by John Reid
Celtic stay top, the Hibs and Aberdeen revivals continue and Rangers lose to the worst team in Scotland in this week’s Scottish football round-up.
Celtic stayed top of the SPL after a 1-0 victory over Hearts, Giorgios Samaras following up his winner over Spartak Moscow with the only goal. Hearts will be disappointed they didn’t manage to grab a point, as both Andrew Driver and Callum Paterson spurned great chances as Celtic tired. But Neil Lennon will be satisfied with this week’s performances by Celtic.
Hibs stay second after a 3-0 win over Dundee, with goals from Eoin Doyle, Leigh Griffiths and David Wotherspooon. Hibs boss Pat Fenlon will be particularly pleased at it showed his side have the ability to bounce back from setbacks, such as last week’s defeat to Aberdeen.
Speaking of Aberdeen, their good form continues and they are now up to third after coming from a goal down to win 3-1 at Kilmarnock, with goals from Rae, McGinn and Vernon. Aberdeen could provide the sternest test to Celtic this season, and it could be a vital game when the sides meet in Aberdeen in a month’s time.
The form team in Scotland continue to be St. Johnstone, who reacted to Steve Lomas being named manager of the month with a 2-1 win over St. Mirren., with goals from Hasselbaink and Davidson. St. Johnstone’s victory over Celtic last month seems to have been the turning point in their season as they have now won five games in a row.
In the first SPL Highland Derby Inverness had a comfortable 3-1 victory over Ross County, with goals from Draper, Shinnie and Doran. Inverness seem to have finally got their season going whilst Ross County, for all their early season plaudits are starting to find life in the SPL tough.
The Motherwell-Dundee United game on Saturday was postponed as a power failure in the surrounding area of Fir Park meant that the stadium had no power and the game was called off.
Dunfermline are the new leaders of the first division after going from 2 goals down to grab a point at local rivals Falkirk. They are ahead of Partick Thistle on goal difference, who suffered their first defeat of the season going down 3-1 to Morton, who moved to within two points of the leaders.
Queen of the South stay top of the second division after a 2-0 win over Stranraer. They are now six points ahead of Forfar, who lost 3-2 at home to Alloa.
The biggest story in Scottish football this week has to be Rangers’ first league defeat this season to Stirling Albion, who were previously bottom of the league. Stirling’s manager was not at the game as he was getting married, and when he found out the result I’m sure he raised a toast or two. For Rangers, questions over the future of Ally McCoist continue, but it seems that owner Charles Green will stick with him for a while yet.
There is no SPL football next week, instead Scotland – with the recalled Stephen Fletcher and the returning Darren Fletcher – take on Wales next Friday in a vital encounter. I’ll be back with my review of that next week.