper. He takes the plaudits. Clock continuing to tick down.


Dundee United haven't won here since 19 92 and that run is going to


continue by the looks for things because Charlie Mulgrew has rescued


a point in stoppage time. Flicking home the cross. Dundee United look


to the heavens, they cannot believe this. I am very happy we dug out a


point. We could have done better at times, particularly in the final


third, but we have preserved an unbeaten run, so I am happy about


that. We have four or five back for the game on Wednesday night. I


thought we were going to see it through. I thought the players were


fantastic for the first minute, the effort they put in and passed the


ball well at times and caused problems. We were gutted at losing a


goal late on, but it shows how far they have come that sappoint


disappointed. Good point for Dundee United. One of those points,


probably feels like a defeat for the Dundee United players, the way they


lost at the end there. How good were United yesterday? Excellent. Just


the way they set up the play, four, two, three, one and two sitting


midfielders, Rankin and Gomez, this is a kick out, but it is the type of


movement they showed all day, to get forward at will. It was a good first


half, Celtic played their part, had a few chances but United were always


dangerous in their movement. It was right throughout the game, great


ball there, gets Mackay Steven, they were excellent from turning defence


into attack. And they caused Celtic problems. You can see the movement


here again. That is Rankin, he goes forward. The de defenders defenders


are poor. Take nothing away from them, it is an excellent finish,


great movement. A neat finish in the end from Armstrong. You have seen


Dundee United this season, they have this huge attacking potential. This


was a glaering miss from Graham. It was a fantastic ball N he is caught


in two minds. Looks like he is going to go for the heading volley but for


me it is the two defensive midfielders, they do so much work,


cover so much ground, allows the front four to go and play. They get


the fullbacks high and wide as well. Two really good attacking fullbacks.


Robertson has been a star this year. They are a great counterattacking


team. Playing at Parkhead when they can play on the counter probably


suited them. So close to getting that first victory in 20 years.


Celtic created chances but once again passed up plenty of chances.


First half, they were excellent as well. It was a real end to end game.


Stokes had a few chances. You see stokes cut nothing here. The second


half, one shot, they had an unbelievable save from, usually


Celtic, that is the save there, what a save it is, but usually they are


throwing the kitchen sink at you, the goalie is picking off save after


save. I have seen it years, year after year, at Celtic Park if you


are 1-0 up, you are holding on by the skin of your teeth. United will


be disappointed to lose that goal. They want to stay in this unbeaten


run. It sounds bad to say, but they have some massive games coming up. I


think it is very, very difficult to play these high intensity games all


the time. People might say why can't they, but it takes so much out of


them mentally and physically. There, to come away with a 1-1 draw, Neil


was delighted. You could tell he was delighted. Mulgrew has gone in


there, wasn't a great ball n but he's gone and attacked it. I think


Dundee United will be very disaprointed but it was a good point


for Celtic. Ajax on Wednesday night for Celtic. Still to come on


Sportscene tonight: Rain of biblical proportions in


Paisley as St Mirren took on Ross County.


With Celtic stalling slightly the chance for the trailing pack to


perhaps make up some ground. Inverness had such an exhilerating


start to the season had faltered slightly losing their last two


league matches. Terry butcher keen to ensure it was just a blip.


Kilmarnock won their last two league matches putting to an end a horrible


start to the season. Kilmarnock looking to win three


straight league games. One change, Mackenzie replaces Barry Nicholson.


Straight to the goalkeeper. Jackson has a good strike on him. Watkins


gets involved. Watkins with a chip ball for Mackay. Deflection! Kaly


thrustle take the lead after six minutes. -- Cali Thistle take the


lead after six minutes. That looks like an own goal.


Goalkeeper sent the wrong way. Draper made a great run. Didn't have


a great finish though. Just too high.


He's on his favourite left side and opened up for them and he curls it


in. He is aplague out of position as a


right back, normally a left fullback. Looked like he was out of


position here. Wonderful finish from Graham, his first goal in over a


year. Darren Barr, that is his first


Kilmarnock goal and it is a great finish, too. Kilmarnock find


themselves back in the game, with 15 minutes to play.


Danny Williams is up. It's knocked behind.


A job well done I think. Kilmarnock are sticky oi poenents. They passed


it well. They look like a threat, pushing four men up at the end. We


needed the third goal to kill them off. They put us under a lot of


pressure, they had their wind on the side as well, it was difficult


conditions. The way they played in the second half, if you keep playing


like that and putting teams under that much pressure, you get your


rewards. Front of the newspapers today, speculation on television and


roo that Hibs are interested. It was on the front page of a national


newspaper this morning. So I was told. That is all it is,


speculation. It is a headline. We will see what happens. But, no, as


far as I am concerned, that is all it is, speculation. Terry Butcher


batting it. Huge speculation, he could be the next Hibs manager. How


big a loss would Terry Butcher be to Inverness. A huge loss. You can


understand why his name has been linked. He has done a fantastic job


in the last couple of seasons. He is a character. He's one of these guys


that seems to get the best out of his players. It would be a big loss


for Inverness, especially up there. Again it is only speculation, there


will be a few more managers names popping up in the next week or so. I


don't think it will be Terry. I think he will be one of the


frontrunners. He turned down Barnsley, he seems to enjoy life up


in Inverness, you could look at the Hibs job as a bit of a poisoned


chalice? Well the way it's gone you would have to say that, a right good


job as well, if you are looking at Hibs and the size of club and what


might be there if you get it right. But it's certainly enticing, a hard


decision for him, a great team spirit up there, he's done well. He


will leave a really good group of players for somebody to take over.


Hibs need a -- they demand a certain style of play. The fans want that


and they want a win. It is a tough job to go in there. Does Terry Butch


irfit into that? I think managers can adapt and hi gets results. I


think he can get players. To go in there and sort out the dressing


room, if there are problems, there are a few stories leaking out. Let's


look at the goals, it was an important victory for Inverness,


because they lost their last two league games. What did you make of


the goals? Good play from Mackay. They have been unlucky in the last


couple of weeks, but get a bit of luck there. There is the strike,


going wide but sometimes you get your luck. It was good play. In this


goal, the young lad Johnson switches off a bit. I played right back a


couple of times but got hooked after 60 minutes I was that bad. It was a


great finish. It was maybe naive for Johnson great going forward. It


shows you the benefits of that, because people having a go,


Stevenson playing right back, you have Graham playing right back,


comes in and it is the only way he scores, because it suits his left


foot shot. You have seen in the last couple of years, left siders playing


on the right side, and I think I always used to have a problem


playing against left ciders out there, it is difficult to play


against. You had a lot of problems! . You don't win anything with kids,


apart from Edinburgh derbies. Hearts youngsters may have been written off


as relegation certainties but they are staring victory over Hibs meant


they should have gone into a home match brimming with confidence. The


Perth side also had a spring in their steps.


There was hope within Tynecastle that Wednesday night's cup win over


Hibs would give the league campaign a boost it requires. When Walker


came close with this effort early on, confidence within the home fans


began to grow. Lockside hadn't won at home in the league since August.


Saints boss was hoping his side would grab three points on the road


for the first time this season. It was Hearts who continued to push


forward. Stevenson knocking the ball down for Jason Holt, his effort just


over. The striking partnership of Stevie May has Hasselbaink was


beginning to click into gear. However on this occasion, McDonnell


pulled off a point blank save to deny saits the lead. Mistakes by


Hearts defence are part of the reason for the club's poor run of


form and once again questions will be asked. Hasselbaink played in


Chris Miller, his cut back with aid of a deflection bouncing high for


Hasselbaink to nod home. Hasselbaink allowed time and space to drift in


between the central defenders. Magee scored a winner against Aberdeen


earlier this season for Hearts and came within inches of an equaliser


here. It was Walker with space down the right hand side, his cross not


box, Magee stretching his leg out, couldn't get enough on the ball to


force it into the net. Hasselbaink is not well-known for scoring with


his head, but feels he should have found the net for a second time this


afternoon when he was in between Magee and McGowan and heading over


the cross bar. Saints started the second half in whirlwind fashion and


scored a second in controversial circumstances. McDonnell clearly in


an offside position when he received the pass. There was nothing he could


do about Stevie May's sublime finish.


A poor call by the standside assistant. But nevertheless, a


magnificent finish from Saints top scorer. May finding the net for the


ninth time this season. Saints almost made it three. Mackay's cross


Hasselbaink with a chance and on this occasion over the top of


McDonald's goal. One last chance for the home side, Carrick lewding the


Saints defenders before firing a shot over the cross bar. There was


to be Saints day. Wednesday night was a huge game and maybe


psychologically it's taken a lot out of players, but at the same time St


Johnstone played the other night as well, so I am not going to use that


as an excuse. We never started the second half well enough. It's been a


tough week but a great week, three wins and three clean sheets, and


really pleased with the effort and performance today because we showed


a lot of quality at times. You enjoyed watching that. A great win


for your side. How good is this partnership, this develops


partnership between May and Hasselbaink. It is good at the


moment. The partnership between Stevie and him is really good. If I


had to put these two upfront, obviously scored last Sunday and


scored again a couple of goals each. Good play by Nigel here, managed to


shift the ball quickly and continue his run. He wanted the ball there.


Great for your team, but McGowan should be throwing himself at that.


Nigel wanted to win it again. Target man in the box. It was good. It was


a decent game first half, pretty even. We got a little bit of luck


here, a touch offside, but again, a lot of momentum in the second half,


started the second half really well. That was a great finish. He can do


no wrong at the moment. The Scotland squad is announced tomorrow. Is


there a chance May could be in it? Probably too soon. It would be great


if he is, I would be over the moon if he is, but he's developing, we


have been so pleased with him this season. Stephen MacLean, he is up


playing with somebody with so much experience and he helps him. Some of


the things he learns during the game, we can't teach him. It is only


when you playing with somebody upfront, he is getting better and


better. He wanted to stay at St Johnstone, which is a massive thing.


He wanted to stay. He wants to improve and play every week. If he


carries on doing what he is doing, he's got a great chance. I see more


Scotland caps in the future. Are you teaching those celebrations as well?


You are on a great run at the moment. Great win against Motherwell


last weekend. Stevie May and Hasselbaink very much at the fore.


How high can they finish this season, could you finish second?


Make sure we are safe, that is the biggest thing, make sure we are


safe. We are bringing through more youngsters as well. It is tough. But


here again, mortgageon played extremely well, a tough game for us


and a bit of luck at the end of the game. As far as the seedson is


going, a blip after the European games, we have managed to get


ourselves back on track and hopefully that can continue. Wru do


you see St Johnstone finishing? If they get some work like that with


their goalkeeper, they should be finishing seshgd. They will be up


there, good team spirit, good momentum. You would expect them


fourth. That is your target. The Scottish rain is something we are


used to. It can lead to faster pitches and more exciting football,


it can also ruin everything. St Mirren and Ross County would be


doused by the elements in Paisley. So, too was our match commentator


John Barns. Ed Neat turn by McGowan and off the


cross bar. Tenacious play by the St Mirren


player. A good turn and a good effort.


Paul McGowan, scores for St Mirren. After 25 minutes. A fine finish. As


others lost their footing, he managed to remain composed and in


the end it was a Nieto poke into the corner. -- neat toe poke not corner.


That's number two. Another delicate finish there by the big striker. A


lovely through pass there from John McGinn and Thomson didn't hang about


before dispatching it beyond Mark Brown. Conditions are getting worse.


The rain continues to fall. That pass held up in a piddle and that's


allowed St Mirren to go on the attack. The effort carried away by


Brown. The underfoot conditions setting up that opportunity for St


Mirren. The referee has called a halt to the


game and he is encouraging the players to make their way towards


the tunnel. That was that. The match was indeed abandoned. Now it's not


very often we would show you footage from an abandoned match but we


wanted to give you an idea of what the conditions were like in this


match. It sparked massive debate. The referee spent half an hour


trying to decide whether or not the match could continue. Eventually he


decided it couldn't continue, and afterwards he spoke to us. When we


came out for the second half, the pitch had become worse than what it


was before half-time. Players having to check their tackles, watch their


run, the ball was thickened and the pitch had become unplayable and


dangerous. The referee has prime responsibility for the players ae


safety. I gave the ground staff at least two attempts to try and work


hard on the pitch. They did work very hard, I am grateful to them for


that. My prime responsibility is for the safety of the players and we


deemed it wasn't safe enough to continue the match. There is no


doubt in my mind we would have given ourselves a very good opportunity to


go on and pick up all three valuable points today and the way the games


are going, it looks as if ewe could have jumped a couple places on the


back of that. Two games back-to-back abandoned. Yes, it is frustrating,


but today it is obviously different, because we are obviously behind in


the game. We had an opportunity to maybe score just after half-time.


But all in all, it is difficult to accept but we have to accept that,


because it is the correct decision. So, what is it the right decision by


the referee? I think so, when you look at the pictures in the first


half and second half, there was a big difference. In the end the


safety for the players, the conditions there, it's farcical.


Players are risking getting injured and that is what you want to ajoyed.


You are disappointed, you have been making every effort to say the pitch


is great and get it along and don't worry about the puddles. It is


always tough for the referee. He can't win, whatever decision he


makes, people are going to have a go at him. But looking at that, he said


the safety is paramount and for the younger viewers, a few years back,


same conditions, momentum took McCoist, smashed his jaw, he was out


for months, safety was the most important thing there and the


referee called it right. In Dutch football they start off when they


replay the match from the point they finished, so they would play 38


minutes of this match with St Mirren leading 2-0. Good idea? No. Why not?


What rules do you make, you keep it the same 22 that were on the pitch,


when will you get that, somebody may get injured. It is a hard one. The


referee called it right. You have to start the game again. Looking at the


goals, Tom will be devastated, because the water helped his touch.


It was an unbelievable first touch for the goal. It is one of those


things. But they will need to start the game again. Nothing lost,


nothing gained for St Mirren but what about the rest of the sides.


Let's look at the table. Still one match to be played this


weekend, Aberdeen with a chance to regain second place in the table if


they can manage a win at home to par tick thistle. You were at this match


and if Aberdeen get a similar result tomorrow, they will be delighted.


They played well this game, even though sometimes they might lose


goals thistle, they usually play a lot of football. Aberdeen to their


credit, they were a different class that day. Thistle tomorrow, it is a


tricky one for Aberdeen. They have the momentum, they are still in the


cup. Thistle are doing well. Two good performances one against Celtic


and they beat Inverness. How do you see it going tomorrow? It will be


tough for thistle. They have had an excellent start to the season.


Aberdeen have a lot of their big players back. It will be a tricky


one for Thistle. Will Aberdeen finish second? I wouldn't want to


put pressure on Derek, but they have a good squad. He's building a squad


that is getting stronger and strong stronger. Is that how you feel,


second place for Aberdeen, that was your tip at the start? I have said


all season, good mix of youth and experience, they have that momentum.


Certainly have confidence. They will be should be finishing second with


the squad they have. We will have highlights of tomorrow's match on


the BBC sport website from midnight tomorrow night. All the other


matches are already there. Let's look at tomorrow's back pages to see


what the guys in frint are saying. Ajax manager, having a tough time of


it in the Dutch league, they play Celtic on Wednesday night. Let's


talk about that Champions League match. Celtic obviously hoping for


victory in Amsterdam. Do you think he can get it? I think they K the


problem is that Ajax are struggling in the league. Might be a relief,


they are quite a young team, it might not work in Celtic's favour.


But they have a great chance. Probably the key game in the league


for them. If they can get a result over there, there is still a good


chance. Do you see Celtic managing to get three points on Wednesday


night? They might have Commons back and this Ajax defence doesn't look


the strongest. Big bonus for them, those players back, but away


performances have been excellent in this campaign so far. And in the


last couple of seasons. Certainly they can win it, but they would be


delighted with a point, because to get to that AC Milan game at home, I


think Celtic will win that and hopefully results elsewhere will


enable them to go through. They have been excellent so far in the


campaign. They deserve that bit of luck. I think they could take


something out of the Ajax game on Wednesday. We shall see. That is all


we have time for this week. Thanks to Callum and Billy. Hope you


managed to avoid the downpower this weekend. -- down pour this weekend,


at least it wasn't snoechlt good night.


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