07/08/2011 Sportscene


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It's been a stuttering start to the SPL season. The first three


weekends have featured six games, then five and now four. Two games


yesterday and two today. Action from all four coming up. And we'll


hear from the manager of the league Motherwell manager Stuart McCall is


with us. Even three weeks into the season, title challengers Celtic


are playing catch-up after their Dublin city break last weekend.


Today they were at Pittodrie to play Aberdeen who had a hell of a


time against Neil Lennon's team This club has never received a


beating like this before. Double The Aberdeen and this is today had


to be on stopping Celtic from doing yet more damage. Rory McArdle


returned to the defence. Celtic had to make a couple of changes to


their back line. 19-year-old Adam now. He is being asked to perform


at a role that is pretty unfamiliar is a good tackle. Izaguirre landed


very awkwardly on that right ankle. His manager is concerned. He is


right up in the tunnel area as Izaguirre is stretchered off. Last


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Lion's share of the possession. goalscorer last season. The going


to come back at his Aberdeen in! -- for Scott Vernon! Celtic is


Commons. This is Stokes. And at Celtic finally make the break


through. Celtic took full advantage. Stokes is deadly from that kind of


range. He may well have fired hands of Celtic last season.


Gonzalez didn't really get the power in he would have liked. Neil


Lennon knows he is not far away from Ace next will -- from a second


He is desperate to get that title back. As you say, it was 75 minutes.


Just the relief. But it was a good goal and as you say he is delighted


and rightly so. Mixed emotions for him this evening having lost a


Player of the Season in the last campaign, Izaguirre. Yes, so in


fortunate. -- unfortunate. An innocuous tackle. He knows he has


it insult. It is just the way he lands. It is a real bad one. It is


sickening for Celtic. They will struggle to get somebody as good as


him. Just a bad blow. That upsets things financially for him. He


would maybe have been looking to buy players in other positions and


suddenly he has to replace him. you say, it is not something you


want. He would probably have been looking at strengthening other


areas. Aberdeen pulling their hair out because they did the hard bit


in many ways and held out for the best part of 75 minutes, and then


Ricky Foster did this. To be fair, Commons did exceptionally well to


make it. He finishes it well. He does complain to the referee a bit.


Commons pickpocketing. It is a lovely goal. Stokes has a great


scoring record. That is a great front partnership. When you had


Hooper and the midfield boys, they are a threat from every angle.


Worrying for Aberdeen fans, not many goals there. One we look back


over Aberdeen's first three games of the season, this is the closest


they came to scoring. Back off the post. They really don't look to


have a great deal of cutting edge at the moment. In fairness to them,


they have three or four key players missing. Maguire, they have lost


the goals and the creation in that Maguire. Vernon is doing his best.


Three games, no goals, it has to be a little concerned.


Who would have thought Dundee United against St Mirren would be a


top of the table tussle? Jonathan Sutherland can talk us through the


happened to St Mirren? 1-0 last weekend against Aberdeen after


their first game draw with Dunfermline. Sadly, this game would


begin in tragic fashion for Scott Severin. The diagnosis was


horrendous. No malice in the incident, but Scott Severin was


stretchered away with a triple leg- break. And Neil Thompson scored his


first goal. Two players there who really epitomised the


transformation of the team in the last season. Dundee United just


didn't turn up in this -- in the first half. Hasselbaink was a


constant danger. This shot was just wide. Next, another moment to the


get for the defender Keith Watson. A fresh shot with the goal gaping.


Overall, St Mirren were in charge in the first half. Paul McGann and


with this shot over the bar. Then again changing moment - an arm


lashed out by Hasselbaink made contact with pursuer Paul Dixon.


The defender went down in a heap. The red card came out for


Hasselbaink, prompting protests. The manager had to run onto the


pitch to help quell disorder. Into the second half, with an extra


advantage, Johnnie Russell did his best. His first effort was saved by


some sun. His strike partner Jon Daly would also come close, but the


equaliser just did not come. Then in the 67th minute, the cutback was


there. And there was Jon Daly on hand to grab the equaliser. United


manager after the game it describes his player's second half


performance as Money doesn't. 19- year-old Scot Alan looks like he


might have a big future after making his debut against Hearts. He


almost conjured up a winner. It was St Mirren were outstanding for the


first half of the game. The turning point was Hasselbaink being sent


off. What did you think at the time? I couldn't see, I thought


Hasselbaink would get a penalty. It is really silly. He is a young boy,


20, he is in the clear. Normally when you find somebody of it is


when you are grappling with you, but he is allowed -- a yard ahead.


Now I have seen it again, I think the referee is spot-on. They will


miss him. Certainly, he created a goal, if he had another two


opportunities. Our defenders will be very pleased he is missing next


week. MacGowan was excellent yesterday. Mixed emotions. Dundee


United threw everything at them in the second half and when they


scored early you expected them to win it. It has been difficult for


Dundee United, because they have lost so many good players,


Goodwillie, Conway, all automatic choices for them. Soak the pressure


is on Johnnie Russell and Scot Alan the 19-year-old making his second


start. Johnnie Russell did well against us last season. And the 19-


year-old, a fantastic bit of skill. Fair play to St Mirren for holding


on. A horrible moment was the injury to Scott Severin. It report


leg-break. He is 32, and you just hope he will come back from this. -


- 8 triple leg-break. Unfortunately for the kid, as you say, to have


your leg break in three places was horrendous. A committed tackle,


they both went in for it. The boy will be out for a long time.


Mirren and Motherwell next weekend, sounds like that will be a good one.


St Mirren really impressed. The Football yesterday was very good.


The sending of changed the game. I am sure the fans of St Mirren


Inverness work goalless and pointless yesterday. The first game


of the SPL comeback. The first -- the last time they met


was four years ago. Richard Hastings equalised with a free kick.


The goalkeeper probably still has nightmares. McAllister was the


winner but the deflection had a fair bit to do with it. It was a


defeat which cent Dunfermline down to the First Division. The manager


their first victory of the new season. That was almost a wonderful


start. How was that kept out?! Dunfermline are coming forward once


otherwise we would have seen the opening goal. That was player three


Galahad. It was a nice height for Dunfermline have a deserved lead,


of the second half for the visitors. Tansey made his own luck there. It


just looked over and into the net. Dunfermline are back in front but


where was the marking of the Caley would have to say so and the next


argument was, was it over the line Caley Thistle although denied one


Caley Thistle are certainly more in the game now than they ever have


been. And incredibly, at Caley Hardy and he knows it. An injury-


time equaliser for Dunfermline. The Sometimes, it must be difficult for


a manager to evaluate. Inverness were appalled but they were 3-2 up


in the last minute. Yes, he has scored last week in the last minute.


It was deeply disappointing but Dunfermline apparently deserved it.


What the manager will be pleased about is that he looks to have


found a good goalscoring midfielder IND Tansey. You had delicate him as


well, didn't she? Yes, we knew all about him. He did ever so well at


stop well last season. He got a lucky deflection but he has


terrific feet and is a good striker. He will be looking to get double


figures from the midfield. He tackles the ball well. He is brave


to? Yes, he was in there and he is a big as it. When Dunfermline got


the free kick in the 90th minute yesterday, I think John Macintyre


thought it was too far out. Martin Hardy thought otherwise and he was


right. Yes, with that opportunity, you would say that nine times out


of 10 you would be happy but it was a postage stamp goal. A tremendous


finish and a deserved point. It was good for Dunfermline yesterday, the


performance, because I thought there was not much about them


yesterday -- before but yesterday it was encouraging. Fans pay to see


goals. And they were good goals as well. It is a building block and


another point. They are unbeaten. It is cringing! A great little


header but there is no doubt he is of sight. But it is school Balkans


-- schoolboy stuff. You just want to get it on the scoresheet. I'm


sure the manager had a few words with him. Three goals yesterday,


they created a lot against Hibs and they had a good few chances at your


place? Yes, defensively the goal last week was a bit sloppy to give


it away. Maybe the keeper could have been slightly better but I


think he has been pleased with the attacking play. And the players


school -- school build score -- score goals midfield but


defensively they need to be better. Seven days is a long time at hearts


and it was Paulo Sergio who was the latest managerial hiring to follow


the latest firing by the axeman, got on. Commentary from Paul


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Mitchell. behind by a Kello. Jennings was


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a yellow card. The referee is quickly out with the card for the


off his line. Randolph was alert. Ian Black has gone over the top.


O'Reilly didn't hesitate. Straight to the back pocket. It doesn't look


so bad from that angle but Ian Black is off. It looked hasty from


him. No chance to win the ball he just went over the top of the


Sergio. A Jamie Murphy, and on the hour, Jamie Murphy gives them the


lead. Great construction in the move. Lovely passing. Not the


greatest of first touch as but his persistence paid off. It is his


first ever goal against Hearts, and Motherwell continued to have the


upper hand. Murphy trying to get outside, sliding in there. The ball


ended by Keith lastly, this could be trouble! That means red. For the


last five minutes of the game, the Top of the league and you can throw


the title away now. It has been a good start, nothing more. We have


got players that can consolidate going forward. A big turning point


in the game was the sending-off of being black. Television can tell a


different story sometimes, what did you think watching it back?


watched it again and I thought they would two committed players going


for the ball. That was slightly behind. Dangerous though, wasn't


it? Yes, I think the referee got it right. That does not help hearts in


their discipline record. Murphy's Gold, obviously modesty forbids you


from saying it you switch the players and sat at up. A good ball,


a good forward run. A good, crisp pass across. Delighted for him and


everyone. I think the second half, it is not always easy. You have to


move the ball quickly. You went to disappointed to find out the


Hasselbaink is suspended. Not so pleased about the two yellows here


though. No, he got there as quick as he could but he was a split-


second late. It is a committed tackle again. Certainly it was


yellow. This one, yes, no doubt it was a foul. Not every fowl is a


yellow card but I think the referee just about got it right. Two wins


and a draw. This was the opening weekend victim -- victory. Is there


a worry that the squad is then? yes, there certainly is. And the


window is closing in a couple of weeks. They are playing well, we


have young boys coming in. Naturally, like every manager, you


want more players and. Hopefully before the window closes we will


get one or two more. But we work with the budget like everybody does.


We have quality on the side, but depth is not as good as we would


like. Let us have a look at the That's it for tonight. We'll have


highlights for you of Scotland's friendly against Denmark on


Wednesday night at 22.45. More SPL action next Sunday night at 22.25.


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