SPL Round 20 Results: Celtic extend their lead with victory at Dundee while Motherwell thump Aberdeen

Inverness CT claim a draw against St Mirren, Ross County extend the gap at the bottom, Liam Kelly penalty hands Kilmarnock win while Dundee United & Motherwell share a point

Round 20 Results


An early Gavin Gunning header and an own goal from Brian McLean saw Dundee United and St Johnstone share the spoils in the early kick-off.

The home side took the lead with two minutes gone in the game as Gunning got onto a Barry Douglas free kick and diverted the ball past Alan Mannus in the Saints goal to open the scoring.

Gunning then had four more chances to add to his goal, but the former Blackburn defender couldn’t find the target, as Dundee United went in search of the second goal.

Just after the half-time break the visitors got back level as on-loan Aberdeen youngster Peter Pawlett raced down the right wing and his cross into the penalty area was diverted past his own keeper by McLean and into the net.

Steve Lomas’ side then went into the ascendance and could have snatched all three points as Murray Davidson, Steven MacLean and Gregory Tade all had efforts at goal, but none of the could find the target that would claim the victory.
Ross County gave themselves some breathing room at the bottom of the SPL, as Richard Brittain’s second half strike handed them all three points.

Hibernian have now failed to win in the last four league games, only picking up a solitary point against Kilmarnock last Sunday.

The near 9,000 crowd at Easter Road were treated to a poor spectacle throughout, with both sides only combined for seven shots on target during the entire game.

The only goal of the game came just over 10 minutes after the break as Brittain got onto the end of an Iain Vigurs cross, powering a header past Ben Williams from just inside the box to give The Staggies the advantage.

Hibernian started to come back into the game, as substitute Jorge Claros tried his luck with a long range strike, but former Easter Road stopper Mark Brown done well to save the Honduran’s strike and secure the three points.
Inverness CT couldn’t close the gap on leaders Celtic as they were forced to come from behind twice to claim a point at home to St Mirren.

The Paisley side have now only lost once in their last six league fixtures, as they look to open the gap on bottom place Dundee.

They had the perfect start, as after Dougie Imrie smashed a shot from the edge of the penalty area past Antonio Reguero to hand St Mirren the lead.

Inverness then came storming back and if it wasn’t for the heroics of goalkeeper Craig Samson, saving a Richie Foran header, after Billy McKay had played in his skipper, then the sides would have been level.

But the equaliser did come just before half-time as McKay gave the ball to Andrew Shinnie and the Scotland international crashed the ball into the top corner of the St Mirren goal from just outside the box.

St Mirren regained the lead just after the interval as Stephen Thompson got his head onto a Gary Teale cross from the right wing to score the Buddies second of the game.

But it wasn’t to be enough, as midway through the second half Foran snatched the equaliser from close range after Samson had failed to properly deal with an Aaron Doran strike, allowing the Inverness CT captain to level things up.
A first half penalty from Liam Kelly gave Kilmarnock all three points against Hearts at Rugby Park.

It was Kenny Shiels’ side’s first home league victory in four games and leaves the Tynecastle outfit marooned in the bottom six.

The only goal of the game came midway through the opening period as Hearts defender Andy Webster brought James Dayton down inside the box, leaving referee Stevie McLean no alternative but to point to the spot.

And that allowed Kelly to step-up and from 12 yards out and smash the ball beyond the outstretched arms of Jamie MacDonald in the Hearts goal to give Kilmarnock the lead.

Hearts thought they had equalised minutes later, as Gordon Smith slammed the ball home from the edge of the box, but referee McLean had blown for a foul by Smith’s strike partner John Sutton moments earlier.

The Edinburgh side piled on the pressure in second half and should have been level as substitute Callum Paterson was clean through on goal, but the young forward hit his strike too early and that allowed Killie keeper Cammy Bell to save easily and secure the victory.
Motherwell avenged their Scottish Cup defeat by Aberdeen, by thumping Craig Brown’s side at Fir Park.

The resounding victory sees the Steelmen move into third place in the SPL, only trailing Inverness CT on goal difference.

The opener came in the ninth minute when a Jamie Murphy cross was headed past Jamie Langfield in the visiting goal by Tom Hateley.

That lead was then doubled on the half hour mark as Murphy jinxed past numerous Aberdeen defenders before smashing a long range effort beyond Langfield and into the back of the net.

Aberdeen came roaring back and almost immediately got a goal back as Jonny Hayes received the ball from Rory Fallon and made his way through the middle of the park, before hitting a rasping effort past Darren Randolph to reduce the visitors arrears.

On the stroke of half-time Murphy claimed his second of the game after Zaine Francis-Angol set the Motherwell forward up inside the box and he drilled the ball low to restore the two-goal cushion for the Lanarkshire outfit.

Motherwell extended the lead even further after the break, as Henrik Ojamaa weaved past the Dons defence, before playing the ball towards Michael Higdon, who claimed the Steelmen’s fourth of the game, cannoning the ball off of the underside of the bar and into the net.

The visitors then handed Motherwell the chance for a fifth goal as Andrew Considine was adjudged to have fouled Higdon inside the penalty area, but Langfield done well to save Murphy’s spot kick and prevent the forward from claiming his hat-trick.