05/01/2014 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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Greetings, friends. If the frantic football festive season passed you


by it's time to play catch-up. The Sportscene Christmas tree is gone -


Steven Thompson and Pat Bonner helped me chuck it out the back door


a short time ago - and the first Sunday highlights show of the year


is here, and we have five cracking matches for you to help vanquish any


January blues. We start in Paisley where Steven


Thompson's St Mirren team were hoping to stop the Celtic


juggernaut. Neil Lennon's side aiming for three points and to reach


the milestone of 20 league games unbeaten this season. Commentary


comes from Rob Maclean. Despite losing at Kilmarnock, then


none sticking with the same team. Just someone changed to the Celtic


team. Anthony Stokes is on. Scott Brown's pass. Kris Commons. Charlie


Mulgrew. So unfortunate this bounced back into the arms of Marian Kello.


Mulgrew. It is Commons. A wonderful effort. Celtic denied twice. Brown


to Matthews. Good run from Adam Matthews. Mulgrew. This time, the


post is kinder to mould grow. Celtic have believed.


Joe Ledley. Anthony Stokes. Celtic are 2-0 up in Paisley. It is a


devastating start. A quick double. James Forrest, waiting for the run


of Adam Matthews. Good play from Matthews again. James Forrest.


Unconventional goalkeeping from Marian Kello. It was crucial he got


there in time, got there before Kris Commons. Kris Commons's corner,


Mulgrew header. That was great from Scott Brown. Commons. Stokes. Celtic


continue to work Marian Kello. He has been a busy keeper. St Mirren


Park hemmed in. That was a great cross for Celtic's third. His 16th


of the season. That was a lovely delivery will stop right over the


top of Marian Kello. St Mirren are being blown away by Celtic. James


Forrest, Commons. It is explosive, and it is 4-0. Make that 17 for the


season for the outstanding Kris Commons. Celtic have destroyed St


Mirren. There has been nothing Danny Lennon's team have been able to do


about it. Stokes with a free kick. It could so easily have been a hat


trick. He has got to be happy with this. What display from his claim.


He is foiled. The terrific bit of defending there. Is there to be any


crumb of comfort for set Mirren? Filed by Efe Ambrose. -- fouled by


Efe Ambrose. And it was a yellow card.


Second half, Celtic certainly stepped it up. They were really at


us and caused those all sorts of problems. I thought they were


exceptional from start to finish. It was a magnificent team performance.


I can't ask any more of them. Great display from Celtic. In the


first half, a couple of chances but a bit flat at times. Yes. They were


really compact between the last four. This was the first goal. It


was good to see Charlie back in there. The second chance was a


beautiful bit of play from Commons. I thought it was a great save.


Commons has been sensational. What was the general mood at half-time? I


thought we were organised in the first half. For the first ten


minutes of the second half, the same pattern was there. You cannot afford


to switch off for a second against Celtic. There was a 20 minute spell


where I thought they were sensational. You could say St Mirren


should have defended this much better. They really struggled. This


is the second goal. A vital goal. Danny Grainger past it. Jason


Naismith was on the end of it. It was OK here. Joe Ledley had the


ball. Beautiful little touch. The third goal, the ball comes in. John


McGinn is the wrong side there. He has too much to do. You have to


defend the situation better. Celtic were flying at that stage. You see


Jason Naismith out of position. And another fantastic finish from


Commons. He drives into the box, hungry for a goal. A lot to be


critical of, but John McGinn, a player that has impressed you not


just in this game but throughout the season. You see him breaking up


play. He does an exceptional job. He's a player. He is an emerging


young player. He is really developing and mature ring as a


player. He has got a lot stronger. I feel like he has turned into a man's


in the team. And there is more to his game. A beautiful pass. A


beautiful pass. He drives at people with the ball. He should do this


more often. First tackle, buying. Into the second tackle, bank. This


young man does not give up. He is going in the right direction. What


is his nickname? Meatball. Sorry. Next we're off to Rugby Park,


Kilmarnock versus Aberdeen. Both sides had started off 2014 in


dramatic fashion. In stoppage time, Peter Pawlett


looks like he has scored. It is a big day for 17-year-old


Robbie Muirhead. They have to get their noses in


front. Michael Hector. It is an up and


under. Boyd is putting the pressure on. We get away from Anderson. The


referee blows. Chris Boyd. The referee disagrees.


Good ball from Peter Pawlett. Taking on Jeroen Tesselaar. Wonderful


skill. Peter Pawlett. And still it won't go in. Good play from Barry


Robson against Jeroen Tesselaar. Flood. He is in all kinds of trouble


now. Boyd is away from him, pickpocketing the Irish manner --


and Langfield with the save and preventing Boyd from scoring his


13th of the season. A real man in form is Boyd. Langfield has not been


doing too badly himself. A big switch to Clohessy. He thought


about coming to meet him. Boyd, then it comes to Johnstone. He is another


in good form and good goal-scoring form as well, Chris Johnston. Under


19 Player of the Season from the last campaign. Langfield may have


got a touch to that. Kilmarnock of won three of their last four


matches. That is Anderson. Well, it is a corner, but it could


have been worse from an Aberdeen point of view. Chris Johnston


knocked it back in, Anderson, just over his own bar. Cling and can hit


them from here and that is what he has done! -- Sammy Clingan. He


brings out the best in Langfield. He pats it round his post. Derek


McInnes will want better from his team in the second period but


another free kick chance for Sammy Clingan and another save from


Langfield. Different kind of free kick, that time. Aberdeen's victory


at Tannadice New Year's today really did lay down a serious marker for


their season. As Paula drags it back to him again and Craig Samson is


there. -- Peter Pawlett drags it back to him again. McGinn thinks he


should have scored. A big, big chance, this, for Aberdeen. The best


of their second period. His effort saved, by Craig Samson.


It is Kilmarnock giving it away in the midfield area. McGinn has Peter


Pawlett to his left and that is where it goes. He could have tried


it himself, Niall McGinn. Again, it is Samson who has been called into


action a couple of times against -- and this is McGinn's corner.


Reynolds! Another league goal for Aberdeen and it could be another win


for Aberdeen! Mark Reynolds leopard inside the penalty area, a rare


foray for him into the Kilmarnock box and it reaps rewards. Nicky


Low, the Dons playing out the last few minutes here. It is late,


Clohessy, a red card for the Aberdeen substitute. He was late on


Clohessy. It looked like he tried to pull out of the tackle but Craig


Charleston flashes red at the Aberdeen midfielder. It is hard to


take, the first half we had a couple of great chances, we could have


taken our chances and it would be a different game. We were


disappointing with set plays. We did not cause enough problems. It was


pleasing to get the winning goal, it was deserved. The first half we were


a better team. Let's start with the moment of


controversy, the Kris Boyd disallowed goal. What do you think?


Should it have stood? It is his left hand on Russell's shoulder. If his


hand had been lower you could see he was using it to push himself. I


can't believe you're not striking up for the strikers. He puts his hand


on his shoulder and that is what does him in the end. He pulls back


muscle. There is not an awful lot in it. I can understand why Boyd is


disappointed. I must agree. I watched them last week and he did


not play that well but he got the vital goal. When he's on the team he


is a vital player for Kilmarnock, with Young Chris Johnson coming in


off the side and linking with him. I dobbing we have criticised the


Kilmarnock defending at times this season. It was better to date apart


from one vital moment. They defended well. There is Craig Samson again,


outstanding, not just in taking crosses but he had to Clohessy three


excellent saves. I know you picked him out last week but generally he


defended really well. Nice and compact, putting in headers when it


mattered, this is where they let themselves down. I think it is Kris


Boyd who is marking him. He has a couple of looks in the run-up to the


header and Kris Boyd is doing jumping from a standing start and


Reynolds has run. It is about man-to-man marking. Here, it was


neither. When you have to run on somebody you can always get six


inches harder. I would be disappointed if I was a goalkeeper


and seeing the defenders not doing their job. Nowadays we have two


Clohessy post but most people now take them off. I like to have one on


the post but it depends how they are playing that corner in. One player


on, but if you take them off the post they have to do a job, no point


going out there and standing around watching the game. I don't trust


strikers! A moment of controversy, with Nicky Low sent off in this


match as well. What do we think of this? A sending off for you?


Unfortunately, it is. It is when both feet leave the ground. The


referee is left with no option. He tries to... It is a definite


sending-off. I know he is young, energetic, he has come off the bench


today but as soon as you leave the ground two footed, whether side,


back or front, you are off the pitch. Aberdeen, favourites for


second spot for you? I like the way Derek McInnes has built the team and


Robson coming into the team, they have Flood, an experienced player,


Peter Pawlett has done exceptionally well, a young player coming through


the system. Decent defence. They have a good unit and a good


structure. A few contenders for that position. It has been the season for


bad will for Dundee United, not a win to be had after six straight


wins. There have been three straight defeats. Talk of the bubble bursting


at Tannadice. Good Jackie McNamara steadied the ship? Hips were


visitors. In contrast did, it has been a great season for Hibs. He


helped bring the gift of much-needed Premiership points, a place in the


top six and victory over Hearts. Paul Hoffman and James Collins


started up front. Commentary from Paul Mitchell.


Gray gets into position. Off the line by John Rankin. Paul Hanlon


tried to turn it in. Collins got up well. Good defending by Rankin on


the post. Forward to Sicily. -- Ciftci. His goalkeeper has missed


it, he turns back but the flag is already up! Well, Mackay Stephen


looks up at the referee. The flag stayed down, the goalkeeper shouted


for it, for fresh air and was lucky the flag went up for offside.


The ball has come back to it and he scores! Great passing from Paul


Heffernan and hips have the lead and a sliding celebration of the


captain. Dundee United under no pressure. Wilson was losing side.


This is a clever flick from heaven. A great run by Liam Craig and easily


beat the goalkeeper. Hibs are head with seven minutes to play until


half-time. -- Hibs are ahead. He gets it out wide, against Forster.


Turned away by Ben Williams. Didn't want to hold it. He pushed it clear.


Good overlapping play from Andrew Robertson. The goalkeeper dealt with


that. Hibs pushing again, desperate to get the ball into the box.


Souttar got it away. That is delightful, the finished just wide.


He gives Hibs are different to mention, Paul Heffernan. Watch this


for a piece of skill. Setting himself up, it would have been a


great goal. Souttar into Collins, a penalty! He


put up at least one hand on him on the header, in fact, there was two


there. That is an easy goal. He made his own error here, James Souttar.


This 42-0. -- this is foot 2-macro-0. Mine for the season, Liam


Craig. Cierzniak went one way, he put it the other. Hibs are two


ahead, just over an hour played. The message from Terry Butcher, keep the


ball. Good lay-off by Armstrong. Gary Mackay-Steven away from... That


is a good save. He had to react. Well, you could watch Barrie McKay


Steven Davis all day unless you are Hibs fan. Wonderful skins --


wonderful skill. He thought better of it, with Brian


Graham. Inside onto Goodwillie, taken! Forster, Goodwillie. This is


a really good finish from the on loan striker. Seven minutes to play,


a glimmer of hope for Dundee United. The goal-scorer, David


Goodwillie. His side, trying to get level full stop Dundee United, three


games played, three games lost recently.


Mackay-Steven, went for the glory himself. Hibs will be quite happy to


see that sent wide. So many options, that was the wrong one. United being


urged on. Robertson on the angle, McGivern tries to get the ball away.


Dylan swings it in. David Goodwillie with a chance, a goal for Brian


Graham! The striker's instinct was perfect. As the clocks hit 90 at


Tannadice, Dundee United hit the equaliser. They have come from two


goals down, it is two apiece. Brian Graham is the hero. It was a great


test of character, the lads kept pushing there. We got just rewards


in the end. The players' heads down because they feel we dropped two


points but it is part of our experience and what doing. We were


more than matched Dundee United today and we are proud of how we


played. That start with Liam Craig, he has


had a good season and that is him up to nine goals. What a return for the


central midfield player. Since he gave him the captaincy he has taken


on more responsibility within the team. That is a tremendous finish.


If you have the midfielder making these runs, John Souttar has to do


better, give better depth. It is a good finish from Liam Craig. He is


making forward runs all the time. He could end up a tremendous return.


Absolutely. This goal here, I think the young defender, he did not know


where he was, his movement is in great going backwards. Is it a


penalty? Onesie raises his hands you can see the referee giving it and


Craig sticks it in the net which he has done on a number of occasions. A


good finish. The young defender will be disappointed. Not the first


important penalty Craig has dispatched. Again, he is an


underrated goalkeeper. He puts it in the same area. He is an important


player for Hibs. Making runs forward for a striker is important because


without the ball at times... They are running past you, taking the


centre half away, brilliant for the striker. Graham got the equaliser.


How bigger point was this for Dundee United? Crucial. They have gone


three defeats in a row at home against a revamped Hibs team but


they were 2-0 down and looked as if they would lose. This was crucial to


get in there. We have talked about the way Dundee United played the


young players they have and the way they have to start defending a


little bit better and that today will raise the confidence and get


them back on the road to winning a few games. Showed character to come


back. There is no doubting that Terry Butcher from the impact at


Hibernian. Let's look at it in statistical form. Nine games so


far, one defeat, 1-0 at Celtic Park. Pat, what has Terry Butcher brought


to Hibs for you? When you are in the dressing room and someone walks in


with his presence, the ex-England captain, Rangers captain, manager


going through a great period up in Inverness, what you have to say is a


great combination of the two of them, you are inspired right away


and the way he says -- sends out the team, the structure, he will not


have players playing out of the back and doing that, he will have them


compact and onesie gets own players in not maybe this time around but in


the summer, then you can see a real Hibs team. What can Hibs hope to


achieve under Terry? Now they are into the top six I think it will be


difficult for them to come out of it in the form they are in. I would


predict them to finish in the top six. Plenty more to come from Hibs


and on sports scene as well. Next weekend after all the best of


madness, a semblance of normality returns. Join David Currie at 4:30pm


on Saturday. We are back on Sunday night.


Next to Hearts who started the day 17 points behind their opponents


this afternoon, second bottom Partick Thistle. With relegation to


the Championship looking virtually assured for Hearts now - especially


following the derby day defeat to Hibs - just finding enough players


to field a team has become a real struggle. Ryan Stevenson captained


what remained of the threadbare Hearts squad. If it wasn't for


Hearts, Partick Thistle might be more worried. They'd slumped down


the table after ten games without victory. But they had high hopes for


new striker Lyle Taylor who made his second appearance after arriving on-


loan from Sheffield United. Commentary comes from Rob Maclean.


Kevin McHattie with the corner kick. He could not get that finishing


touch. Good skills from O'Donnell. Steven Lawless. A shot on target for


Partick this. Not one that was likely to find its way past


Macdonald. ( Kallum Higginbotham, and through goes Lyle Taylor. His


first goal for Partick this. -- Partick this. This whole ahead after


14 minutes. -- Thistle ahead after 14 minutes. Ryan Stevenson. Every


match an important match for heart. -- Hearts. Lyle Taylor scores. It is


2-0 five minutes before half-time. In off the post. That was Ryan


Stevenson. Jordan McGhee. Callum Paterson. David Smith whips it


back. Ryan Stevenson could not keep that down. It was good play from


Smith. Scrapping for everything, Ryan Stevenson. Reflected.


Fortunately for Thistle, back off the bar. Fouled by Stuart Bannigan,


and that is a yellow card for him. Kevin McHattie's free kick, a major


disappointment. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Stuart Bannigan.


Well, a second yellow is issued. Stuart Bannigan might well have gone


off with a red card. Jordan McGhee had a chance to get Hearts on the


scoresheet. No joy whatsoever for the home team.


You have to be brave when you play at home. Too many times, there were


not enough options. The second half was better. I thought we deserved


it. I thought we were never so hard. We cannot afford to feel sorry for


ourselves. We have got another game next week. We will have to work hard


on the training ground. The second appearance from them. I


think we will see more goals. Look at his strength and speed. He makes


his own North. Good strength, Thistle have missed the focal


point. Great build-up play. It was the first time since October that


Partick this had scored two goals. Disappointing. He has got a bit of


pace. It was a big task for him to play up front on his own. There


could be a fight between yourselves and Partick Thistle. You have to


bring in a player to make an impact. In terms of the Hearts


defending, there are flaws here. Yes. Ryan Stevenson loses the run.


He just loses a yard. He drops back onto the line. I think everybody has


come to the point of thinking Hearts will get relegated. How much of a


loss would it be? It would be a huge loss. It would be very disappointing


for the fans. It is another derby time, and that the big derby. Fans


have been incredible throughout the whole thing. Supporters have been


immense. It is phenomenal. Do you think Hearts are gone? With every


week, it is getting more difficult. Today, I think Ryan Stevenson was


one of the most experienced players in that team.


With four matches today - and Motherwell versus Inverness


called-off due to a flooded pitch - there was only one Saturday match in


the Scottish Premiership. It was in Dingwall where Ross County were


hoping to keep their momentum going after a morale boosting victory in


the Highland derby over Inverness Caley Thistle. St Johnstone arrived


in search of their own morale boost after a heavy defeat to Motherwell.


Commentary from Liam Mcleod Chuck that all together, what does it


Ross County looking to build. They are making early inroads. We saw


them scoring heavily before losing handsomely to Motherwell. That is


not a bad ball, headed over by Jordan Slew. It was Evangelos


Ikonomou's cross. David Wotherspoon. The delivery from Chris Millar.


Davidson. Chris Millar. Graham Carey is poleaxed. You can see why.


Alan Mannus takes no chances with that. Nigel Hasselbaink. Stevie May


a thriving in the middle now. Ikonomou there. It was Stevie May


who started this move. Nigel Hasselbaink helped.


Nigel Hasselbaink has Chris Millar galloping to his left. Chris Millar


looks a better option. Here he is. Wonderful counter attack from St


Johnstone, though. They were defending a corner. Chris Millar


could not find the target. This game could go either way.


Richard Brittain's free kick is headed past by McLean. Another


chance. That is what the spoon. He would


have liked to have got more purchase on this effort, David Wotherspoon.


Boyd got the final touch on the header. Ahead of Stevie May. Stevie


May almost in again. He has managed 15 this season but it is away at the


other end. Frazer Wright has been robbed. Carey is waiting and that


looks like it could be the winner! Just two minutes left on the clock.


Frazer Wright didn't cover himself in glory at all that. Melvin De


Leeuw, on as a substitute, but it on a plate for Graham Carey and after


six defeats in a row it looks like County will win back-to-back games


for the first time this season. A quick check of the watch and Derek


Adams is almost there. They are looking to wrap this one up


now. This is Tidser. That would have been some debut, the Ross County


substitute. A couple of yards wide in the end. We want to win the game


but so do St Johnstone. You have come off a defeat last week and then


of a win Derby. It is a good start the year for us and six points in


two games. Their goalkeeper had a lot to do of the differences were


not and that is the disappointing thing. We should be coming away with


at least a point and we are not because of a mistake. We will have


to adjust ourselves and move on to next week. There is not a lot we can


do about it. It was a poor game to lose. There


was very little in it between the teams. You expect the defender to go


quicker to the ball, deal with it, get it back to the goalkeeper and


ecstatic with -- instead it is caught in the ball. It is a nice


finish from Graham Carey but you are right, Frazer Wright has to deal


with it one way or the other, just put it out of the bag. You can see


here, he gets caught out a little bit. He expected the defenders to do


better. Here's presuming Fraser will clear it. He has two three yards on


him. It has been a fantastic 2014 for Ross County after victory in the


Highland derby. Last year, 11 matches unbeaten, eight Matt --


eight wins. Can you see anything similar happening this time round?


Why not? They have added four players in the window. The chairman


and the manager recognised the start of the season have not been good


enough. Fair play to the chairman for coming out. Give him credit.


Four new signings, the possibility of another couple. Jordan Slew with


the pass. Impressive. He has brought a bit of belief to this team. He has


a pedigree and he is a big, strong man. They needed to do something and


they brought him in and in that game he had an influence. Ryan McGregor,


for a man who has his heart and soul in the club, given the funds Derek


Adams to bring buyers into Ross County, you have to give credit to


him and the way he has gone about his business. It will be interesting


in terms of the play-off place at the bottom of the table. St


Johnstone slip into the bottom half of the table after being in the top


half for such a long time and in terms of their fixtures coming up,


these three fixtures against bottom six sides will be games they would


hope to win? An easy game, the first one. It is getting really tight at


the bottom. That is the great thing about the competition this year, we


can assume Celtic will win the league, who will be fighting for


second place? Down at the bottom is so tight between three or four, now


St Johnstone are in the mix and there are great games coming up. St


Johnstone will find it tough. The You think St Mirren will be in the


play-off mix at the bottom? Or do you have loftier aspirations? Of


course we do. Our season will be shaped in the games coming up, St


Johnstone Festival but a reasonably disappointing period and we need to


get back to winning ways and we hope to do that on Saturday. You can't


predict games this year. Even teams at the bottom beating teams the top.


The only team walking away with is Celtic but the rest are there and


all capable of beating each other. Who do you think will finish in


second bottom play-off spot? You put me on the spot. I don't really know.


Thistle was favourite for a period, I watched them but now they have


brought in a player which has made a big difference. Guys, thank you very


much. What does it mean in terms of the Scottish Premiership table?


Celtic, 54 points, 13 points clear of Aberdeen, who are second, one


point clear of Motherwell, who have a game in hand. At the bottom,


Partick Thistle are two points behind St Mirren and here we have


it, second bottom, Ross County are now 19 points clear of Hearts.


Ominous for them. That is it, that was the best Sunday highlights show


off the year so far. With a bit of luck we will have six great games


next weekend. From all of us here, thanks for watching. Good night.


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