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Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Saturday, 12 September 2009 14:21 UK

SPL as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)
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By Thomas McGuigan

Tomorrow, our attention turns to New Douglas Park, where Hamilton take on Hibs. Thanks again for your company and comments during this afternoon, all the best!


1713: What an eventful day. A shame for Hearts and Kilmarnock supporters, who saw their game postponed because of the traffic problems on the M8. The top two drop points against Motherwell and Dundee United, respectively, while St Mirren and St Johnstone share the spoils.

United remain in third spot with eight points. Jody Morris's equaliser ensured St Johnstone secured their third SPL point of the season - St Mirren leapfrog Aberdeen and move up to sixth.

1657: Celtic fail to take the opportunity to move clear at the top of the league after Rangers' draw with Motherwell, as Tony Mowbray's side are held by an impressive Dundee United. The Old Firm are locked on 10 points, Rangers lead on goal difference.

Full-time
1654: FULL-TIME Celtic 1-1 Dundee United

Full-time
1653: FULL-TIME St Mirren 1-1 St Johnstone

1651: We're into four added minutes at Celtic Park.

1650: Shaun Maloney's free-kick fails to trouble United goalkeeper Nicky Weaver.

1646:
Red card
Dundee United's Scott Robertson is off after receiving a second booking for a crude challenge on Georgios Samaras.

1643: St Johnstone's Chris Millar sees his eight-yard shot pushed away by Paul Gallacher, then sends a header off the bar from the rebound.

1641: Danny Fox's sliding challenge blocks a Danny Cadamarteri shot for a corner as United looked certain to take the lead.

1638: "It's getting more tense. United are not sitting in, they're getting forward and Celtic are upping the tempo." BBC Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod at Celtic Park

1634: Paul Caddis replaces Marc Crosas for Celtic - 15 minutes remaining.

1633: St Mirren keeper Paul Gallacher pulls off a stunning save to tip Murray Davidson's effort onto the bar.

1630: It remains 1-1 at St Mirren Park, too.

1628: Celtic's right-back and Coldplay singer Chris Martin-lookalike Andreas Hinkel hops up and down as though he's on stage at The Barrowlands after claiming for a throw-in off Paul Dixon. But the referee's having none of it. The German better back off or he'll be seeing Yellow in a minute.

1624: "St Johnstone's Collin Samuel flies into a challenge on Hugh Murray of St Mirren and is lucky to escape with only a booking." BBC Radio Scotland commentator Alasdair Lamont

1623:
Yellow card
Paul Dixon goes into the box for scything down Niall McGinn.

1620: Celtic midfielder Niall McGinn sends a low shot just wide of Nicky Weaver's right-hand post. Tony Mowbray's men looking to turn the screw, but it's still 1-1.

1618 Georgios Samaras thinks he's headed Celtic into the lead, but his effort is chalked off for offside.

1617: Celtic withdraw Landry N'Guemo and bring on Georgios Samaras as they search for a second goal.

1613:
Yellow card
Dundee United midfielder Scott Robertson earns a yellow card for a challenge on Danny Fox on the edge of the United penalty area.

1612: Danny Swanson curls a beautiful shot beyond Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc... but just wide of the right-hand post. United, on the break, are as dangerous as a late-night chicken madras before a game of five-a-sides.

1610: Steven Milne misses a sitter for St Johnstone as he fails to connect with a Filipe Morais cross from about three yards out. A great chance for the visitors to take the lead for the first time today. Oh dear...

1608: David Goodwillie is agonizingly close to firing his and United's second of the day, but the back-tracking Danny Fox gets in a superb tackle to clear for a corner.

1605: And we're off too, at St Mirren Park.

1604:
The sun is out
No changes for either side at Celtic Park as the second half gets under way.

1548: HALF-TIME Celtic 1-1 Dundee United


1547: HALF-TIME St Mirren 1-1 St Johnstone

1546: Celtic are stretched once again down the right-hand side and Paul Dixon's cross causes chaos in the home defence, but Boruc scrambles the ball to safety.


1543: United were by far the better side in the opening stages at Celtic Park, but the hosts have come roaring back. Two minutes until the break.

1542: Shaun Maloney embarks on mazy run down the left and his low cross finds Scott McDonald, but the striker's shot is deflected for a corner. And United clear the danger.

1541: Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc produces a good save to deny Dundee United striker Danny Cadamarteri.

Saints midfielder Morris drilled the ball home through a crowd of players, and it took two or three bounces before beating the helpless Paul Gallacher.

1537:
Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal
GOAL St Mirren 1-1 St Johnstone (Jody Morris)

1536: The game at Celtic Park is wide open and either side look capable of taking the lead before half-time. United always seem to play with great width when they visit Celtic and Tony Mowbray's side will need to be at their best today if they want to leapfrog Rangers and move clear at the top of the league.

Stephen McGinn is brought down by Dave Mackay and Mehmet converts from the spot to put St Mirren ahead.

Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal
1534: GOAL St Mirren 1-0 St Johnstone (Billy Mehmet)

Penalty
1533: Penalty for St Mirren!

1530: "United are causing themselves problems by making short passes and they're getting caught out." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod

1529: "Twenty five minutes gone here at St Mirren Park… and it hasn't been inspirational." BBC Radio Scotland commentator Alasdair Lamont

1525: Dundee United goalkeeper Nicky Weaver deflects the ball away from Scott McDonald as the Australian international looked odds-on to get his second of the afternoon. It's a cracker of a game so far.

Yellow card
1522: Scott McDonald and Danny Swanson are both yellow-carded for a bit of handbags at dawn following a foul on Scott Brown.

1521: "St Mirren can hardly string two passes together. St Johnstone have had all the possession and are looking the most likely team." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Steve Cowan

Danny Fox's free-kick finds the unmarked Scott McDonald in the box and he heads home the equaliser.

Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal
1518: GOAL Celtic 1-1 Dundee United 1 (Scott McDonald)

1516: Nothing in the way of goalmouth action as yet from St Mirren Park.

1514: "I think that's going to be the secret for United today. They've got players that have the bottle to go at Celtic and try to keep the ball." BBC Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod.

1512: Dundee United manager Craig Levein must be delighted with his side's start at Celtic Park. They've been superb and thoroughly merit their lead.

1508: Morgaro Gomis sends in a cross for David Goodwillie, who smashes the ball past Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc from close range. Game on!

Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal
1507: GOAL Celtic 0-1 Dundee United (Goodwillie)

1504: Apologies for the delay! We've been beset by technical problems, but things are slowly returning to normal. We're under way at Celtic Park and St Mirren Park.

1451: Steven Milne and Paul Sheerin come into the St Johnstone team, with Kenny Deuchar and Chris Millar dropped to the bench for the game at St Mirren Park.

Breaking News: Lex Gold will retire as executive chairman of the Scottish Premier League within the next six weeks. He will be replaced by Ralph Topping, who is presently group director of operations with William Hill the bookmakers, although the appointment is to be ratified by the league's board.

1445: St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson sticks by the team that beat Kilmarnock 2-1 a fortnight ago for the battle of the Saints with their visitors from Perth in Paisley.

1443: Dundee United are unchanged for their task at Celtic Park after Andy Webster was passed fit after recovering from a groin problem.

1439: There's another change to the Celtic line-up for the visit of Dundee United. Midfielder Marc Crosas comes in for Georgios Samaras. We already told you that Niall McGinn is to make his Celtic debut in place of the suspended Aiden McGeady.

Rangers manager Walter Smith says he was disappointed with his side's display and can't complain about the result.

There's mixed opinions among the BBC Radio Scotland commentary team about whether it was a penalty. Chick Young, Murdo MacLeod and Craig Paterson think it wasn't, while Richard Gordon and Jim Traynor say it was. Rangers manager Walter Smith enters the debate by saying that, if there was contact, it was a penalty but that Madjid Bougherra claims there was none. As clear as mud! Decide for yourself when you see the highlights on the BBC Sport website on Sunday.

1420: Today's between Hearts and Kilmarnock at Tynecastle has been postponed because of travel problems on the M8 motorway eastboound. The Third Division match between Berwick Rangers and Stranraer was also called off. The Hearts game has been re-arranged for this coming Tuesday, with a 7.45pm kick-off

1413:
My Sport
From bringthemonjpn On My Sport: "McGregor might have his faults on and off the park, but for a penalty, who would you rather have between the sticks?"

Both sets of players shake hands at Fir Park, but it's Allan McGregor who gets a few pats on the back from his relieved Rangers team-mates after he turns defeat into a draw.

1409: FULL-TIME Motherwell 0-0 Rangers

1408: Motherwell force a late corner, but frantic Rangers defending repels the attack.

1407: "I don't think it was a bad penalty. It was a world-class stop from Allan McGregor." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

1405: The Motherwell supporters seem stunned by that penalty save, and it's the visiting fans who are in full voice following McGregor's save.

1404: Giles Coke is denied by a superb sliding challenge from Steven Whittaker just outside the six-yard box. What a finish to the game - we're into three minutes of injury-time.

1403: McGregor's penalty save really was something else, diving low to his left to keep out O'Brien's strike. Could that prove a crucial stop come the end of the season?

1401: Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor brilliantly saves Jim O'Brien's penalty.

Red card
1400: Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra receives two yellow cards: one for conceding the penalty after felling Lukas Jutkiewicz, and the second for dissent. He's off.

1359: PENALTY to Motherwell

1358: Motherwell's Tom Hateley wastes a chance to wind-up his dad and former Rangers striker Mark Hateley as he blazes over Allan McGregor's goal.

1357: Rangers substitute Nacho Novo's low cross evades his team-mates, with the on-rushing Well goalkeeper John Ruddy helpless.

1355: Motherwell striker Lukas Jutkiewicz comes on for John Sutton as Well boss Jim Gannon chases what could prove to be a crucial goal.

1354:"Rangers have gone three games without a win at Fir Park. The last time they did it was January 2007." BBC Radio Scotland commentator John Barnes

1353: Rangers beginning to come back into the game, but a few well-placed Motherwell heads manage to clear the increasingly furious attacks. Still goalless as we enter the final 10 minutes.

Yellow card
1355: Rangers defender Sasa Papac is booked for taking Jim O'Brien out of the game, right under the noses of the Motherwell fans on the far side. Ouch!

1349: Giles Coke's header flies inches over the bar following a superb run and cross from Motherwell debutant Yassin Moutaouakil.

1348: Motherwell manager Jim Gannon looks to force the issue, bringing on Keith Lasley for Ross Forbes. The youngster has had a quiet game by his own recent high standards.

1347: Rangers substitute Nacho Novo drills a low effort towards goal, but Motherwell keeper John Ruddy palms it away.

1346: BREAKING NEWS - Hearts v Kilmarnock has been postponed.

1345: "I've not got many notes of efforts on goal in the second half." BBC Radio Scotland commentator John Barnes


1342: It's a measure of how much space is available in the middle of the park after Rangers defender David Weir strolls out to the halfway line without being challenged. But all the players, with the exception of Allan McGregor, are camped in the Motherwell half, and the veteran's pass is snuffed out by the boys in claret and amber.

1339: A few folk on My Sport are asking about possible penalties for teams who fail to show up at the stadium, on time, because of traffic congestion. It appears that games can be put back a fair bit to enable frazzled players to get there and honour the fixture. Being stuck on the bus can't be good for the old muscles, though.

1337: Bedlam in the Motherwell penalty area. Steven Naismith tumbles in the box as a sea of blue engulfs Well keeper John Ruddy, but somehow the Steelmen clear. No penalty and still no goals at Fir Park. A little of 25 minutes remaining for either side to break the deadlock.

1336: "Motherwell are teasing Rangers at the moment." BBC Radio Scotland commentator John Barnes

1335: Double substitution by Rangers: Kenny Miller and Jerome Rothen trudge off to be replaced by Steven Naismith and Nacho Novo.

1334: Despite the relative lack of goalmouth action at Fir Park, this is an entertaining contest. Every Motherwell player wants on the ball, while the visitors look as though they need a bit of magic to spark into life.

1332: The Kilmarnock players have apparently abandoned the team bus and are warming up at the side of the road. Not so much hard shoulder as sore shoulder...

1331: Motherwell midfielder Jim O'Brien sends a shot high over Allan McGregor's bar, but the hosts are growing in confidence.

1330: As far as the Scottish Premier League is concerned, the match at Tynecastle is going ahead as planned, despite the traffic congestion on the M8.

1329: Sections of the home support shout Ole! with every pass in an impressive passage of play, but Motherwell fail to conclude with a shot on target.

1325: Rangers manager Walter Smith makes his way to the dugout from the stand for a quick tactical chat with assistant Ally McCoist. That's usually a sign of the Ibrox boss's disquiet...

1324: "I'd like to see Rangers up their game defensively." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

1323: Kenny Miller, whose every touch is booed by the Motherwell fans, tries to find Sasa Papac in the box, but John Ruddy is alive to the danger and the Well keeper collects the ball.

1322: Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor claws away Steven Hammell's cross as Motherwell make an impressive start to the second half.

1320: Apologies Motherwell supporters, it's actually Jamie Murphy who has been withdrawn for Jennings.


1319: The second half gets under way.

1318: Both sets of players emerge from the tunnel into the Fir Park sun for the start of the second half. Motherwell bring on Steve Jennings for Giles Coke.

1317: Re: bringthemonjpn's thoughts on a coconut, my favourite match-day treat was a macaroon bar!

1315:
My Sport
From bringthemonjpn On My Sport: "Predictable first half. Rangers knew it would be a tight game. Three points and a small coconut had to be the game plan."

1304:
My Sport
From gnovo10fan On My Sport: "Why is McGregor still in goal? He was shocking for us last season. That's why Neil Alexander was put in goal. What is Walter thinking?

1312: Some early team news from Celtic Park. Celtic midfielder Niall McGinn will start against Dundee United, stepping in for the suspended Aiden McGeady. That news from our reporter Chris McLaughlin.

1309: It sounds as though the travel problems on the M8 are still causing a headache for motorists and football teams. The Kilmarnock players are struggling to get to Tynecastle for today's game against Hearts. We'll keep you posted with developments and there will also be updates on Sportsound.

1303: HALF-TIME Motherwell 0-0 Rangers

1300: Up the other end and Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor slaps the circulation back into his legs before punching clear Ross Forbes's deep centre. We're into injury time at Fir Park.

1259: Motherwell goalkeeper John Ruddy somehow blocks Madjid Bougherra's close-range header following another cracking Jerome Rothen delivery. What a save!

1258: Kenny Miller blazes wildly over the bar from just inside the box as it smacks an empty seat behind John Ruddy's goal. The Rangers and Scotland man looks short on confidence...

1255: John Sutton spurns the best chance of the game. A great passing move from the left finds debutant Yassin Moutaouakil on the opposite wing, but Sutton fails to convert his wicked cross. We're still goalless at Fir Park with six minutes remaining in the first half.

1254: More travel chaos: the Stranraer team bus is stuck in the M8 traffic jam and it looks unlikely that the team will make it to Berwick for today's Third Division match.

1253: Important travel news for fans heading to Hearts v Kilmarnock: the M8 at Junction 5, Kirk Of Shotts is closed eastbound.

1252: Motherwell fans are up-in-arms after Rangers midfielder Pedro Mendes tumbles under a challenge from Giles Coke. Boos reverberate around Fir Park as the subsequent free-kick is cleared for a corner.

1251: "Jim O'Brien started the season at right-back but is now on the left wing, showing the former Celtic player's versatility." BBC Radio Scotland commentator John Barnes

1250: "Rangers have lost their way in the last 10 minutes and are defending too deep." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

1249: Fifteen minutes until half-time and both sides are trading blows in midfield like ageing heavyweight boxers. But little goalmouth action to quicken the pulse, I'm afraid.

1246: Jim O'Brien looks to the heavens in frustration. The man of the match so far dances inside Steven Whittaker and sees the whites of Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor's eyes, but his shot trickles well wide.

1244: Motherwell retain possession for a couple of minutes and a good few passes, before Mark Reynolds's long ball towards John Sutton is snuffed out by Madjid Bougherra. The game needs a bit of magic in the final third to wake up both goalkeepers!

1242: Steven Whittaker heads clear for a Motherwell corner after superb play on the left once again by the ever-dangerous Jim O'Brien. A good couple of minutes from the Steelmen, who are now warming to the task.

1240: Jim O'Brien shows a great piece of skill on the centre circle, to dance away from the Rangers midfield. But he fails to find John Sutton with a clever ball threaded behind Whittaker.

1237: Motherwell are struggling to get their forwards into the game and Allan McGregor has been a virtual spectator. Rangers force another corner following a good run and cross from Steven Whittaker, but Mendes drags a shot wide. The pressure is beginning to build on the home side.

1234: Jerome Rothen whips in another cracking corner from the right, but Madjid Bougherra fails to profit and Motherwell clear. The game is warming up nicely now.

1233: "If Motherwell can get it to their midfield quickly they can play football but their back-line today isn't suited for that." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

1232: Previous clashes between these two sides at Fir Park have traditionally been of the blood and thunder variety, but the hosts seem less frenetic under new boss Jim Gannon.

1230: Rangers defender Sasa Papac plays a couple of neat one-twos, before Well goalkeeper John Ruddy punches clear just as Papac looks to head home. The best move of the match so far!

1229: Motherwell spurn a great chance when John Sutton heads Ross Forbes's inviting free-kick wide. Neither goalkeeper has had his palms stung in a fairly tame opening quarter.

1228:
My Sport
From Bebob the Bear On My Sport: "I'm surprised Naismith isn't playing after performing so well against the Dutch."

1226: Rangers defender David Weir limps to the touchline after landing awkwardly on his ankle. Walter Smith will be hoping the 39-year-old remains injury-free this season, as centre halves at Ibrox are few and far between...

1224: Jerome Rothen whips in a dangerous corner from the right, but Motherwell clear, eventually. Rangers' new winger looks as though he'll be more than useful set-pieces.

1222: "Kenny Miller's effort was a warning for Motherwell that when they're attacking they have to keep an eye on defence too." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

1221: Pedro Mendes feeds Miller in the box, but the striker can't get the ball out from under his feet. Neither goalkeeper has been called into action in the opening five minutes.

1219: Rangers striker Kenny Miller sends a shot well wide of Motherwell goalkeeper John Ruddy's left-hand post. The Scotland forward is booed by a section of the home supporters. That's harsh!

1218: The Rangers defence clear an early Jim O'Brien corner. Bright start from the hosts.

1217: "Stephen Craigan is a big player for us, but he is at a stage in his career when, if he plays two big international games in a week, it takes its toll on him." Motherwell manager Jim Gannon explained why the Northern Ireland defender is on the bench.

1216: We're under way at Fir Park!

1215: Rangers' new boy Jerome Rothen receives a high-five from team-mate Sasa Papac.

1214: The sun is shining at Fir Park and let's hope we're in for a cracker!


1208:
My Sport
From DCooper7 On My Sport: "A walk in the park for Rangers today 3-0 the scoreline with Boyd (2) and Mendes chipping in the 3rd."

1203: Rangers' new signing Jerome Rothen makes his debut, following his loan from Paris St Germain. The winger gets the nod ahead of Steven Naismith, who was mightily impressive in Scotland's defeat by the Netherlands on Wednesday.

1200: Motherwell give right-back Yassin Moutaouakil his debut following his loan move from Charlton. John Sutton was back in the starting line-up but Stephen Craigan was dropped to the bench.

Rangers: McGregor, Whittaker, Bougherra, Weir, Papac, McCulloch, Davis, Mendes, Rothen, Boyd, Miller. Subs: Alexander, Thomson, Novo, Naismith, Fleck, Little, Wilson.

1156: TEAM NEWS. Motherwell: Ruddy, Moutaouakil, Saunders, Reynolds, Hammell, O'Brien, Hateley, Coke, Forbes, Murphy, Sutton. Subs: Kosiorowski, Craigan, Jennings, Jutkiewicz, Lasley, Page, McHugh.


1150: Then, in our 3pm games Celtic entertain Dundee United, Hearts take on Kilmarnock and St Mirren host St Johnstone.

1149: Scottish football supporters need cheering up following the disappointment of failing to qualify for the World Cup. What better way to raise the collective spirit this lunchtime than by enjoying Motherwell versus Rangers at Fir Park?

1148: Good morning, and welcome to our live text commentary of week four of the new Scottish Premier League season.



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Scottish Premiership table

Monday, 16 June 2014 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Scottish Premiership table
1 Celtic 11 13 27
2 Inverness CT 11 7 22
3 Motherwell 12 0 22
4 Aberdeen 11 6 20
5 St Johnstone 12 6 18
6 Dundee Utd 12 8 17
7 Hibernian 12 -3 15
8 Partick 11 -2 13
9 Ross County 10 -8 10
10 Kilmarnock 12 -5 9
11 St Mirren 10 -11 8
12 Hearts 12 -11 -7

see also
SPL photo gallery
12 Sep 09 |  Scottish Premier


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