St Mirren claim victory over Dundee in the battle of the bottom two, Rowan Vine helps St Johnstone win at 10-man Kilmarnock, while Motherwell and Heats draw a blank at Fir Park
Round 15 Results
|Niall McGinn claimed his eighth goal in nine games to help Aberdeen topple Hibernian in second place of the SPL.
Both sides had chances in the opening half, with both McGinn and rookie striker Cammy Smith going close for the visitors, while Leigh Griffiths and Eoin Doyle then tried their luck for Hibernian, but neither side could break the deadlock.
Hibernian almost took the lead in the second half when a mistake by Dons keeper Jamie Langfield saw Griffiths attempt an overhead kick, but Langfield managed to redeem himself with a one-handed save.
The Easter Road side continued to pile on the pressure as Ryan McGivern got above Langfield to get onto a David Wotherspoon free kick, but his effort went over the bar.
With just under quarter of an hour left the visitors took the lead as Jonny Hayes found McGinn and the Northern Ireland international made no mistake, slotting the ball past Ben Williams in the Hibernian goal.
As the game entered injury time, the home side claimed for a penalty as the ball looked to have hit an Aberdeen arm during a scramble in the box, but referee Bobby Madden waved play on and the Dons claimed all three points.
|A last minute strike from Rowan Vine helped St Johnstone claim victory at the expense of 10-man Kilmarnock.
The Rugby Park side found themselves down a man within the first five minutes as skipper Manuel Pascali received a straight red for a challenge on Nigel Hasselbaink and in the aftermath Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels also received his marching orders.
The visitors claimed the opener half an hour into the game as Murray Davidson received the ball from Gregory Tade and fired low into the net.
Kilmarnock started the second half the brighter, with Paul Heffernan having a strike from the edge of the area, which was parried away from danger by Alan Mannus in the St Johnstone goal.
Both Liam Craig and Chris Millar had efforts for St Johnstone, but neither could find a way to double the lead for Steve Lomas’ side.
Then with seven minutes remaining on the clock, the 10 men of Kilmarnock got an equaliser as Michael Nelson scored with a close range header from a Danny Racchi free kick.
But all three points went back to Perth in injury time as Millar found Vine on the edge of the area and he struck the ball past Cammy Bell in the Kilmarnock goal to secure the victory.
|Both Motherwell and Hearts were forced to settle for a point after playing out a goalless draw at Fir Park in the early kick-off.
The first half was a dull affair, with the only moment of controversy coming when Motherwell goalkeeper Darren Randolph poleaxed young Jambos striker Callum Paterson, but referee Crawford Allan deemed the challenge fair.
Both sides had a chance each in the opening 45 minutes, as Ryan Stevenson had a long range strike for Hearts and Michael Higdon had a header for the home side well saved by Jamie Macdonald.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with the only real chance coming the way of Motherwell as Chris Humphrey came in from the right wing and unleashed a strike which MacDonald saved well to claim a point for the visitors.
|Goals from Johnny Russell and Stuart Armstrong saw Dundee United claim only their third win in their last 12 league fixtures.
Both Russell and skipper Jon Daly had efforts to put the visitors into a first half lead, before Ross County’s Rocco Quinn attempted a half volley and Sam Morrow saw an effort cleared off the line after being played in by Stuart Kettlewell.
The Victoria Park side took the lead early into the second half as Iain Vigurs managed to get his head onto a Richard Brittain cross and flick it into the back of the Dundee united net.
But Peter Houston's side responded quickly, with Russell beating keeper Michael Fraser in a race to the ball, before rounding the stopper and slotting the ball into an empty goal.
The Terrors then took the lead as a cross from Russell was headed by Daly into the path of Armstrong, who headed the ball home from inside the Ross County six-yard box.
Dundee United had further chances to add to their lead late on, with Rudi Skacel, Daly and Armstrong all going close, but none of them could extend the margin of victory.
|A double from Stephen Thompson, along with a late strike from Dougie Imrie helped St Mirren push away from Dundee in the battle of the bottom two.
The victory was the Paisley side's first in seven games and sees them stretch their advantage over the Dens Park outfit at the bottom to four points.
Barry Smith's side suffered a blow within the first half hour as striker Colin Nish received a straight red card for a challenge on St Mirren full back Paul Dummett.
Minutes after they were reduced to 10 men, the Dark Blues went a goal down as Lewis Guy round Rab Douglas and gave Thompson the simplest of chances to open the scoring, which he duly did.
Dundee did managed to get level midway through the second half as a handball from Jim Goodwin inside the box saw Ryan Conroy fire home the equaliser from the penalty spot.
The lead didn't last long as Thompson got his second of the day, getting his head onto a Gary Teale free kick to put the Buddies back into the lead.
Victory was secured for the home side late on as Imrie was played in by Marc McAusland and his low strike went beyond the helpless Douglas in the Dundee goal.