Highlights of the weekend's matches. Aberdeen v Rangers, Celtic v Kilmarnock, Hearts v Dundee, Hamilton v Ross County, Inverness v St Johnstone and Partick v Motherwell.
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Good evening and welcome to sports in, Celtic wrapped up the title last
weekend but that was never really in doubt. The focus is now on the
subplot. The race for Europe and the relegation battle. With us as
always, Steven Thompson and Michael Stewart. We're one of the most
fiercely contested rivalries in Scottish football. Aberdeen winning
15 of the last 17 games including all ten of their last matches at
home. They are looking to cement second place with victory over
Rangers this lunchtime. COMMENTATOR: Rangers looking for an 11th straight
win in Aberdeen. No reason to change the team. -- Aberdeen looking for
the 11th consecutive win at home. The Portuguese knows Rangers must
win today if they are to threaten second spot. Miller will skipper
them. 12 points is the current gap. That is McLean's fix -- flick. Top
Aberdeen winning 15 of their last 17 games. Immediately Ryan Jack and
Ghana have got heavily involved. Ghana has gone down, claiming he has
been head-butted by the Aberdeen skipper. The referee has something
big to sort out the first minute the game here. Jo Garner certainly hit
the deck. But already a moment of serious controversy in an Aberdeen
Rangers game. He goes to his pocket. Yellow for both.
Good pace from Aberdeen in these early exchanges. Nile McGinn gets
there. Shouts in the Aberdeen fans for a penalty. Danny Wilson with the
challenge. Not many protests from the Aberdeen number ten.
Now, Aberdeen on the counter. It is Johnny Hayes. Wes Foderingham makes
to save at the near post. McLean has been rocked by Waghorn.
It is going to break to Jo Garner, a great first touch and a great save
by Lewis. Proving his worth again but Rangers will feel they should be
in front. Hayes caught him late there. Rangers have been given an
advantage and Waghorn spurns the opportunity. Rangers's second big
opportunity of the game. Wilson. Lewis gets there. He is true by Joe
Garner. He was booked earlier. -- tripped by Joe Garner. There will be
no second yellow. An innocuous looking challenge. As he chases the
ball down. Rooney. He has done well, he has done very well. McGinn one of
them but he took it off the toe of Graham Shinnie. Who was the better
option. He swings it in. Considine, Rangers have got away with one
there. Graham Shinnie things he is smashing that into the net.
Trying to help his team-mate. That is good play by Hayes, away from
Wilson. Didn't have the end product again. Shinnie still has it but he
is on the deck. Hayes will be disappointed he hasn't managed to
provide a better ball here. Try to chip it with the left foot. Graham
Shinnie would have done well to score from that situation. McGinn
testing Miller. McLean on the volley. Wes Foderingham keeps it
out. That was better from Aberdeen. It looked as though the people would
get that at one stage. Well played by O'Connor. He read
that almost last week. Through it comes for Adam Rooney, a big chance
but Foderingham says again for the second time in a couple of minutes.
Brilliantly read by Anthony O'Connor. He saw it a mile off. It
goes to Hayes. Rooney is in there and Fotheringham
denies Aberdeen for the third time in the second half, two of them from
Adam Rooney who must have thought he was breaking the deadlock with this.
O'Connor. That is for Logan. One of the balls of the season and Shay
Logan is in here. A good challenge by Bates. But again, Aberdeen were
in. Logan thought about the shot but decided to try and find Rooney but
Bates did more than enough to put off the Aberdeen top scorer. Waghorn
takes it down, look at Windus galloping to his right. Waghorn in
the box and Windus saw the headlines. A decent rake by Rangers.
Seldom threatened in the final third in the second half. Sloppy from
Aberdeen in the middle. 12 minutes left. Tavernier. It has dropped to
Waghorn, saved by Lewis, Miller, it is 1-0 Rangers. A stunning finish
from Kenny Miller. Rangers might just have kept the battle for second
place alive. But this is classic Kenny Miller. Lewis kept out why
corn. What a strike it is. He still has so much to do. But he has done
it with aplomb and Rangers lead 1-0. It is the age old story, Aberdeen
have failed to take their chances in the second half. It has been even
over the course of the game as far as opportunities are concerned. This
is a tester for Aberdeen. O'Connor gives Miller could be in for another
one, and he slots it home. Two goals in a minute for Kenny Miller. It is
a horror story for Anthony O'Connor. Both he and Taylor. Given away by
oh,, don't do finds Miller and that is as cool as you would like. And
Rangers now lead to - zero. They had barely threatened in the second
half. They have stepped up when they have had the opportunities. They
have taken the two that have come their way in the second period.
Rangers suddenly playing with real freedom. It is 3-0. Absolutely
incredible. This is a major result, make no mistake about that. Second
place could have been done and dusted today but a crazy few minutes
have put hetero Caixinha in dreamland, look at what it means to
him. He is in again. For four. Miller for the hat-trick, off the
line by Considine. -- Pedro Caixinha. Terrible from Taylor and
Rangers so close to capitalising. We have won games with late goals and
there is a confidence and experience about us to get the goal but we
never showed the same confidence from when we lost the goal. It is
unusual. It is a huge disappointment today. We understand that. The
players are disappointed as well and we have lost the fight today but it
is important we win the battle the second and hopefully get in the cup
final. He predicted the Aberdeen team but I am not sure he predicted
the 3-0 scoreline. Given the way that match went, it was a remarkable
scoreline. It was, it was an entertaining game. Both teams fully
committed. Aberdeen started well but Rangers had the best of the first
half. In the second half it was all Aberdeen. You could not see a way
back in for Rangers, you could not see them getting one goal, let alone
three. Wood big games are full of big incidents and there was a big
incident right at the start. Was a yellow card each the right decision?
I think it was. Tight games between teams that are close to each other
there are a lot of potential turning points. Ryan Jack here runs the
risk, he gives Kevin Clancy the chance, he could have been sent off.
Joe Garner's reaction is pathetic. It is a reminder of Charlie Mulgrew
and Kyle Lafferty. That was even worse. He could have been red
carded. I think this, Taylor is a worse. He could have been red
very un--- is very fortunate. Another potential turning point in
the game. In hindsight when you look at the end of the game. Maybe
Aberdeen and have wanted him to get sent off. That is harsh. He was
involved in some poor defending. We will get to that shortly. Should
this have been a penalty for Aberdeen? The fact nobody has spoken
this have been a penalty for about it does not diminish that this
is a penalty for me. Nile McGinn gets to the ball before Wilson. He
is clumsily barged in the back. That is a penalty. I agree. The referee
is in a fantastic position. For me, that was a penalty. It seemed to be
missed by everyone. The macro the Aberdeen reaction as well. McGinn
does react. But not adamant there was a penalty. I would have expected
more. I think that is added to the reason why a lot of the reaction has
been almost muted. In the second half, large swathes of Aberdeen
pressure. Were you surprised there was no breakthrough. They certainly
tried, Wes Foderingham were superb. It was magnificent, they had
opportunities and improved in the second half, Aberdeen. This is a
great reaction save. You got a wee bit excited. When you thought Joe
Lewis had saved it. He looks to pass through, Rooney on to his weaker
side, it has to be said, a more comfortable save. This was an
excellent save. You were critical of Rooney here. It is a great save, he
gets it on target. Aberdeen got their wide players involved more in
the second half. Foderingham has been a top performer. They signed
Matt Gilkes and you thought it would be a challenge but Foderingham
stepped up to the plate and has been a top performer. Did you see Rangers
winning this match 3-0? Know. Especially at that stage of the game
where Aberdeen were on top. Kenny McLean, Graham Shinnie and Ryan
Jack, the three midfielders, he picks the ball up. Look at the
Spacey is running into. He has vacated from the defensive third to
the attacking third and not been challenged. Aberdeen get back in
shape and get back behind the ball. They bust a gut, late in the game
and they switched off. You can see, he leaves him, he confronts him and
it is poor defending. But it is an incredible hate. A
mistake, but in terms of finishing, that is as good as you will see.
They switched off, a slight touch. It goes back into the middle of the
park. Take your touch, you have all the time in the world. Give him the
benefit of the doubt, but then Anthony O'Connor is slack. They call
finish from Kenny Miller. The game is over at that point. They went a
goal down and did not react properly. That was straight from the
kick-off. Ash Taylor has to come further across. He is not blocking
the goal at all, he needs to come across and block. A great finish,
because that is clever from the striker. Play it between the
defenders. The goalkeeper is unsighted. News from Rangers,
Jonathan Johansson will be the new assistant. Kenny Miller was the star
man, does he deserve a new contract? Absolutely, he has been one of their
best players this season. I hope there is no ages, because he looks
fit. He has been one of the best players, he proved how valuable he
is. Dundee had lost five straight players, he proved how valuable he
games going into this weekend's match at Tynecastle. The home side
games going into this weekend's on a run of three straight defeats.
Pressure on both Paul Hartley and Ian Cathro. Something had to give.
Following a run of six defeat in seven, Ian Cathro welcomes back a
player after almost a month out. Dundee's form is even more of a
concern. Daniel Higgins makes his debut in a team that has suffered
defeat in the last five outings. Tom Hateley is promoted from the bench.
Difficult skill to catch that perfectly. It goes well wide of the
target in the end. He finds the back of the net. Hearts
lead after 30 minutes. It is Esmael Goncalves, his fifth goal for the
club. Don Cowie opened it up, Esmael Goncalves deceived the challenge of
Paul McGowan. Despite the efforts of Darren O'Dea, Esmael Goncalves opens
the scoring for Ian Cathro's side. The first goal they have scored for
three games. It almost came all the way to Tom Hateley. Jamie Walker got
in with a touch. Tom Hateley is not getting the decision. Jamie Walker
seems to have got back with a crucial intervention. A bit of space
the Jamie Walker. It is easy enough for Scott Bain to collect. He scored
15 times this season, so often the spark that Hearts need.
Prince Buaben is playing at centre-back. Having to go from back
to front, with a lack of options going forward. Prince Buaben's ball
forward, and Jamie Walker's header, but easy for Dundee to defend.
The pass invited the challenge from Cameron Kerr, he was heavily into
Liam Smith. It is a yellow card. The team -- he seemed to slip as he went
into the challenge. Scott Bain with a fine save to keep
him out. He does make a difference to this Hearts team. Almost adding
the second. Tom Hateley does have a very dangerous delivery. It beat
everyone. He finds the post. I think there might have been a fine touch
He kept it low. Never really one that was ever going to trouble Scott
Bain. Alexander Ostia Liz has one goal as a Hearts player. It was
given away by Andraz Struna. Things are beginning to get a little
nervous around Tynecastle. Kristian Novak gave it away, good pace from
Craig Wighton, but he could not apply the finish. Dundee need to
start picking up points somewhere. It was Liam Smith who attacked the
header. He rose well. Could not directed on target.
It is a good save in the end by Scott Bain. He had to react. Esmael
Goncalves already has one, the second continues to evade Hearts.
We had to defend some long balls, some direct plate. We still managed
to play a bit. But it was about getting it over the line. We have
done that. Hearts scored the goal, but we have the post, and that there
was an outstanding chance. That is the difference. You have to take
your chances. A big victory for Ian Cathro's side,
Dundee in the doldrums. How impressed were you by Hearts? We
have been critical of them, they have been criticised for not having
an identity or a style, but I saw a style. I saw an attacking side.
One of their full-backs dropping it in and then going. Prince Buaben was
playing as a centre-half, the distance between the centre halves,
they were trying to get the midfielders onto the ball. Out the
other side. You can see the other full-back, Liam Smith, stretching
the game again. They are moving through the thirds of the pitch. Don
Cowie makes a fantastic run. He should do better there. You would
expect him to hit the target. This should do better there. You would
was typical of how they played. The goalkeeper to the full-back, into
another midfielder, they look for the switch of play. You can see the
midfielders rotating, Jamie Walker coming in, Don Cowie making a
similar manner. The ball is switched to the high full-back, Jamie Walker
go through the back. I was impressed in the first half. They had a
definite style. One aspect you would not associate with Jamie Walker, but
needed there. Tom Hateley almost gets in. A great defensive clearance
from Jamie Walker. Wanting to get up and press on the opposition. Very
animated. It is high due have to play, especially at home. On the
flip side, I was surprised, quick play, but the lack of closing down
from Dundee will stop but Hearts were resilient. You are a former
Hearts captain, you have been critical of them, how much heart you
take from that victory? I was not very critical, the results have not
been good enough. But there has to be confident is taken from that
result, that it has to be backed up with more fun that one result,
because far too often they have not backed it up. They need to build on
this and get a bit of momentum. It has been lacking in the last few
months. Six defeat in a row for Dundee. Partick Thistle sank to the
bottom of the table on the 20th of December. 2017 had seen a
transformation in form, and they conceal a top six place against
Motherwell. Four changes the Partick from the
side that drew at Celtic. Motherwell drew 0-0 against
Hamilton. Zak Jules and Shea Gordon in the starting XI. Shea Gordon
making his first. Full it will be a corner. Scott McDonald appreciates
the quality of the ball across, did not get the clean header he wanted.
Partick with 15 points from their last seven league games, unbeaten in
that spell. The opening goal for Partick Thistle
comes from Kris Doolan. He cannot stop scoring. Chris Elliott with a
great ball, Chris Erskine with a stop scoring. Chris Elliott with a
turn of pace. He stolen between the centre halves. Great timing from
Kris Doolan, his 13th of the season. The opening goal comes the way of
the home side. He is happy with the way his side have started.
Craig Samson flying across his goal. Needed to get up and over the wall,
it would not come down in time. Off the crossbar. He flung himself
across. Stephen Wallace almost got a second goal. He was persistent. A
good block. Fortunate to see it come off the bar.
Very considered in their build-up. He has been taking his chances in
the last few weeks. Brilliant passing move from Partick Thistle.
Ryan Edwards opened up, Kris Doolan just had to curl it home.
Motherwell looking better in the second half.
That is better from Motherwell. They disappeared in the first half after
the loss of the goal. Two changes at half-time making a difference. They
have had more to shout about in the second half. A brilliant save by
Thomas journey. That looked like a good save from Tomas Cerny. Zach
Jones met it really well will stop Lionel Ainsworth lofted a thin, and
that is a first-class save from Tomas Cerny. They continue to push,
Motherwell. No victories in their last four.
Good, persistent play from Motherwell. Keith Lasley yet to
score this season. Neatly away from Kris Doolan. Did not get himself
set, though. Eventually knocked away by Liam
Lindsay. Both these teams giving their all. Their bodies on the line.
Lindsay. Both these teams giving It was Carl McHugh initially, Jacob
Blyth try to dig it out. The full-time whistle will go.
Partick Thistle confirmed their top six place. The first time since the
introduction of the split in the top flight that they have achieved that.
They celebrate after such a disastrous opening to the season.
Partick were bottom, but now they are guaranteed the best league
finish in 36 years. I thought we were dominant but we
knew Motherwell would come out and have a go, they certainly did that.
We lost the game in the first 30 minutes. We didn't compete well
enough. And we didn't pass the ball well enough. We had a chance of
something in the second half and the last seven minutes of the first but
it too little too late. It is a great achievement. A massive
turnaround for the players. Cute congratulation to Partick Thistle,
their highest league finish since 1981. When you look at their record
in 2017, you wonder if they had started the season well what they
might have achieved. A phenomenal run they have been on. Built on the
back of conceding few goals. They have slipped to a back three and it
has been the bedrock of their success. Making sure to shut up shop
at the back. But the first ten games, they won one game. If they
had been able to get a half decent run, they could have been
challenging for Europe. The previous season with similar but solid
foundation is the bedrock and good form in the second half. He has been
a good addition to the team, defensively sound. Sniffing out
problems, just good defending. Devine as well. There is a wingback,
and structurally, you heard them talking about the formation working
well for them. They found this formation. They found this formation
that has worked for them. And conceding as the goals as they have,
you always give yourself a chance to stay in games and get points. It
always give you a chance when you stay in games and get points. It
are making sure you are sound defensively and that is what they
are doing. They certainly deserve their place in the top half. Do
are doing. They certainly deserve Motherwell deserved to be second
bottom? They do. They have the worst defensive record in the league. They
know every game is now huge. They had a better second half but they
lost that game in the first half. They are the exact opposite of
Partick Thistle, they can't defend. I keep saying they have enough at
the top end of the park to get out of trouble but in -- when you have a
defence that leaky, it doesn't guarantee anything. The big news at
Celtic on Friday with Brendan Rodgers signing a new four-year
contract. Should things go well, that could see him take Celtic to
ten titles in a row. A bit of football to play before that,
Kilmarnock were the visitors on Saturday afternoon. COMMENTATOR:
Celtic make five changes after the win over Partick Thistle. Tierney
returns to the defence and Stuart Armstrong, James Forrest and Scott
Brown also return. Kilmarnock's loan Armstrong, James Forrest and Scott
defender cannot play against his parent club so cannot play. Smith
and Roberts come in as well. parent club so cannot play. Smith
Armstrong finding McGregor. He is forest. Towards Sinclair. And he
wasn't far away with that effort, Scott Sinclair. As Celtic try and
open up this five-man Kilmarnock defence. They seemed to find a gap.
It is McGregor with the shot, taking a deflection. Woodman had to keep
his eye on that one. I think it came of Scott Boyd. The keeper reacted
well. That is a lovely pass for Scott Brown. The on loan at
Newcastle goalkeeper doing well for Kilmarnock there. Using his boot to
make the stop. The pressure is still on the visitors.
Armstrong trying the shot. And that is the opening goal for Celtic. It
comes midway through this first half. They have tried to work
openings with Armstrong going for a long-range strike. It took a
deflection off of Wilson. Mikael Lustig on the overlap.
Swinging it wide. Here is Tierney. Trying to hit it with the inside of
the left boot. That was the two Celtic full-backs combining there.
Not far away you from it. Armstrong linking again and trying the shot.
Already has 14 goals, Stuart Armstrong. Here is Smith. Jordan
Jones. Holding off the Celtic captain and getting the shot away.
And that is the first real strike on goal for Kilmarnock this afternoon.
Coming from the Wenger. Celtic still trying to work these neat
combinations on the edge of the Kilmarnock box. Broken up this time.
Here is Jordan Jones. He has salmon to his left. Conor salmon. He has
found the pass for Jones and it takes a deflection and Kilmarnock
are back on level terms. In the 65th minute. Jones claims his first goal
for Kilmarnock. But when you look at minute. Jones claims his first goal
that, it seems as though the shot was maybe going wide before it hit
Mikael Lustig. And diverted beyond Craig Gordon. Celtic on this 38 game
unbeaten domestic run. Sliding in was avoided. -- Boyd. The referee
says it is a free kick for the challenge on Patrick Roberts.
Armstrong. Swinging it to the back post. Turned back by Roberts. And
the easiest of tap ins for Scott Sinclair. To claim his 23rd goal of
the season, his seventh in his last seven appearances. Kilmarnock undone
by the set piece. Sinclair with the easiest of set piece finishes.
Mikael Lustig with the diagonal. Picking out Tierney. Celtic probing
again. Around the pact Kilmarnock defence. Dembele on as a substitute.
Dembele trying the shot. It takes a deflection and there is James
Forrest. Making it 3-1 Celtic. The shot from Dembele spinning onto the
post and James Forrest claims his eighth goal of the season. A rare
goal from a header. Patient build-up again from the champions. To
eventually find the breakthrough. I said to the players at half-time
that this was a game where you will get your reward in the last 20
minutes. If you move the ball quickly, teams tire and it is
natural, it is what happens. We got a couple of those in the last 20
minutes which was nice. A very good team performance. We did not deserve
to win the game but proud of the way the boys showed character and passed
the ball, especially in the second half at times. Maybe on another day,
we could have got a point. Celtic remain unbeaten in 39 domestic
matches. Brendan Rodgers can do no wrong it seems will stop he signed a
four-year contract, will he be given big money to spend in the summer? It
is great business by the Celtic board. He will get money to improve
the Champions League. He doesn't need to make them any stronger in
the Scottish league. But for qualifying through the Champions
League. Rogers is very content, he is happy off the pitch and happy on
the pitch, why wouldn't he be quite I am certain that was a big part of
the deal to stay on, to improve the Champions League standard. To do
that they need a bit of investment. I think centre-half is the area of
the park that Brendan Rodgers will look at and think that is the first
port of call to move them to the next stage. At times playing in
Europe against top teams you get stretched. You need your defenders
to defend one-on-one against top players and I am not convinced the
centre-half they have are on the same level as the rest of the team.
Where do you think Celtic should strengthen? I believe they need
another top quality Centre forward. They have had to use emergency
Centre forwards like that last week. When both are injured, they need
another one. I think they should be running with three. That is
strengthening the squad but starting XI. Celtic, Mousa Dembele, Leigh
Griffiths. He could bring in somebody unreal. There is no point
getting someone better than Mousa Dembele. Centre marks -- centre
halves of the area. Kilmarnock safe? I think they are. I think since Lee
McCulloch has come in, there is an honesty and grittiness about the
team. Piller were only five points between them and the bottom, there
is still work to do. They are not safe, nobody is safe. Should be
fascinating to watch. Inverness began bottom of the table, one win
from their last 20 league matches. It took on a St Johnstone side
breathing down the neck arrangers for a European place. COMMENTATOR:
Inverness Caledonian Thistle find themselves at the bottom of the
table and make three changes. Alex Fisher coming in from the start.
Richard Foster and Danny Swanson serve the second of their two match
suspensions. Michael Colson starts for the first time this year. Alex
Fisher attacks that. And it was Billy McKay's header which knocked
it over the top. Fisher making just his third start for the club. Easton
to Colson, returning for St Johnstone. A good ball through and
it is Taylor. It goes all the way across the face of goal. He just
needed a touch from Stephen the claim coming in. Warren cannot it
upfield and release Billy McKay but outcomes Alan Manas. He retains his
upfield and release Billy McKay but place after his fine form, Clark, he
is back and fit. He can't get in the team. That should come for Smith.
The man on loan from Preston North End. McLean. Dropping deep. Space
for course and perhaps to have a go at Macnaughton. He has done well.
And there is McLean and the ball crosses the line. And Stephen Miller
clean opens the scoring to end an eight-game goal drought. Despite the
efforts of Gary Warren on the line. Inverness look to respond before the
break. It comes back to Draper. Cole again. Straight at the goalkeeper
but that is certainly more encouraging for Ritchie Forum. A
good move but it that the finish. It came all the way back to Cummings at
the back post. He just couldn't quite react to knock it in from two
yards out. It is an incredible miss in the end. Billy King, the
substitute. He picks out McKay. And a fine challenge coming in. He keeps
it alive for Inverness. Saved. Shaughnessy was the first to react.
Billy McKay hosing in on the tap in. One win in 24 Inverness. McKay
looking to change that. It is into coal and a good hit, it comes out
through Billy King. And again, he is closed out by the St Johnstone
defence. He has not scored since September, Billy King. That came
against Celtic. Fisher gets the flick on. Couldn't get any power
behind the volley. He has had an excellent season in front of goal.
Just couldn't sort his feet out there.
Off-camera, he has reacted to Stephen Finney. He will get a yellow
card for dissent. He is continuing that. He has been shown a second
yellow card. Larnell Cole has been sent off. Inverness are down to ten
men. A good tackle by Gary Warren. Carl
Tremarco did not react in time. He challenges Graham Cummins, and he
points to the spot. St Johnstone have a penalty. This should be
enough to wrap it up. Liam Craig sends Owain Fon Williams the wrong
way. With just one minute left of normal time, he marks his 300th
appearance with a goal. Just looking to run down the clock for St
Johnstone. They make the extra man count. St
Johnstone have their third goal. Instead of being concerned about
Hearts on their coat-tails, St Johnstone might be looking up at
Rangers, just three points above them.
It is a ferocious effort. It rattles the crossbar.
Not good enough all over the park. The main person not coming from is
me. I am not doing my job right. We have not let the supporters down
over the season, but we let them down today. It was 1-0 at half-time
without playing particularly well. Second half, there was not a lot in
it, but we looked comfortable enough. Then the sending-off, I said
to them in there, we could have scored two or three more, and we
made sure we finished the game on a high.
Inverness now four points adrift of the bottom. An excellent victory for
St Johnstone. Inverness not helped by Larnell Cole's sending-off. The
last thing they need is a player sent off.
They struggle enough with 11 men. I thought it was a free kick against
him, but you cannot get sent off for thought it was a free kick against
that. It was the last thing they needed. Fair play to St Johnstone,
they took the game by the scruff of the neck. They were ruthless. They
went in search of the second and third goals, which came about all
too easily, from an Inverness perspective, especially this. It is
a good touch and finish, but he should not be in that I'm out of
space. It was a worrying afternoon for Inverness. Far too much space.
For a team that has won once in 21 games, you struggle to think where
they will find a victory from. It is relegation form. Richie Foran had no
managerial experience, and they are staring at relegation. One victory
in 21 is relegation form. Ultimately, the end of the season
will be the telling factor, whether it has been the right appointment or
not, but it does not look like it, and he said he is not doing his job
well enough. There is enough ability. There are good players
there. You know what it is like, when there is no guidance or
structure, it is difficult, it becomes disjointed, and that is how
they look. A great victory for St Johnstone. They were talking about
doom and gloom, and they have turned it around again. I said last week,
if they handle it well, they could come out of it positively, and that
shows the foundation they are built on. Hamilton might be at the wrong
end of the table, but they had not lost since Christmas Eve. Could they
keep that going against Ross County, also in the relegation mix?
The Hamilton midfielder was sent off on Wednesday, so he is suspended.
Massimo Donati takes over in the middle of the pitch. Suspension hits
Ross County as well. They had a red card on Tuesday. Ryan Dow comes in,
the only change to the team that beat Dundee.
It is off the line from Martin Woods. They have started really
well, the home team, threatening already. Martin Woods in the right
place at the right time. Popular where ever he goes, Dougie Imrie.
That was Massimo Donati. Casually chipping the ball into the corner.
Hamilton in front inside three minutes will stop --. A really good
finish from the veteran midfielder, curling it away from Scott Fox.
Hamilton have been the better team early on, but what a golden
opportunity to equalise. That is a really good hit. The
whistle goes. Scott Fox limits the damage for Ross County. Could have
been 2-0, a good save. A good fit. That was not far away.
Michael Gardyne still looking for his first goal of the season.
Getting closer to it. He is taken out by Johannes
contrasts. It is a red card. I think most would have expected a yellow
for this. Not an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. Surely not
violent conduct. But what a turning goal-scoring opportunity. Surely not
point that could be. What a strike. Just a fraction away
from levelling things up. Could not have struck it any better. Bouncing
back of the bar. Jim McIntyre's team ramping up the pressure. He produces
a really good save from Remi Matthews. The on loan Norwich
goalkeeper does well. Craig Curran with the equaliser. It
is a seventh goal of the season for him. The Dingwall team back on level
terms. Deflected in off Alejandro Luna call. A scuffed effort, but it
is so valuable, as it levels things up. Ross County looking to make it
11 against ten work, trying to turn one point into three.
Michael Garden reckons he was pushed as he tried to get on the end of
this. It was Scott McMann. Into the closing stages will stop
ten man Hamilton. Scott Fox saves his angled shot.
There looked to be a tug at his shirt here as well. He forced his
way looking for the winner. He has missed that. The Cypriot U21
international had the chance here to be an instant hero at Hamilton. He
fluffed his lines. A big decision on half-time, the
referee sends Ioannis off, it was not a red card. It looks worse than
it is, because of the speed, but there is no intent to hurt the
player. He is trying to block the ball, and he has got it before
Ioannis can get there. It is not a red card. It is not a sending-off,
they have been unfortunate. We knew we had to move the ball quickly, try
and use the extra man advantage. Ryan Dow hit the bar, the goalkeeper
made some good saves, we could not find a way through.
Neither manager thought it was a red card for Ioannis Skondras. What this
harsh? Ferry, it is a yellow card at best. That could have been nothing
at all? It is a red card. It is not! I do
not think it is a red card, I agree with both managers. The pace he goes
in, there is no danger in the tackle. Ryan Dow could do better to
avoid the challenge. I think it definitely is a red card, he lunges
in at pace. He lifts his leg up at the end. I can understand why it was
a red card. That must be the right answer, then! You came out with some
strange it -- crazy suggestion that Ryan Dow lifted his leg down. You
say read, I say hello. Should Ross County be in this position? They are
still in the mix for the relegation zone. They have taken four points
from six, and a waypoint is always welcome, they will see it as a
decent point, but they have Celtic next. They will be in the mix until
the end. Are you surprised? They have been stuttering all season, but
if you had asked at the start of the season were they would be down
there, I would not have thought so. But they have been inconsistent all
season, and that is why they are in the mix will stop apart from
Kilmarnock, in seventh place, the rest of the teams are right in
there. You have been writing Hamilton off for months, but decent
home form. That could be their saving grace. Absolutely. They are
unbeaten in their last six at home, it is their away form they need to
worry about, and their next match is a trip to Dundee. That leaves the
Premiership table looking like this. Rangers cut the gap on Aberdeen to
nine points. In now four points adrift. All the
sides in the bottom six still very much in the relegation mix, although
Michael does not quite agree. We are going all the way until the end of
the season, which is just the way we like it. Goodbye for now.
Introduced by Jonathan Sutherland.
Highlights of the weekend's Scottish Premiership action. There's a big clash in the race for second place as Rangers travel to Aberdeen. Champions Celtic host Kilmarnock and Hearts face Dundee. Elsewhere, Hamilton entertain Ross County, St Johnstone are away to Inverness and Partick host Motherwell.