John Reid rounds up all the action from north of the border including a surprise defeat for Neil Lennon’s Hoops.
The unexpected continued in the SPL this week, as St. Johnstone won their first game of the season with a deserved 2-1 win over a sluggish Celtic, with Tade and Rowan Vine cancelling out an early Kris Commons goal. It was all the more impressive as the St. Johnstone players had been battling a virus all week. The win moved St. Johnstone off the bottom of the table whilst Celtic, who are enduring their worst start to a league season in almost twenty years drop down to fifth, not the best preparation for their Champions League came against Benfica on Wednesday.
There were contrasting fortunes for the Edinburgh sides as Hibs continued their fine start to the season with a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock, the impressive Leigh Griffiths grabbing both goals. Griffiths, who has made his share of headlines off the pitch, is an undoubted talent and if he manages to do his talking on the field Hibs could mount a sustained league challenge. Whilst Hearts continue to struggle going down 2-0 at St. Mirren. Hearts boss John McGlynn is under pressure at the moment especially as Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov is not known for his patience with underachieving managers. It would not be surprising if he was replaced shortly.
Ross County continued their excellent start to the season with a goalless draw away at Dundee United in a game which will never be called a classic. County have now gone 40 league games without defeat. As for United, they badly missed the creativity of Gary Mackay-Steven, who is out after undergoing an operation on his knee.
Inverness and Aberdeen toughed out a 1-1 draw in a game with two red cards and a penalty, Tudor Jones and Russell Anderson the men sent-off, although Caley boss Terry Butcher was fuming his side didn’t get another penalty whilst they were 1-0 up.
Motherwell continue to sit proudly at the top of the SPL as they came from a goal down to beat bottom club Dundee 2-1 – Michael Higdon getting both goals. ‘Well manager Stuart McCall has dismissed his side winning the league however, claiming it is ’irrelevant’ to talk about it. That may be, but Motherwell have shown already this season that they can maintain a credible challenge for the SPL title.
Going down the divisions, Partick Thistle continued to stay top of the first division with a 2-1 win at Livingston. Jackie McNamara’s side continue to be the only team in the whole of Briatin with a 100% league record. Dunfermline remain 3 points behind after a 2-0 win over Dumbarton.
In the second division, Queen of the South stay top after a 4-2 win away at Ayr. The real test for the Doonhamers comes on Tuesday night when they travel to Ibrox to face Rangers in the quarter-final of the Ramsdens Cup.
Talking of Rangers, their away day struggles continued after they were held to a goalless draw by Annan. After the game manager Ally McCoist described himself as ‘disappointed, but not embarrassed. Elgin are top of the third division after a 2-0 win over previous leaders Peterhead.