by John Reid
It’s the last Scottish Stramash for two weeks as the SPL heads into it’s mini-break.
Celtic are nine points clear at the top of the SPL after a 1-0 win over Motherwell. After Jamie Murphy – who has left Motherwell for Sheffield United – won a disputed penalty, Fraser Forster saved a Motherwell penalty, and shortly after Gary Hooper got the only goal to give Celtic the win. Celtic have also been linked with Israeli defender Rami Gershon who is currently in Glasgow for signing talks.
The Edinburgh derby ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw, the main talking points were Hearts missing a load of good chances but having fortune in that ref Willie Collum took no action against Ryan Stevenson for a very poor challenge on Hibs’ James McPake, which left Hibs manager Pat Fenlon furious.
Dundee remain nine points adrift at the bottom of the SPL after a 1-0 defeat to St. Johnstone, and today Dundee’s board of directors gave manager Barry Smith the vote of confidence admit rumours some members of the board wanted Smith sacked, which seems unfair as up until Rangers’ liquidation Dundee were expecting to play in the First Division.
Aberdeen and Dundee United drew 2-2 in a match notable for an own goal by Aberdeen goalie Jamie Langfield and yet another goal from Niall McGinn, his 14th SPL goal this season, it will be interesting to see if any bids come in for him during the transfer window.
St. Mirren and Kilmarnock drew 1-1, but after the game Killie manager Kenny Shiels had a dispute with BBC Scotland presenter Richard Gordon over – you’ve guessed it – referees. Killie also signed Rabiu Ibrahim from Celtic, who could turn out to be a good signing for them.
Unfortunately the much-anticipated Highland derby between Ross County and Inverness was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.
In the first division, Morton went top on Boxing Day after beating previous leaders Partick 2-1, but then proceeded to lost 3-0 at home to bottom club Dumbarton. Partick are now two points behind Morton with two games in hand.
Second division leaders Queen of the South remain nine points clear after a 5-1 win at Ayr, and in the third division Rangers’ winning run continued with victories at Queen’s Park and Annan. They are now seventeen points clear at the top of the league.