30/12/2013 Sportscene


30/12/2013

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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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to our pre-Hogmanay Sportscene spectacular.

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The final football fling of 2013, and what a way to go out. Some great

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goals tonight, meaty talking points as always and two top pundits.

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Steven Thompson and Pat Nevin join me for this last highlights show of

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the year. A poignant start tonight. Six years ago yesterday the

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Motherwell captain Phil O'Donnell died on the pitch during a match

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with Dundee United. It was always going to be an emotional day for all

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involved with Motherwell Football Club. They were at Firhill to play

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Partick Thistle. Commentary comes from John Barnes.

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Alan Archibald makes only one change to his starting line-up. Stephen

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O'Donnell returns at full-back in place of Jordan McMillan.

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Francis-Angol is back in alongside McFadden, so John Sutton is on the

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bench. And Partick Thistle get an early

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lead! He scores against his old club. Craig insisted on a plate for

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Lawless. Terrific save their by the

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Motherwell goalkeeper, Twardzik. It is Lawless again, looking for his

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second. A good start for Alan Archibald.

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And Motherwell equalise! It's their captain, Leslie. Excellent skills

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from James McFadden. And good awareness to spot Leslie on the run.

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It is blocked away by Twardzik again.

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And Francis-Angol puts Motherwell 2-1 in front! And it's his first

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ever goal for the Fir Park club. He slots it away with his least

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favoured foot. A deft flick from James McFadden,

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increasing Motherwell's lead. Back in the starting line-up and on the

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scoresheet for the second time this season. Good hold-up play from

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Anier. Pick should have done better but McFadden was there to pounce. --

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Piccolo. Great strike from James McFadden,

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tried to catch out Scott Fox. The keeper was up to the challenge.

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Thistle were looking for a penalty as the Motherwell players slid in.

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The referee says no. A good effort from another former

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Motherwell player. Twardzik, once more, doing well to turn it over.

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Ainsworth! That is number four for Motherwell. Ainsworth's third goal

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in three successive matches. Partick Thistle, caught out at the back

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again and this time, Lasley the provider, Ainsworth with the finish.

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A good day out for the Motherwell supporters.

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Scott Fox, happy to grab that one, but McFadden, returning to something

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like his best this afternoon. Once again, Partick Thistle are

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punished at the back! Slack defending there. Not keeping his eye

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on the ball, and Sutton, the substitute, scored his ninth of the

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season. Scott Foxton eyes Ainsworth. --

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denies Ainsworth. This will be their biggest win in the new top-flight.

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I thought we were a bit fortunate to go in at half-time 3-1, Thistle had

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a really good go and played some good stuff first half, but we showed

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a good deal of character and some good football to take the lead and

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then go ahead. Second half, it was a case of hip on the break. Very

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disappointing to start the going so well, we were looking good, and then

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it was bad decision-making. I think, try and keep going, but we don't

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really organise and there are mistakes for the goals as well,

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individual errors. It was a big day for Motherwell and

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a fantastic win. It was great to see James McFadden playing like that

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again. Absolutely. I would argue he is the most talented footballer of

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his generation for Scotland. He gets this from a throw in, there is

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nothing on here at all. He has such vision. He wasn't looking, he is

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absolutely sure that Lasley will make the run. They have known each

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other since they were young, but he is learning the intelligence side of

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the game. When he sees the gap, and that is one hell of a gap between

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the centre backs! We will get back to that later. But we're now seeing

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him the way he was. Very few players think of scoring from throw ins.

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When he looks fit, and his knees are fine, he is a joy to behold. That

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was the James McFadden of old. He is a sensational talent. I spoke to him

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last week in the tunnel, he was despondent, he hadn't got on, but it

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just shows you, a week in football is not a long time at all. Hopefully

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that gives him the shot in the arm he needs because if it James

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McFadden is a real asset. You alluded to some poor Partick Thistle

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defending. Let's look at it at more detail. One of those guys has got to

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get in there. Get in, close down the space. No one is going near him. And

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you can't do that at this level. Here, it's very simple. They it

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inside, just don't lose the ball. Because Ainsworth is sneaking up the

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back there, and he isn't so much space, so you can't take chances if

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you are the final man. You certainly don't pass it to Lasley, he is

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having a great season. I can't really speak about this, any ideas?

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I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he lost the ball

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in the floodlights! This one is interesting. 18 metres between the

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defenders, that amount of space, you wouldn't get that very often. You

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are generally looking to get a yard of space, not 18 yards! Alan

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Archibald was disappointed with the defending. Partick Thistle on

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getting the services of Lyle Taylor, a good signing? Definitely, he got a

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lot of goals for Falkirk last season. He plays on the shoulder, he

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may be the missing link for Partick Thistle. They face Celtic in the New

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Year. Next we're off to McDiarmid Park where goal-shy St Johnstone

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were up against Dundee United. The last Saints goal had come in

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November. In contrast Dundee United had been goal crazy in recent times,

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but their superb run of form had come to a shuddering halt with

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defeat to St Mirren on Boxing Day. Commentary comes from

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Edwards found room for the shot. He made a difference when it came off

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the bench against Celtic and he is off to us rightly start here. -- ace

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rightly start. That is a penalty! And that was also

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a red card. He wasn't convinced the header was reaching the goalkeeper.

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He had a towel, it wasn't much, it was enough for a dismissal early on.

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Stevie May scores his 15th of the season. And St Johnstone are ahead

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against their rivals. He doesn't look too pleased, he

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should be! It was hooked off the line by Andy Robertson. A towering

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header, the keeper was beaten. That was a good effort from the St

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Johnstone midfielder. It was really good build-up, quick passing and

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movement. Looking for a response from his

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team, Jackie McNamara. It's grammar clear by Dundee United.

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-- scrambled clear. They are happy at the moment to be still in the

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game under real pressure. That was close from Wilson! Good

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effort from the full-back am just moved to much, I think.

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The shot from the former Partick Thistle man, always rising.

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Running a long way with the ball, David Wotherspoon, and a stinging

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shot at the end of it. Steve May scores again! It has gone

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right through the goalkeeper, it is a double for St Johnstone. He should

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not really have been scoring from that position. The goalkeeper was at

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fault as well as the defender. Good ball from Nigel Hasselbaink.

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Agonising! He not that across goal, but there was just too much on it

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for Steve May to make contact on the hat-trick hunt. Stephen Anderson.

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He can set up Steve May! Hat-trick for the 21-year-old Saint Johnstone

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striker. It is his 15th goal of the season. We started the game really

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well and I just hope the performance is not undervalued because of the

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sending off because I thought we were by far the better team up to

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that stage. We emphasised the point that we wanted a high tempo game,

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press them high up the pitch, and we did that, but I thought we also

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played some good football. For me, that is a disappointing thing, the

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concentration, the decision-making at times, to get the penalty in the

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first instance for me was per decision making. It was a fantastic

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victory for St Johnstone. How big was the sending off and was the

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right decision? It is a game changer, a sending off is always

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going to be a huge point in a game and for me it is a sending off,

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without a doubt. He has his hand on his shoulder and at the last-second

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peoples and back. It is a definite sending-off and unfortunately it is

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a goal-scoring opportunity. Pat, do you agree? No option whatsoever for

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the referee, so well done. Ten men, eight changes, away from home, not

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much of a surprise. It is all about how you react. A lot of the talented

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Dundee United youngsters were on the bench for various reasons. Lots of

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scouts in the stands would have been disappointed. They did see Steve May

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scoring a hat-trick. How difficult will it be to keep hold of him in

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January? There will definitely be people looking at him. That was his

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15th goal yesterday, after his hat-trick. He has a bit of

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everything, he has been pivotal for St Johnstone. He can turn on either

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fruit. Good finish. He has been a big player for St Johnstone and they

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will be having to fend off teams because he has been sensational. He

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has really lit up the Premier League. The only thing that has made

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him bad in some peoples eyes is his unorthodox look and style. He looks

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bulkier than he actually is, he is really quite quick. He is quite

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scruffy but he is a superb player. Let us talk about Dundee United.

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People were surprised when Saint Mirren turned them over. Thanks.

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People will be saying the bubble has burst. Not at all. They have lost

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two in a row, seven goals conceded and two sendings off. But before

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that they were absolutely superb. It is just a wee blip and they have too

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much talent in their squad. Plenty of us looking forward to the Dundee

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United clash against Aberdeen. Aberdeen were playing Ross County

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yesterday. A few changes to the says, with Mark Reynolds replacing

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Russell Anderson. Barry Robson was dropped to the bench. As for Ross

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County, despite their recent struggles, they had never ever lost

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to Aberdeen. In fact one of their three victories was to Aberdeen in

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October. There is not many better ways to

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announce your return to the team than taking a free kick like this.

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Nicky Low making virtually the entire stadium jump as Aberdeen took

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the lead in just the second minute of the match.

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And just ten minutes later it got even better for Aberdeen, when Peter

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Pawlett was brought down in the penalty area. Good skill, no doubt

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about the decision. Scott Vernon took the penalty responsibility, it

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was a fine save from Michael Fraser to keep the score at 1-0.

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Scott Vernon promptly got over his disappointment for another goal. And

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the turn but the short distance -- good turn but the shot drifted wide.

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Ross County had made changes from the side that lost to Hibs. They

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were calling for a penalty and they might have had a case with the way

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Mark Reynolds's handmade contact with the ball. Nothing was given and

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Aberdeen were causing problems again for the side second bottom of the

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Premiership. Scott Boyd deflected Niall McGinn's cross against his own

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post. Some need play set up another Aberdeen chance. For once, Niall

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McGinn's aiming was off. Overall, Aberdeen were the better side, as

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they geared up for the New Year new firm derby. Cameron Smith with a

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shot saved as it finished 1-0. I felt we were in total control of the

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match. I was really enjoying watching my team played today. We

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have been wasteful of good opportunities, getting into good

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areas, and we have been there before. Missed penalties have come

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back to bite us and thankfully it did not today. We did not do well

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enough offensively today. Defensively, we kept their good

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players quiet, and they are a very good side. Deserve to be where they

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are in the league. It has been a difficult start to the season for us

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and we are just having to hang on in there and trying to replace and

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taking players in January. Nicky Low with his first league start. Also

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his first senior goal in football and what a strike it was. Wreck to

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Reef Derek McInnes's side halfway through the season, what you make of

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this? -- a victory for them. He has been sensational. He has got a real

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positivity about the club that had been missing. Big crowds coming to

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the game, 11,000, semifinal of the, but it will not be enough for Derek.

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He will see this as the start of his journey. Let's look at the report

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card so far. Makes for pretty impressive reading. Played 19 games,

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35 points, and have won 11 of them. What do you make of those? Superb

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but not surprising in anyway. Aberdeen have underperformed for so

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many years but I think a lot of people within the game looked at

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them and thought, you got lucky getting him because he was very

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unfortunate with what happened to him down south, many other teams

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were interested, I think it took a little while to convince some

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supporters but I think almost all of them are on board now. So many

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people are looking forward to the derby between Dundee United and

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Aberdeen, how do you see that going? It will be brilliant, cracking game,

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3-3. I just want both teams to play at their best. If Dundee United play

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at their best, this will be some game, if this little blip continues

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it will be great. It will be goalless. Plenty more to come and

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with New Year dear, up 1% of pictures -- a lot of fixtures are a

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small while away. Some mouthwatering derby day

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matches. After the horror show start to the

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season, Kilmarnock had turned a corner in recent weeks. They made it

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three wins out of four games. They were back in the capital to face

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Hibs. Another victory would bring them level on points with the Easter

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Road side. Hibs unchanged from their victory in

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Ross County. They seek Terry Butcher's first home win. Kilmarnock

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defeated Hearts last time out. The manager names the same side that

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took to the field at Tynecastle. Sombre moment of reflection at

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Easter Road in memory of the youth player David Paul who passed away.

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One-handed save from Craig Samson. Good early play from Hibs. Stevenson

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with that in well. Was heading to the top corner. Paul Hanlon got

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free! Hibs ahead after 12 minutes. Another header from a corner and

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this time it is Paul Hanlon. Kilmarnock would have been aware of

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the fact that Hibs had scored from two corners against Ross County.

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Hibs gather through Stevenson. Forcing the save from Samson. Lewis

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Stevenson picked up on this clever little ball. He tested Craig Samson.

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What a great run from the midfield from Scott Robertson. The ball was

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not dealt with by Kilmarnock. Rattled the bar and James Collins

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could not get it back on target. Kris Boyd has scored in his last

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four games, he will be disappointed with that effort.

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Worth a shot. Foreword to Robertson. Good stuff from Hibs.

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The referee was well positioned. He waves away the protests of the Hibs

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players. That was clever from Paul Cairney.

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Hibs will break, James Collins leading the charge.

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Some good end to end stuff in this game. Out why to Lewis Stevenson.

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Shown the inside, and that is a mistake as he cannot finish. 13

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minutes to play. Lewis Stevenson rise and get the

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goal! Only his second in just over 200 appearances for Hibs, he rounds

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of the afternoon in style. Cracking strike from Lewis Stevenson. I think

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we have had seven goals and seven different goal-scorers. Spreading

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the goals around. I don't mind that. If they keep working hard then goals

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will come and they certainly did today. They made it difficult for

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us. We have got to defend the corner better in the first place, the first

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goal, especially when you see the week before they scored two goals

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from corners. It is a poor goal to lose. We are all starting to detect

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slight evidence of the Terry Butcher difference at Hibs. What do you see?

:28:31.:28:36.

Good organisation, particularly set pieces. We will have a look at what

:28:37.:28:44.

they showed us last week. All the players sitting in that really tight

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area but what what happens when the ball comes in, there is a marker on

:28:48.:28:54.

the scorer. In actual fact, for all this, the same game, but when they

:28:55.:28:58.

split, the ball comes in, there is still a marker on the scorer, so

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this is about desire, yes it is a clever little trick, the same again

:29:05.:29:09.

yesterday we know what is going to happen, they are going to go a

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different way, just that bit of confusion but once again, there is a

:29:12.:29:16.

marker Hathaway -- have a yard away. You need the desire to win

:29:17.:29:20.

that ball and I keep on using the word desire and that is the perfect

:29:21.:29:26.

word to describe Terry Butcher. That is what he has brought to heads so

:29:27.:29:33.

far. Seems to be more conviction. Yesterday, a threat would have been

:29:34.:29:37.

Kris Boyd and Chris Johnson and clearly that was snuffed out.

:29:38.:29:41.

Definitely, in the last five weeks they have been in top form, main

:29:42.:29:45.

players for Kilmarnock, and Hebburn and managed to snuff them out. In

:29:46.:29:50.

terms of Terry Butcher bringing organisation, you can see that

:29:51.:29:55.

coming through. The battle is getting into the top six. Yes, they

:29:56.:29:59.

need to score more goals, looking better now, the most important thing

:30:00.:30:03.

is, 16 goals they have lost this season, only Celtic have lost fewer.

:30:04.:30:09.

Next we're off to St Mirren Park where Steven Thompson's side were

:30:10.:30:12.

hoping to carry on where they'd left off after their superb 4-1 victory

:30:13.:30:15.

over Dundee United on Boxing Day. Just the one change to the team with

:30:16.:30:19.

Danny Grainger coming in for Kenny Mclean. And St Mirren's chances of

:30:20.:30:22.

another home win looked pretty good as they were up against the side

:30:23.:30:26.

rock bottom of the Premiership. Hearts had lost their last five

:30:27.:30:27.

matches. The only bit of real good news for

:30:28.:30:34.

Hearts was that their last two wins had both come away from home. With

:30:35.:30:38.

the story of the match in Paisley, here's Brian McLauchlin.

:30:39.:30:48.

Steven Thompson has had no problem in finding the net. He gives Saints

:30:49.:30:54.

the perfect start after three minutes. The Hearts defence in a

:30:55.:31:06.

real model. -- model. His 11th goal of the season. The former Scotland

:31:07.:31:11.

striker almost set up a second for the Saints. This is is through ball

:31:12.:31:18.

to Naismith. His shot was parried away by McDonald, Granger just

:31:19.:31:21.

failed to connect with the rebound. Hearts have lost their previous five

:31:22.:31:27.

matches and scored just one goal but their equaliser is a contender for

:31:28.:31:31.

goal of the season. Walker's Cross, initially cleared by the defence

:31:32.:31:37.

only to Jamie Hamill. A thundering 30 yarder into the roof of the net.

:31:38.:31:49.

Jim Goodwin has been in the news recently, he felt he had claims for

:31:50.:31:58.

a penalty. The ball certainly struck the teenager, but not with intent,

:31:59.:32:03.

thought the referee. Another chance for Thompson. Naismith with the

:32:04.:32:09.

shot, Thomson's effort, just wide of goal. Jamie Walker has also had an

:32:10.:32:17.

eye on goal this season for Hearts, this effort was also the wrong side

:32:18.:32:22.

of the post, though. One final chance for Hearts in the final

:32:23.:32:26.

minute stop substitute Smith with a run down the right, his cross met by

:32:27.:32:34.

Pettersson only for the keeper to deny him. Both sides picked up a

:32:35.:32:38.

valuable point. I thought today we made some poor

:32:39.:32:47.

decisions on the ball at times, that was uncharacteristic of us. I don't

:32:48.:32:55.

expect those mistakes from the group players we have. We never turned up

:32:56.:33:02.

on Boxing Day, they were some choice words after that game and I think

:33:03.:33:05.

the players responded in the right manner. It was important we put in a

:33:06.:33:12.

performance for the fans. Whatever static strike from Jamie Hamill. It

:33:13.:33:17.

has been a morale sapping few weeks for Hearts. How much will that have

:33:18.:33:23.

meant for them? It's lovely that they can get that, but it won't help

:33:24.:33:28.

them enough. It's the same thing every time, a bit of sympathy, not

:33:29.:33:33.

pity, but simply because they are always having to deal with hard

:33:34.:33:37.

times. But they never seem to give up fighting. You are absolutely

:33:38.:33:45.

prolific it seems! We're going to focus on the man on the other end of

:33:46.:33:54.

the pitch, Kello. He has been early on, he is making three, four,

:33:55.:34:01.

top-class saves again. I know he is in contract talks with us at the

:34:02.:34:07.

minute to renew his contract, if you are watching, hurry up ! You know

:34:08.:34:15.

it makes sense! But he is a sub superb keeper. Some news for St

:34:16.:34:23.

Mirren, Jim Goodwin has accepted a two match ban following this

:34:24.:34:26.

incident on Boxing Day against Dundee United. St Mirren,

:34:27.:34:34.

disappointed about Dundee United flagging this incident up on social

:34:35.:34:39.

media, what is your take on it? The SFA will deal with it, they dealt

:34:40.:34:45.

with it fairly lightly, two matches, it could have been a lot worse. But

:34:46.:34:50.

there is no point to add fuel to the fire. It's been dealt with, it was a

:34:51.:34:54.

terrible thing he did, no excuse at all. Anything to add? I thought that

:34:55.:35:05.

might be the reaction. We finish with Inverness versus Celtic. The

:35:06.:35:11.

reigning Scottish champions - and surely champions elect - have been

:35:12.:35:14.

untouchable this season in domestic football. Top of the league and so

:35:15.:35:18.

far unbeaten. For the largest part of the season they'd been pushed

:35:19.:35:21.

hardest by Caley Thistle, but in recent weeks the Highlanders had

:35:22.:35:24.

lost their grip on second place. How would they get on yesterday?

:35:25.:35:27.

Commentary comes from Alasdair Lamont.

:35:28.:35:34.

Bill Mackay is in fine form, eight goals in his last seven games.

:35:35.:35:42.

Celtic make just one change, James Forrest coming in for Fisher stop

:35:43.:35:46.

--. An early chance for Kris Commons!

:35:47.:36:15.

Taken with some aplomb. A lovely 1-2 with Samaras, and a delightful

:36:16.:36:19.

finish. Through the legs of the keeper. Celtic, within three

:36:20.:36:25.

minutes, are in front against Caley Thistle.

:36:26.:36:34.

Caley Thistle will look to respond quickly. That was done around, he

:36:35.:36:44.

shot straight at Fraser Forster. A comfortable save in the end for the

:36:45.:36:45.

England keeper. Stokes tried it all the way across

:36:46.:37:04.

goal. -- dragged. I think he was looking to shoot there. John Hughes

:37:05.:37:09.

and Lincolnshire in conversation, then that to get their side back on

:37:10.:37:11.

level terms. Billy Mackay is usually so deadly in

:37:12.:37:21.

that edition but on this occasion, his header was a rather weak one,

:37:22.:37:24.

easy for Fraser Forster. That was a really powerful hit by

:37:25.:37:44.

Shinnie. And again, Shinnie brings out a good

:37:45.:38:06.

save from Fraser Forster. He has looked at Caley Thistle's most

:38:07.:38:08.

potent threat, the full-back. Kris Commons was nipping in front of

:38:09.:38:31.

the defender, almost clipping in the second goal of the afternoon. Good

:38:32.:38:32.

movement from the front man. It almost came off. He has looked

:38:33.:38:51.

really lively, Kris Commons. This was really good intelligence, just

:38:52.:38:54.

an inch or two to five. -- too high. Brown flashes it wide. It was a

:38:55.:39:17.

lovely Celtic move. Allowing for all, almost producing their second

:39:18.:39:18.

goal. -- flowing football. It was worth a try, the ball was

:39:19.:39:41.

moving. Straight into the arms of a grateful

:39:42.:40:03.

Brill. Good play by Stokes. Brown didn't have the accuracy.

:40:04.:40:15.

How did he miss that! Linesman's flag was up, but almost a dream

:40:16.:40:23.

debut. He wasn't offside, Christie. Disappointed to lose a goal so early

:40:24.:40:35.

on and after that put so much effort into the match and come away losing.

:40:36.:40:41.

That is disappointing, but in terms of ball retention, passing it, very

:40:42.:40:45.

good. Celtic knew they were in a game. We were off to a great start,

:40:46.:40:52.

that seemed to settle us down a bit, but going forward, we could have

:40:53.:40:55.

done better with the amount of the session we had. But six clean sheets

:40:56.:41:00.

in a row domestically, we are playing very well. It was a good

:41:01.:41:07.

start from Celtic. We're going to focus on the good and maybe the

:41:08.:41:10.

slightly bad that we noticed in this match. Even historically, Celtic are

:41:11.:41:18.

always good at intricate play through the centre of teams, even

:41:19.:41:24.

back in the 80s. When Collins is involved, they always are. --

:41:25.:41:31.

Commons. That is the oldest one in the book. But look how many players

:41:32.:41:36.

test taken out of the game, four players have. It is intricate, quick

:41:37.:41:49.

play, step overs. Countless Celtic teams have done it over the years. I

:41:50.:41:55.

love watching them do that but it always has that guy Kris Commons

:41:56.:42:00.

involved. A slight disappointment they didn't score more goals

:42:01.:42:04.

yesterday. We're nit-picking now, but some of the defending at times

:42:05.:42:10.

could have been tighter. Six and a half games since they lost a gold

:42:11.:42:18.

domestic league. But if you do turn off, you pay for it eventually. Look

:42:19.:42:26.

at Ambrose, he has just left him. It's a free header. Again here, back

:42:27.:42:36.

post, three players, massive chance. Last minute of the game as well. I

:42:37.:42:42.

have seen this creeping into the game and eventually will affect them

:42:43.:42:46.

and it did against the much but it seems in Europe. Having said that, I

:42:47.:42:51.

suspect they might still win the league! Your side face them soon.

:42:52.:42:59.

Yes, on Sunday. It's always a very difficult game against them,

:43:00.:43:02.

considering they have six clean sheets it's a difficult task. I

:43:03.:43:07.

always enjoy the games against Celtic, a bigger atmosphere. It will

:43:08.:43:14.

be a tough test for sure. A shocking incident in this match, I couldn't

:43:15.:43:18.

believe this. This was a pushing incident on the referee. Crawford,

:43:19.:43:29.

not very happy about it. I just can't believe it! It's funny, but it

:43:30.:43:35.

would never crossed my mind to push the referee over. It's hilarious, he

:43:36.:43:40.

has just pushed him over. Could have been a red card! It was like Paolo

:43:41.:43:51.

Di Canio! I don't think so, I think the players within his rights here.

:43:52.:43:55.

Get out of the way, I need to close him down! Emits me, I would push him

:43:56.:44:02.

out of the way. -- if it was me. He is in my way, you shouldn't be

:44:03.:44:06.

there. Get out of the way of the play. Did you ever do anything like

:44:07.:44:13.

that? No, but I would have. The most important thing is you stop the

:44:14.:44:17.

goal, you do whatever you can. That's why the referee didn't book

:44:18.:44:22.

him. As he knows it's not deliberately offensive, nasty

:44:23.:44:25.

thing, he's only trying to slow the way down. You are looking at me... !

:44:26.:44:37.

Done it. Controversial stuff. The final table looks like this.

:44:38.:45:01.

From everyone here, have a happy Hogmanay. Until next year, good

:45:02.:45:06.

night!

:45:07.:45:09.

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