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Dundee remain 15 points adrift after defeat at Pittodrie, while Hibernian and Ross County secured narrow victories over St Mirren and St Johnstone to boost their top-four chances

SPL

Round 13 Results
ABERDEEN
1 0 DUNDEE

Niall McGinn hit his 17th goal of the season to hand Aberdeen their first win of the year against bottom club Dundee on Friday night.

The Dens Park side have now gone 12 league games without a win, with just five goals during that barren spell.

Dundee should have found themselves a goal down early on after Scott Vernon received the ball six yards from goal, with his strike seemingly being blocked by the hand of Gary Irvine, only for the referee wave away penalty appeals.

Dundee were limited to long-range efforts, with Brian Easton testing Dons keeper Jamie Langfield with a firm drive midway through the first half.

And the overdue winner came when McGinn picked the ball up in his own half and proceeded to race unimpeded towards goal, before squeezing the ball inside Dundee goalkeeper Rab Douglas’ left-hand post.

Barry Smith’s side did have a golden opportunity to get level when Gary Harkins played in Jim McAlister, but the former Morton winger’s strike cannoned off of the Aberdeen crossbar and away from danger.



CELTIC
6 2 DUNDEE UNITED
 MATCH REPORT
HEARTS
0 3 KILMARNOCK

A hat-trick from Paul Heffernan made it five wins in a row for Kilmarnock at Tynecastle as they thumped struggling Hearts.

The Edinburgh side, who are currently the subject of takeover rumours due to the collapse of owner Vladimir Romanov’s bank, were handed a blow when forced to make a first-half substitution when had to be stretchered off after colliding with Liverpool loanee Danny Wilson – the latter seeing out the remainder of the game with a bandage around head.

And Hearts suffered further heartache three minutes before the break as Heffernan latched onto a James Dayton pass to fire past Jamie MacDonald.

Kilmarnock doubled their lead midway through the second half when Heffernan pounced on William Gros smart assist.

And, minutes later, the Irish striker nabbed his third from close range after Borja Perez found Heffernan inside the penalty box to claim the match ball.

MOTHERWELL
3 0 INVERNESS CT

Motherwell leapfrogged Inverness CT into second place in the Scottish Premier League after a double from Michael Higdon and a Nicky Law strike handed them all three points.

The defeat sees Terry Butcher’s side go six games without a victory in all competitions, with the club also crashing out of both the League Cup and Scottish Cup.

The Fir Park side took the lead just before the half-hour mark when Henrik Ojamaa’s miss-hit strike found its way towards Higdon, who fired home past Ryan Esson from close range.

Stuart McCall’s side doubled their advantage five minutes after the break as Law chipped the ball over Esson and into the back of the Inverness goal.

And the victory was secured moments later as Stuart Carswell found Higdon to volley home and take the Steelmen into second place.

ROSS COUNTY
1 0 ST JOHNSTONE

An early strike from Ivan Sproule saw Ross County claim victory over St Johnstone and edge closer to the top six in the SPL.

The winner came after just 10 minutes Sproule curled a stunning strike past Alan Mannus from over 35 yards.

Steve Lomas’ side suffered a blow when influential playmaker Murray Davidson was forced off with injury, being replaced by Michael Doughty.  

From then on, the Perth side dominated, with on-loan Newcastle midfielder Mehdi Abeid pulling the strings from the centre of the park, but neither he nor Rowan Vine or Liam Craig could find a way past Staggies goalkeeper Mark Brown.

The second half followed the same rhythm, with the St Johnstone trio attempting pot-shots from distance, but the Ross County defence managed to stay strong and hold out to claim the victory.

ST MIRREN
0 1 HIBERNIAN

A second-half penalty from Leigh Griffiths helped Hibernian stay on the coattails of Motherwell with a victory at St Mirren.

The Edinburgh side remain three points behind the Steelmen after claiming their first league victory of 2013.

St Mirren had the best of the first half, with on-loan pair Paul Dummett and Esmael Goncalves both working space for promising efforts on goal, but neither could find a way past Ben Williams.

Pat Fenlon’s side had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Tom Taiwo got onto a Matt Done cross, but he put his effort wide from a good position.

And Hibernian took the lead after Done had been hauled to the ground by Jim Goodwin inside the area, with referee Willie Collum pointing to the spot. Griffiths making no mistake from 12 yards.

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