06/04/2014 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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The championship's is Celtic's for the third successive season. What a


terrific shot that is. A great goal. What the chance. Terry Butcher


cannot believe it. Good evening and welcome to Sportscene with me


Jonathan Sutherland. Tonight, we give thanks to the play-off spot,


which is making the bottom half of the Premiership an exciting an


uncertain place. And it looks like going down to the wire. Plus it


gives our pundits, Michael Stewart and Billy Dodds, plenty to talk


about. Not that they normally need much help on that front. This had


the makings of a decisive weekend in the Premiership story. Could Hearts


stave off relegation once again? For that to happen, second bottom St


Mirren needed to lose to Motherwell while Hearts had to beat Partick


Thistle at Firhill. Paterson heads it down. Caddick


cannot get there. It could be a chance for Kris Doolan. A fine


finish. Kris Doolan, that to back calls for him. Scorers after five


minutes. It is a cracking finish. The pace of Kris Doolan did what was


needed. The great ball through from Higginbotham. Hearts again and the


two centre half is struggling. Nice corner. Robinson. A good save from


Paul Gallacher. What a terrific header. That is a great save for the


goalkeeper. Stevenson, Caddick, King has made a run. Billy King. Trying


to move away and it is wide. Mellon was tracking him back. Good


acceleration from Billy King but dragged it wide. That is it back


again. Billy King turns. Beaten away by Paul Gallacher and knocked away


by Taylor-Sinclair. Pushing for an equaliser here. A long throw into


the ball. Head tennis going on. Caddick got it down, what's he


bumped? The referee says no. One minute until half-time. Jamie Hamill


sends it forward. It could be a chance for Billy King. Up against


the ruling. There is the equaliser! It has come from Dale Carrick. Billy


King setting him up. It is 1-1. Hearts would need to get the win to


survive and they needed St Mirren to lose to Motherwell.


Kenny McLean's corner. A big chance. Saved by the Nielsen. It was a good


one. No-one could do anything on the rebound. Early pressure from the


home team and what an opportunity this was for McGregor to score.


Lansley under pressure. The long ball from McManus. And Mirren caught


out, no offside flag. It is 1-0. A switch off at the back from St


Mirren and they are badly caught out here. The goalkeeper came charging


of of his line which made up the mind of Lionel Ainsworth. He just


knocked the ball into the middle and Anier scored again. In those


Goodwin. It is pinball. No Anier. Steven Hammell. John Sutton scorers


and it is the 2-0 lead. Inside 27 minutes in Paisley. Not the start St


Mirren were looking for. Motherwell are two goals up. It is John


Sutton's 20th goal of the season and few have been easier. In from


McLean. Kept alive by McGregor. Steven Thompson has seems back in


the Game three minutes before half-time. -- St Mirren back in the


game. It is relief among the warm support that they can indeed get


something from this game. You could see the effort that Gary Locke wants


from his team. Stevenson hits off of Caddick, onto Billy King. A great


goal from Billy King. Hearts are ahead. They need to win today. Paul


Gallacher with no chance. Concern for Alan Archibald. It came with the


corner. Stevenson's header. Hearts are ahead. He had not scored since


November. A great glancing header. Hearts are leading here by 3-1. In


it goes. Stevenson! Hearts are four - one ahead. It is a double for


Stevenson. Robinson across, a great little spin and turn and he popped


it in the corner. The substitutes are combining. Jordan McMillan.


Running forward and he has got the chance. That is his first Artic


Thistle goal. He does not really stop to celebrate. With two minutes


to play Jordan McMillan pulls one goal back for Partick Thistle. A


lovely move. The substitutes involved. Hearts will still take all


three points you would suspect. They have been impressive having gone one


goal down. Back it came onto Steven Lawless. The substitute came in,


so, too, James Craigen. Plenty of venom in that short. A good save


from the keeper. Hearts would have gone to relegation. The referee


picked up an injury. He was replaced by the fourth official. McLean did


well to get that in. Thompson with a diving header. They played so well


to get the cross in. Goodwin. Josh Magennis. Jason Naismith. Working


the 1-2 with Goodwin. Gets himself in and around. Skill from the


goalkeeper. Thompson could not quite get to that rebound. McLean


delivers. Thompson gets turned and the shot on goal is kept away by the


goalkeeper. Trying to angle that towards the far corner. It is left


for Lionel aims worth. A good strike and tipped over the top by the


goalkeeper. It might just be game over here. They are giving it


everything, St Mirren, to try to get something. There is Thompson with


the knocked down. It came off of Stephen McManus and the referee says


handball and penalty. He looks to have got that badly wrong. It has


come off of the face of McManus. Kenny McLean to square the game


which he does. Four minutes from time it is two goals each and the


coolest man on the pitch was Kenny McLean.


The Stephen Thomson has scored! From behind, Saint Mirren are now 3-2 in


front. What an incredible much, and this could be a hugely significant


result. And that is how it finished, a dramatic win for Saint Mirren, and


despite Hearts' victory at Partick diesel, the Tyneside side were


relegated on an afternoon of high emotion.


After the sloppy goal in the first 50 minutes, probably our best


performance of the season. I thought we caused Partick all sorts of


problems. For 20 minutes we dominated and were creating chance


after chance. Something tripped a switch and they stopped doing so


well and Hearts got into the game. I have tried to remain as positive as


I can be. We have had knocks but I am positive we will get this deal


done and Hearts of Midlothian will be back at the top of the table. We


will have to pick up towards the end of the season by shoving our


character. There are only a few points separating five teams and I


concede is going all the way to the wire. It hit him full in the face.


The linesman was looking and did not give it. The referee gave it from 30


yards away on the other side. It was an importing -- appalling decision.


We need to start with that pivotal handball decision from the referee


on Stephen McManus in the Saint Mirren -Motherwell match. The


referee's position does not help. I can understand why he thought it was


a penalty. He is miles away at the wrong angle. It hits his face. It is


never a penalty. Anyone watching this, rewinding and having a look,


every bit of the footage that week showed, the referee is standing to


the left side of the penalty area. He is miles away. Exactly the same.


There is one clip where you notice he points to his ear as if to say he


has been told, but his position was not right at all. Stephen Thomson,


friend of Sportscene, at the double. Is this the end of the season --


highlight of the season so far for Saint Mirren?


It was a massive result for Saint Mirren. Very similar, almost to the


last season, where they were getting chased down and started to panic a


bit. They have managed to get the result there. It was inevitable


Hearts would get relegated but they are looking further ahead and trying


to drag the other teams into the play-off spot. I was at Saint Mirren


yesterday and it was a deafening roar when the goal went in at the


end. So many people had pencilled in Saint Mirren for the second bottom


slot. Yes, we have said that, we could not see how they were going to


get out of it that they were capable of a win. -- but they were capable


of a win. Hearts are of course now relegated. This was the first time


they had scored four goals in one game this season, ironically.


How would you sum up the manager's season? It has been disappointing on


so many fronts. The pressure has been taken of the young players'


shoulders. PC Billy King 's -- you see Billy King setting one up and


scoring another one. I was at the game in the week against Aberdeen


and credit to Gary Locke, he made a tactical change at half-time and it


made a big difference, but over the course of the season, too many


repetitive mistakes. It has been difficult all mine for


everyone at the club. I would have to say until you get a shot and a


fair chance as a manager by getting your own players and better tools to


work with, no disrespect to the young boys, I think you should be


judged on that and I know first hand he is a top coat and a modern coach.


He is passionate and until he gets a fair crack at it... -- he is a top


coach. The administrators meet to discuss Hearts in Lithuania


tomorrow. How worried should Hearts fans bitter night? It is just the


same situation as it has been all season. There is a lot of


brinkmanship going on at the moment. They are trying to force the hand of


the day the radiance to hurry up and get the deal done. Worrying times


but if things will happen... You can hear Gary Locke being positive about


it and when that happens, the people who care about the club in Scotland


can build the future for it. Tomorrow is a pivotal day.


Absolutely, the fans have been tortured enough. They would like a


good result out of this tomorrow. I think it will be good news. I hope I


do not get egg on my face but for the sake of Scottish football, we


need the big clubs safe and secure. Of all the sides in the play-off


mix, Kilmarnock looked the healthiest going into this weekend.


Last Saturday they'd beaten Motherwell with a late goal from


Craig Slater. The midfielder was in the starting line-up again. And of


course they had Kris Boyd up front. 19 goals and counting for the


season. St Johnstone the visitors at Rugby Park, already sure of their


top-six place. They went with almost the same side that drew 1-1 with


Partick Thistle last weekend. Just the one change - David Wotherspoon


starting in place of Michael O'Halloran.


Kris Boyd got the shaft and Alan Manus got the Parry. 18-year-old


Muirhead with just his second Killie. St Johnstone are made of


stern stuff but they are not immune to mistakes. James done with the


errant header, Eremenko with a typically audacious effort. Not far


away from 2-0, what a difference that might have made because just


after the half hour mark, St Johnstone equalised.


Frazer Wright got a bullet header at the near post. And just before


half-time, it was 2-1. Frazer Wright's central defensive partner


Anderson with a goal off a superbly executed backheel. St John's and


deservedly in front. Tommy Wright's side rarely phone in their


performances. In the second half, Frazer Wright's looping header


almost found a way in at the back post with Stevie me lurking. --


Stevie me. And after their decent start, Killie went backwards in


this. David Wotherspoon would get his chance to try from 20 yards.


Just wide of the post. Frazer Wright's crunching but fair tackle


was the catalyst as St Johnstone mounted yet another attack. David


Wotherspoon once again with the opportunity. In the end, this was


the perfect way for St Johnstone to limber up for their Scottish Cup


semifinal. Wotherspoon assessment ball into the box almost found


McLean. But St Johnstone deserving of all three points.


We started brightly but then to lose a goal from a corner, really


disappointing. Then they scored another goal from a corner. Two


quality balls in and two great runs and Frazer really showed


determination. Pleased for them two and pleased for the lads as well


because that shows how far we can get up the top six.


A fantastic away win from St Johnstone, both goals from corners.


Neither of you is enamoured by the Kilmarnock and in? -- defending?


It is a bit confusing. Kris Boyd was standing on the six yard box. I do


not know what his role was. You heard Allan Johnston they're saying


they did not look a threat from set pieces yet they have conceded two


themselves as well. Set pieces are a big thing these days and their own


looked confusing. I have seen Marvin Andrews do that Kris Boyd role for


Rangers. He used to... If he comes in that area and you are in the


middle of the six yard box, you go and attack it. That does not say


much for Killie have Kris Boyd as your main header off the ball. One


thing I think we should point out is, if this was Neymar scoring the


goal as Steven Anderson does... It is a backheel. If it had gone


YouTube it would have gone viral by now. It was not an easy chance to


take but if there was someone on the front post there, they would have


easily not wrapped away. Could Dundee United still crash the


party for second place in the Premiership?


They faced a tall order taking anything against the champions,


Celtic. At Tannadice for us was Liam Macleod.


The Tangerines are looking to improve on a miserable record


against their visitors. Samaras' first start since the beginning of


the February. Kris Commons will take this free kick for Celtic.


Samaras! That is brilliant. Back in the team and back in the goals. Is


the Greece International... His first strike for the club since the


consolation goal in Barcelona and it was expertly taken. Just two wins in


57 for Dundee United against Celtic, a dreadful record. Not bad.


On his wrong foot, which did not help the cause. Four goals this


season, cunning. No Griffiths in the starting line-up, Neil Lennon saying


before the game that he is resting a slight knock. Magnificent from


Celtic. The build-up play, the finish as well. A little 1-2 between


Commons and Stokes in the age of the box. A fantastic goal for Celtic.


They are two to the good after the first quarter. John Rankin. So


crucial that Dundee United scored the next goal in the game.


He is over but he certainly has plenty behind the right foot shot


there. Frustrated with himself. United were denied the famous


victory at Celtic Park early in the season. Dow is offside. It is not


going to count. No doubt be half-time introduction of Gary Mckay


Stephen has made a difference to the hosts.


There is the former Celtic Blake in the stands. He looks after a Dundee


United Tracker. -- striker. It is wide from Watson. Might have


done better, Keith Watson here, teed up nicely. Just tried to guide it


into the far post. Samaras got things started for Celtic very early


on, with the fifth minute opener. An awkward one for Dylan and he missed


judged it. Unlucky. Good save. Unlucky. I think he claims he took a


touch. Lee Griffiths has made the headlines all week, trying to make


headlines of a different kind there. A good 1-to that between the centre


half and Stokes. He cannot finish it.


One defeat for Celtic this season in the lead. They are heading for


another victory but Dundee United might yet have something to say.


Mckay Stephen's effort saved well by Forster. Reasonably harmless and it


was originally it I Mckay Stephen. Not decisive. Hoisted away. Then


hoisted back in. Ambrose heads clear. United fans wanted a free


kick for a push there. Forster is called into action once again as it


is busted towards goal by Armstrong. I thought our second-half play was


very good. I thought we got nervous, a bit at times. The second half we


were better with more energy and had a few chances which was pleasing. I


just thought it was a bit too late will stop Billy, you were impressed


by the interplay upfront? They did what Dundee United have been doing


two teams all season. Interchanging. You see Kris Commons here on the


left. Their move meant was absolutely excellent. Samaras. All


fees and they have been excellent. You see Stokes again, he is the one


who drops, this time Kris Commons comes in. The finishing and the pace


was excellent. They did that all game. They were comfortable. The


Celtic story has moved on today with the SFA, the police and Celtic


themselves investigating footage of Leigh Griffiths apparently singing


offensive songs about the former hearts midfielder Rudi Scutt shall.


Neil Lennon has said in the past that any player involved in this


kind of behaviour would be sacked. -- Rudi Satchel. I do not see the


club sacking him. Neil Lennon has been put in an horrendous edition by


the actions of Leigh Griffiths. I think people deserve a second chance


but I would be making sure he realises this sort of behaviour is


not acceptable. They could even suspend him to the end of the


season. They have won the league, they are not in the cup, they could


do something like that to put a strong message out there but I do


not see them sacking him. This player has put him in an impossible


situation. It is almost impossible but I am sure they can come up with


something. They could put him on the transfer list, I do not think they


will sack him, I think they will try to spin it another way because he is


doing so well but they cannot be seen to be doing things like that.


Neil Lennon is in a difficult situation. It will be difficult to


see how he handles the situation. OK. Always plenty riding on the


Highland derby. Ross County in need of points to escape the play-off


place scramble. Tremarco. He miss controlled and


then followed through. The referee comes over. This is going to be a


yellow card. He led with the leg and did not get it down, that could have


been read. Here is Greg Tanzi. 20 of power on that. Back onto Aaron


Doran. The wonderful goal! The goalkeeper could do nothing about


this. Trying to move away from Raven. He steps inside. A nice


little ball across. It is then! An overhead kick. Caley Thistle players


think his boot is a little high. This man will be credited with the


equaliser. It is driven in. A good blog from Boyd. An opportunity


moving forward. That is the shout for a penalty. It is a strong one,


too. Here they come again. The header. That seemed to get played


into the head. Liam Shinnie is going to get a yellow card. If you have


given a foul inside the box it is a penalty. Inverness Caley Thistle.


Tremarco. Back onto Aaron Doran. Billy McKay is available again. It


breaks again. Billy McKay is the man again for Caley Thistle. It has been


hard-fought. It continues to be hard-fought. Billy McKay trying to


get away from Boyd. It is delightful. For the crossbar. What a


finish that would have been to the game for Billy McKay. What skill. It


keeps as on the shirt tails of Dundee United. I think there were


two sendings-off in the game. Tremarco and Shinnie. There should


also have been a penalty in the game. I feel really hard done to


tonight. Let's have a look at those incidents. Tremarco with the first


one. I think in the modern game when you go like that and the studs are


going I think you are running the risk of a red card. For this one,


there is no contact on that. He is rolling about there but it is not


the booking for me because there was no contact. This one is the bizarre


situation all around. It is clearly inside the box but you can see here,


he kicks the ball. His book is high. The head is down. Anywhere else you


would get a free kick but it is not a booking so it should have been a


penalty. I have never seen a ball being played like that. Because the


referee thinks it is a foul. I am not sure of the distance at the


should have given the penalty but I do not think it was a penalty


because the guy had his head low. I just cannot believe that. I am just


confused about this. John Hughes did not make much of this. I suppose his


side won the game in the end. When you look at this and you see this


year. Meetings with the head bandage. I think that could have


easily been a free kick. Penalty? No chance. There is not enough contact.


I think a little short talk is not a lot of contact but it is enough to


put you off balance. There is no momentum, or contact to pull him


down, he could have stayed on his feet. If that was me and that big


centre half was in there I am going to go down. You were not impressed


by some of the formations use from Ross County. I have not been


impressed. Now he plays a diamond and all night long Inverness had


freedom in wide areas. John Robertson and I were talking about


it. You see it played wide. Look at the room they have. It is the


strange formation to set up against Inverness. If you have not got any


white men supporting the fullbacks it will cause trouble. It is a great


goal, do not get me wrong. He is in a wide area. It was evident all


night long and he did stick it we well. He had the freedom of the


pitch. Now let as look at the premiership table as it stands. St


Mirren cannot be caught so it looks like the championship next season


for hearts. Partick Thistle now in the second bottom spot. Kilmarnock a


point behind Hibernian and Hibernian take on Aberdeen tomorrow night at


Easter Road. Hibernian are in a terrible run of form. One win in


their last 13 matches. Billy, can you see them getting anything from


Aberdeen? You need a result from somewhere. They need inspiration.


They are in by far the poor run of form out of any of the bottom four


or five teams. Looking at current form I do not see them winning, they


will have to play a lot better than what they have been doing. And after


tomorrow night, Michael, there is a break next weekend because of the


Scottish cup but the next league game is against St Mirren and St


Mirren have just got to win. Their confidence will be high. They have


got to find something from somewhere. We have been saying there


are plenty of teams all them but if they do not win games they are in


trouble of getting pulled into that play-off spot. Rangers were


favourites up against Easter Ross. Rangers with a better chance.


Frustrations were taken out on the post. The post was then hit by this


short but it would be 0-0 after 90 minutes. Towards the end the expense


managed to get the chance for Raith Rovers. The Raith Rovers fans went


wild. The winners of the Ramsden's cup. Delhi, you were at this team as


well. Where Raith Rovers deserved winners? -- Willie. Yes, take


nothing away from Raith Rovers, we have to get them all the


compliments. I did not think Rangers fans could be tortured any more this


season. That was one of the worst performances I have seen. The really


proud moment for these players and for Kirkcaldy as a whole as they


went to collect the trophy. A fantastic evening for the players


and the supporters of Raith Rovers made all the more special for


beating a club the size of Rangers. They will be celebrating big time.


How surprised were you, Billy, that Rangers did not win it? I did not


think they would be pushovers. I was surprised however. Great stuff. And


so, a busy weekend of Scottish Cup action next weekend on Sportscene.


We've got highlights of the first semifinal between Rangers and Dundee


United on Saturday night. We have talked about how Rangers were today.


Then the United certainly have much better players and no disrespect to


Raith Rovers. It is not a good game. The gap has been bridged because of


the Rangers fans at Ibrox, the warm venue. It will be a good game but


Rangers have to play a lot better or Dundee United will wipe the floor


with them. Let's talk about that first semifinal first. You think


that the United are favourites going in against Rangers? I think they


probably are. The controversy around the tickets and the stadium, being


at Ibrox, I think when you see a poor performance from Rangers like


that and Dundee United being beaten against Celtic, Dundee United will


go in with the belief that they will get something out of it. They are


playing against Rangers from the third flight and if Rangers play


anything like they did today Dundee United will punish them. St


Johnstone yet to win any major silverware. And then on Sunday we're


live at Ibrox as St Johnstone take on Aberdeen. That will be a tight


one. The momentum behind Aberdeen this season, they have had such a


great year so far. The tips for manager of the year, still not sure


if they will finish second, still potentially fighting of Motherwell.


Does he need to do more to seal the deal in terms of manager of the


year? No, but I think they are favourites for the double. They have


got the monkey off of their backed by getting the cup final win against


Inverness. It will be closer than you think because St Johnstone


played better than what the score line suggested in the 4-0 game. They


would be due one but you have to fancy Aberdeen to go on and get


through to the final once more. Who is in the final for you? I think it


will be an Aberdeen versus Dundee United final. The focus next


weekend, the Scottish Cup. Thank you. The focus this weekend, the


relegation of Hearts after 31 years in the top flight of Scottish


football. From all of us here, goodnight.


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