Other matches in the Scottish Premiership last weekend
Livingston squandered a promising first half at Almondvale Stadium to lose at home to Motherwell 2-1. It was the second time this season Livingston had led in a home fixture and lost. Motherwell, with one point from two matches had not exactly set the Premiership alight themselves and fielded a changed line-up to freshen things up. Even so, they went in 1-0 down thanks to a quality strike from the edge of the box by Alan Forrest. But Livingston were then undone by tired defending in the second half, as goals from Tony Watt and Liam Grimshaw stole a first win for Motherwell.
Rangers’ title defence took an early wrong turn against Dundee United in early August, but it got a shot-in-the-arm this weekend with a 4-2 win at Ross County. The performance still left manager Steven Gerrard dissatisfied. 2-0 up after less than 20 minutes through Joe Aribo and Conor Goldson, Gerrard clearly hoped for a ‘statement’ victory against a club that had never scored against Rangers in six previous meetings. Instead, County rallied before half-time with a sucker-punch goal by on-loan Harry Clarke. Alfredo Morelos restored the two-goal cushion in the second half, but County struck back again through a Jordan White penalty late on. Scott Arfield only secured victory with six minutes left.
A hectic and vibrant, if unpolished, match at Tynecastle saw Aberdeen take a useful point from Heart of Midlothian. It was a match of ruthless tackling and considerable feeling between two clubs who may not be arch-rivals, but never seem to enjoy each other’s company. Hearts looked stronger early on, but could have trailed at half-time had Craig Gordon not produced the save of the match from Christian Ramirez. A penalty by Liam Boyce early in the second half put Hearts ahead, but Aberdeen levelled in the final quarter when Dean Campbell fed Funso Ojo from the left to put the ball home.
St. Johnstone had a fantastic season last year, winning a domestic cup double, but their new league season is off to a very slow start, with just two points from three games. To add to the pain, they fell to their first outright loss of the campaign in a strange derby match at home against Dundee United. A tough, physical, dour contest at McDiarmid Park was decided by a goal from Peter Pawlett. Pawlett’s role in the game had a decidedly unhappy postscript though, as he got booked for over-celebrating the goal, and then sent off for dissent when he was not awarded a free kick after he appeared to be tripped about twenty minutes later. A really valuable win for the Tangerines though.
The most entertaining Scottish match of the weekend was at Dens Park, where the blue half of Dundee rescued a point against one of the Premiership’s early pacesetters, Hibernian. It was a backhanded reunion with old boys for both teams; Jason Cummings, formerly of Hibs, gave Dundee an 11th minute lead, before Martin Boyle, formerly of Dundee, pulled Hibs level with a penalty five minutes from half-time. Centre-half Ryan Porteous put Hibs ahead midway through the second half, but Paul McGowan forced a draw with seven minutes left, heading in a cross by man-of-the-match, Paul McMullan. The shared spoils put Hibs top and raise Dundee a place in the early table.
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