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Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Saturday, 26 September 2009 17:11 UK

SPL as it happened

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By Colin Moffat

1705: "We came here with a game-plan and it worked to a degree, so we have to be satisfied. The young players were outstanding and really drove us on," Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee gets the final word on a hectic Saturday. Thanks for your company. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

My Sport
From maverick_9 On My Sport: "Rangers players surely couldn't dare use exhaustion as an excuse. No European qualifiers to play and it's not as if they were dragged to Asia, Australia or the US for friendlies in pre-season."

1658: Falkirk move off the foot of the table after picking up a point in a drab goalless draw at home to Kilmarnock. The Bairns leapfrog St Johnstone, who lost out 3-2 in a thrilling Tayside derby. Dundee United are just a point behind Hibs and Rangers.

1655: It's been a good day for Celtic, even though manager Tony Mowbray was not happy with the performance in their 2-0 win at St Mirren. A third consecutive 0-0 draw for Rangers means table-toppers Celtic now lead by four points, while Hibs have joined the Ibrox side on 12 points.

1654: Full-time: St Johnstone 2-3 Dundee Utd

1652: Full time: Rangers 0-0 Aberdeen. That's five league clean sheets in a row for the Dons.

1650: Full-time: Motherwell 1-3 Hibernian, Falkirk 0-0 Kilmarnock, Hearts 2-1 Hamilton

1649: Martin Hardie collapses in the Dundee United penalty box but gets nothing for his dramatic topple.

1647: Falkirk keeper Robert Olejnik makes a crucial save from Kevin Kyle's late header.

Red card
Dundee United midfielder Danny Swanson gets his marching orders for a cynical foul on Murray Davidson.

1643:BBC Radio Scotland summariser Allan Preston squeaks in high-pitched disbelief as Hearts striker Dave Witteveen misses his kick right in front of goal.

1642: "Rangers look a weary, weary team," BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds watches on as the Ibrox side head for a third consecutive 0-0 draw in the SPL.

My Sport
From shaunsjfc On My Sport: "Saints dominating, dodgy penalty against us and then we fall behind - same old same old..."

Dundee United substitute David Goodwillie restores the lead with virtually his first touch of the ball. Damian Casalinuovo shows great strength to prod the ball across the face of goal and, although his strike partner missed with his first attempt to connect, he knocks the ball home after it comes back off the far post.

1635: GOAL - St Johnstone 2-3 Dundee Utd

1632: Falkirk striker Carl Finnigan heads wide of the Kilmarnock goal.

1631: Rangers forward Nacho Novo hits the post after a mazy run into the Aberdeen box.

Saints are back on level terms as Martin Hardie curls home an amazing free-kick from 18 yards. It was the substitute's first touch of the ball!

1630: GOAL - St Johnstone 2-2 Dundee Utd

1629: Charlie Mulgrew's corner is headed wide by Andrew Considine and Kris Boyd heads narrowly wide at the other end.

1628: Colin Nish sets up Liam Miller who is brought down by Motherwell's Giles Coke as the Hibs man attempts to get a shot away. Ref Steve Conroy waves play on, much to the annoyance of the travelling fans at Fir Park.

1627: "It's a boring stalemate. We need a bit of magic to lift the crowd," BBC Radio Scotland commentator Kenny Macintyre at the Falkirk Stadium

1625: Aberdeen are standing firm against Rangers. Mark McGhee's side are well organised and playing with confidence.

1622: Dundee United goalkeeper Nicky Weaver's finger tips prevent a superb shot from Filipe Morais bringing St Johnstone level again. A stunning save from the former Man City custodian.

1621: Kris Boyd replaces Steven Naismith as Rangers search for a breakthrough against Aberdeen.

The Accies are right back in it at Tynecastle. Marco Paixao beating Craig Thomson to the ball and coolly slotting a shot beyond Janos Balogh.

1619: GOAL - Hearts 2-1 Hamilton

Of course, I should have told you earlier that Michael Stewart has rattled home the earlier penalty, following a Martin Canning challenge on David Witteveen

Hearts double their lead from a corner. Obua head towards goal and Suso cheekily back-heels into the net from close range.

1613: GOAL - Hearts 2-0 Hamilton

Hibs midfielder Merouane Zemmama fires in a spectacular free kick, but he gets booked by Steve Conroy for his celebrations.

1612: GOAL - Hearts 1-0 Hamilton

1611: GOAL - Motherwell 1-3 Hibernian

1611: Penalty for Hearts.

1610: Falkirk skipper Darren Barr's looping header is cleared off the line by Kevin Kyle.

Hibs forward Derek Riordan sends a sweet curling right-foot shot past John Ruddy to put Hibernian ahead against the run of play.

1608: GOAL - Motherwell 1-2 Hibernian

Lee Wilkie rises to meet a long throw into the six-yard box and Andy Webster fires home through a sea of legs.

1607: GOAL - St Johnstone 1-2 Dundee Utd

1605: Hamilton keeper Thomas Cerny makes a comfortable save from Suso, who tries to bend it in from 25 yards.

1603: We're off again. Hold on to your hats!

1559: "Hamilton will be pleased with their first half effort. They've had a few half chances, while Hearts have been disappointing," BBC Radio Scotland pundit Stevie Cowan.

1555: "I feel for St Johnstone. They really should be ahead and I don't think it was a penalty; Dave MacKay used his shoulder to clear, not his arm," BBC Radio Scotland pundit Sandy Clark.

My Sport
From memnoch666 On My Sport: "Rangers final ball is awful today, and Gers need to change this tactic of trying the 40 yard through ball as Aberdeen cut it out so easily."

My Sport
From LiverHero On My Sport: "Far too much 'edge of your seat' text action going on at Ibrox! I've fallen off a few times now. Langfield seems to be having quite a grand game."

1548: Phew! That's half time in all of our games.

1547: Murray Davidson squanders another great chance for St Johnstone, clipping the ball over the head of goalkeeper Nicky Weaver, but the ball again evades the goal and team-mate Kenny Deuchar.

1547: Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor dives low to keep out a glancing header by Gary McDonald.

1545: St Johnstone miss two good chances to go ahead. Murray Davidson had an eternity to pick his spot when he broke clear but dithered to allow Paul Dixon to put in a goal-saving tackle. The ball breaks to Kenny Deuchar but he can only make enough contact to divert the ball across the face of goal.

1545: Aberdeen are forced to make a change as the injured Jered Ifill is replaced by Stuart Duff.

1543: Kilmarnock's Mehdil Taouil hits the post with a free-kick to brighten up what has been a drab contest so far.

1540: Jerome Rothen is foiled by Jamie Langfield again, this time the Dons keeper tipping the winger's free-kick over the bar. Soon after, Nacho Novo goes clean through but the Spaniard's effort is blocked by the keeper.

1535: Prior to those goals at Fir Park and McDiarmid Park, Hearts defender Jose Goncalves had rattled the crossbar from a Craig Thomson corner.

St Johnstone fire home a quick reply. Filipe Morais hammers the ball across the six-yard box and it takes a deflection off former Saints defender Darren Dodds and into the net.

A Jim O'Brien corner is met by Mark Reynolds, who heads powerfully beyond Graham Stack to level the scores at Fir Park.

1538: GOAL - St Johnstone 1-1 Dundee Utd

1537: GOAL - Motherwell 1-1 Hibernian

Referee Dougie McDonald decides St Johnstone defender Dave McKay used an arm to clear. Danny Cadamarteri blazes home the spot kick.

1535: GOAL - St Johnstone 0-1 Dundee Utd

1534: Penalty to Dundee United.

1533: Aberdeen midfielder Gary McDonald chests the ball down and volleys over the Rangers bar.

1531: Murray Davidson really ought to have given St Johnstone the lead against Dundee United but heads over from eight yards from a corner.

1530: David Obua heads wide from a Craig Thomson cross as Hearts continue to press from the opening goal at Tynecastle.

1529: "This is like an elongated five-a-side game! I will be stunned if this finishes 0-0." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Pat Nevin has forgotten that Colin Nish has already scored at Fir Park.

1527: Rangers striker Kenny Miller turns and shoots in the box but the ball is deflected wide by Ricky Foster.

1526: Falkirk keeper Robert Olejnik saves a shot from Kilmarnock's Danny Invincibile and old stager Jackie McNamara is on hand to clear the danger.

1525: Dundee United goalkeeper Nicky Weaver makes a good instinctive save to deny Kenny Deuchar, who fires the ball in from close range after a dangerous low cross by Collin Samuel.

1524: Merouane Zemmama fires a shot narrowly wide of John Ruddy's post after another mistake by the shaky Motherwell goalie.

1523: Falkirk are temporarily down to 10 men as Sean Lynch receives treatment off the park.

1521: Hibs goal-scorer Colin Nish goes down in the box after a trip by Steven Saunders, but no penalty or caution is awarded.

1520: Rangers winger Jerome Rothen draws a fine save from Jamie Langfield with a fierce near-post drive.

1517: Lee Wilkie quickly draws blood in his aerial battle with the St Johnstone defence. Stuart McCaffrey leaves the field to have his bandages reinforced. But, to be fair to the big United man, McCaffrey had started the game with a thick headband after finishing last weekend's game with Hibs with a cut forehead.

My Sport
From LiverHero On My Sport: "In AND around" the Aberdeen box eh? Must have missed a few penalties those teddies!" Err... Rangers did win two indirect free kicks in the Dons' box early on - honest.

Motherwell goalkeeper John Ruddy fumbles a cross from Anthony Stokes and Colin Nish is on hand to apply a simple finish from close range.

1511: GOAL - Motherwell 0-1 Hibernian

1508: Rangers have started at a furious pace and are winning free-kicks in and around the Aberdeen box.

1507: Hearts go close through Spanish winger Suso but he opts to shoot when a header looked easier and Tomas Cerny gathers.

1502: Dundee United might just be going for the aerial route at McDiarmid Park. Towering defender Lee Wilkie is playing up front.

1501: It looks like Hearts mean business. They have a corner after only 20 seconds and it was Hamilton who kicked off at Tynecastle.

1500: The death of former Fifa vice-president David Will is being marked before kick off at all of the games.

My Sport
From Maker100 On My Sport: "Good to see Zemmama back in the team, he should give us some creativity in the middle. Just need to cut out the silly mistakes."

Hearts: Balogh, Craig Thomson, Bouzid, Zaliukas, Goncalves, Santana, Michael Stewart, Black, Driver, Witteveen, Obua. Subs: MacDonald, Kucharski, Novikovas, Jason Thomson, Johnny Stewart, Mulrooney, Robinson.
Hamilton: Cerny, McClenahan, Canning, Hastings, McLaughlin, Marco Paixao, McArthur, Wesolowski, Mensing, Mason, Antoine-Curier. Subs: Murdoch, Evans, Louhoungu, Gillespie, Kissock, Elebert, Knight.

1451: Killie boss Jim Jefferies takes on one of his former charges, Eddie May. Jefferies signed May for Falkirk 15 years ago but it is the latter who is in the Bairns dugout now. Falkirk prop up the table going into this encounter, still looking for their first win, but Killie are only two points better off.

Falkirk: Olejnik, McNamara, Scobbie, McLean, Barr, O'Brien, Flynn, Lynch, Marceta, Finnigan, Finnbogason. Subs: Wagenaar, Lima, Allison, Stewart, Moffat, Mitchell, Twaddle.
Kilmarnock: Mark Brown, Old, Hay, Wright, O'Leary, Hamill, Taouil, Invincibile, Skelton, Kyle, Sammon. Subs: Bell, Fowler, Russell, Owens, Flannigan, Fernandez, Kelly.

1446: "It is a very unsatisfactory day at the office. We got the three points, but we have to be better than that. We got drawn into a scrap with a team who we have better players than," Celtic manager Tony Mowbray talking to BBC Radio Scotland.

1442: At the risk of jinxing this one, Motherwell v Hibernian could be a cracker. Unbeaten in the league, Well have impressed with their attacking brand of play and are level on points with Hibs, who suffered a disappointing Co-operative Insurance Cup defeat to St Johnstone during the week. But Anthony Stokes and Derek Riordan have been in good scoring form for the visitors and could cause Jim Gannon's men problems. Colin Nish and trickster Merouane Zemmama return to the Hibs starting line-up.

Motherwell: Ruddy, Moutaouakil, Saunders, Reynolds, Hammell, O'Brien, Coke, Hateley, Forbes, Sutton, Jutkiewicz. Subs: Fraser, Craigan, Humphrey, Jennings, Lasley, Murphy, McHugh.
Hibernian: Stack, Wotherspoon, Hogg, Bamba, Murray, Zemmama, McBride, Miller, Riordan, Stokes, Nish. Subs: Ma-Kalambay, Cregg, Rankin, Thicot, Benjelloun, Hanlon, Galbraith.

1437: Rangers face Sevilla and Celtic in their next two games and need to find some form in front of goal after drawing blanks against Motherwell and Kilmarnock. The Dons are looking for their first win in Govan since 1991 and are coming off the back of a surprise Co-operative Insurance Cup defeat to First Division Dundee.

Rangers: McGregor, Whittaker, Weir, Bougherra, Smith, Naismith, McCulloch, Thomson, Rothen, Novo, Miller. Subs: Alexander, Boyd, Beasley, Fleck, Loy, Little, Wilson.
Aberdeen: Langfield, Foster, Ifil, Considine, Mulgrew, Fyvie, McDonald, Kerr, Pawlett, Miller, Paton. Subs: Nelson, Maguire, Mackie, Young, Duff, Stewart, Crawford.

1430: Saints are looking for their first league win of the season and United aim to recover from their first SPL defeat last week. The Perth side got a morale-boosting victory against Co-operative Insurance Cup opponents Hibernian during the week.

St Johnstone: Main, MacKay, McCaffrey, Gartland, Grainger, Millar, Morris, Davidson, Morais, Deuchar, Samuel. Subs: McLean, Anderson, Hardie, Craig, Swankie, Lindsay, Reynolds.
Dundee Utd: Weaver, Kovacevic, Webster, Wilkie, Dods, Swanson, Scott Robertson, Buaben, Dixon, Cadamarteri, Casalinuovo. Subs: Banks, Conway, Myrie-Williams, Dillon, Fotheringham, Shala, Goodwillie.

1425: Hearts host Hamilton at Tynecastle with the Jambos looking for revenge for their January defeat at New Douglas Park. Both sides have had an indifferent start to the season, each picking up a meagre four points after five games.

1423: Early team news from Ibrox: Kris Boyd, Steven Davis, Sasa Papac, Pedro Mendes and Neil Alexander drop out of the Rangers team, with Allan McGregor, Steven Smith, Kenny Miller, Nacho Novo and Lee McCulloch all starting. Boyd and Alexander are listed as substitutes.

1421: Full-time: St Mirren 0-2 Celtic

1420: Paul Gallacher races out of his penalty area to kick clear as Niall McGinn scampers after a long ball forward. The Celtic sub then sends the last shot of the match wide from 22 yards.

1416: Oh dear! Shaun Maloney picks out Scott McDonald right in front of goal but Celtic's top-scorer skews his shot wide from 12 yards.

1414: Scott Brown, who has turned in a disciplined defensive midfield display, is off, with Marc Crosas leaving the Celtic bench.

1412: Last throw of the dice for St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson. Billy Mehmet trudges off to be replaced by fellow forward Michael Higdon.

1409: Scott McDonald skips past Chris Innes and the St Mirren defender pulls down the Australian with quite an impressive rugby tackle. He's booked for his troubles, of course. St Mirren are heading for their 11th consecutive home league game without a win.

Saints keeper Paul Gallacher pushes out a close-range toe-poke from Shaun Maloney but the ball breaks back to the Scotland midfielder and he curls a sweet strike into the opposite corner from 14 yards.

1406: GOAL - St Mirren 0-2 Celtic

1402: Andy Dorman breaks into the Celtic penalty area and cuts a pass to Craig Dargo but Sean Bean look-a-like Glenn Loovens is over like a flash to snuff out the danger.

1401: Georgios Samaras gets a sight of goal but the Celtic sub shoots over the crossbar under pressure from Chris Innes.

1359: Stephen McManus nods a Danny Fox free kick into the danger zone but the home defence stand firm and Jack Ross blooters the ball to safety.

My Sport
From rustard On My Sport: "Could Paddy be a Lubo in a couple of seasons? Lubo got better with age."

1355: That's the last we'll see of Paddy McCourt today. Niall McGinn is on to replace his fellow Northern Ireland international.

1354: St Mirren sub Andy Dorman gets his head to a Billy Mehmet cross but Artur Boruc is down smartly to make his first save of note.

1350: Another change for the home side, who are struggling to make an attacking impression. Tom Brighton is on for Hugh Murray.

My Sport
From celt68 On My Sport: "Great performance by Paddy McCourt, well done son..."

1346: Paddy McCourt sets off on another mazy run but this time he runs out pitch and the ball goes behind for a goal-kick. "He has a deceptive gait," remarks BBC Radio Scotland summariser Billy Stark. "He's quicker than he looks."

1344: Andy Dorman comes on for Garry Brady and Georgios Samaras replaces Chris Killen as both teams make a change early in the second half.

1342: Chris Killen and John Potter clash by the touchline, bumping chests in a very primitive fashion. Both men are booked for their silliness.

1339: Hugh Murray makes a crunching tackle on Shaun Maloney, who was shaping to turn near the penalty spot. The St Mirren man timed that one perfectly - and he had to.

1337: BBC Radio Scotland commentator David Begg apologises to listeners for mistaking a "swarthy-looking gentleman taking lots of notes, presumably a Rapid Vienna spy" for none other than former Sunderland coach Ricky Sbragia. He's a scout for the Black Cats now. I wonder who he's keeping tabs on?

Text in your views on 80295
"As usual overhype from the media on McCourt. Celtic haven't played anyone of note so of course he looks good. We'll see come the games against Rapid and Rangers, after all no teams in England wanted him and this is the SPL after all." Pete in Aberdeen via text to 80295.

1332: The teams are making their way out for the second half. Can the Buddies find a way back or will Celtic step up a gear and extend their lead?

My Sport
From SheikYerMannie On My Sport: "Big Arab crowd at St Johnstone today - United for the win!" It should be a good game at McDiarmid Park later, with the Saints making a bright start to the season but still to record a league victory.

Text in your views on 80295
"The ref is a joke, ignoring Brown's lunge on Murray, but then booking Thomson for two players tugging jerseys. Buddie Annoyed via text to 80295.

1318: "Paddy McCourt is a throwback to an earlier era, the ball looks like it's tied to his toes sometimes," BBC Scotland pundit Craig Paterson is impressed by the Northern Ireland winger.

1316: Half-time: St Mirren 0-1 Celtic. Paddy McCourt's solo goal separates the sides going into the interval.

1312: St Mirren striker Billy Mehmet makes room for a shot on the edge of the penalty box but his curling effort is deflected wide.

1309: Hugh Murray and Scott Brown get themselves into a tangle and exchange a few heated words. The game is a bit livelier now.

1306: Another free kick for the home side and this
Text in your views on 80295
time Garry Brady simply trundles the ball straight to the defensive wall. Celtic break at pace, with Paddy McCourt drilling in a low cross. Paul Gallacher gets a hand to it and a John Potter challenge prevents Chris Killen scoring from close range.

1302: Stephen McGinn swings in a dangerous free kick but John Potter fails to get his head on it. The St Mirren defender holds said noggin in frustration because that looked like a great chance to find a quick equaliser.

1259: Celtic striker Scott McDonald fires an ambitious long-range effort sailing high over the crossbar.

Celtic winger Paddy McCourt waltzes past four limp challenges from the Buddies defence and slams an angled shot beyond Paul Gallacher.

1256: GOAL - St Mirren 0-1 Celtic

1254: David Barron has to sweep a deflected Shaun Maloney cross behind his own goal for a corner but the visitors make nothing of the set-piece.

1252: That's 22 minutes gone and absolutely nothing of note has happened. Last week's early kick off produced a drab 0-0 between Kilmarnock and Rangers, please spare us another bore draw.

1249: Celtic win a free kick 35 yards out and Danny Fox, soon to be called up by Scotland, blazes the ball way beyond everyone in a congested penalty area. What a waste!

1246: I reckon Vanilla Ice (real name: Robert Matthew Van Winkle) was topping the charts the last time St Mirren beat Celtic in the league. Anyone out there brave enough to admit busting a few moves to Ice, Ice, Baby?

1244: Paddy McCourt tries his luck from the angle of the penalty box but the Celtic winger's shot flies high and wide of the target.

1241: St Mirren make a foray forward, with Craig Dargo linking well with David Barron but the full-back's final delivery is woefully over-hit. It's fair to say this game hasn't exactly caught fire in the early stages.

1237: Shaun Maloney makes room for a cross from the left but the ball evades Chris Killen at the back post. Celtic are making all of the early running.

My Sport
From paulmuir1984 On My Sport: "Come on St Mirren... Beating Celtic today would be a great first league win in the new stadium!!"

1234: Paddy McCourt embarks on a long, mazy run to feed Scott McDonald on the edge of the penalty box but the Celtic striker plays a return pass straight out for a thrown-in.

1230: And we're off. After a brief and bizarre burst of the Village People's YMCA.

1229: There is a minute of applause in memory of David Will; former SFA president and Fifa vice-president.

1227: The teams are out and Celtic are wearing their bumble bee kit, which really is an assault on the senses at this early hour.

My Sport
From Pettigrew78 On My Sport: "Statistics are like rules, they are there to be broken sometimes, St Mirren wont be easy."

Text in your views on 80295
"Hats off to MacPherson in playing 2 strikers." CJ via text to 80295. The Buddies have struggled in front of goal for a few seasons now. Will they be able to break down the Celtic defence?

My Sport
From ericthefish1873 On My Sport: "I think the game of the day will be Motherwell v Hibs (maybe a 2-2 draw)." Eric also predicts a 2-0 win for Celtic.

1215: The last time these sides met St Mirren came out on top, winning a March Scottish Cup tie in Paisley 1-0 thanks to a Billy Mehmet penalty kick. However, the Buddies haven't beaten any team on league duty at their new home since they took up residence in late January and you have to go back nearly 20 years for a win over Celtic in the league.

1210: The home side make one enforced change, with Chris Innes stepping in for suspended central defender Lee Mair.

1208: Paddy McCourt retains his place in the Celtic starting line-up, with Aiden McGeady nursing an ankle injury. Gary Caldwell drops to the bench, with Glenn Loovens and Stephen McManus paired together at the back.

St Mirren: Gallacher, Ross, Potter, Innes, Barron, McGinn, Murray, Brady, Thomson, Dargo, Mehmet. Subs: Howard, Dorman, Higdon, O'Donnell, Brighton, Quinn, Faulds.
Celtic: Boruc, Hinkel, Loovens, McManus, Daniel Fox, McCourt, N'Guemo, Brown, Maloney, McDonald, Killen. Subs: Zaluska, Caldwell, Samaras, McGinn, Crosas, Forrest, Caddis.

1200: Welcome to an action-packed Saturday in Scotland's top flight. First up we have the lunchtime kick off at St Mirren Park, where league leaders Celtic are the visitors.

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Scottish Premier results

26 Sep 2009 23:59 UK

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Falkirk 0-0 Kilmarnock R
Hearts 2-1 Hamilton R
Motherwell 1-3 Hibernian R
Rangers 0-0 Aberdeen R
St Johnstone 2-3 Dundee Utd R
St Mirren 0-2 Celtic R

Scottish Premier table snapshot

As it stood on 26 Sep 2009 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Celtic 6 9 16
2 Rangers 6 7 12
3 Hibernian 6 5 12
4 Dundee Utd 6 3 11
5 Aberdeen 6 2 9
6 Motherwell 6 1 9
7 Hearts 6 -2 7
8 Kilmarnock 6 -1 5
9 St Mirren 6 -3 5
10 Hamilton 6 -8 4
11 Falkirk 6 -6 3
12 St Johnstone 6 -7 3

see also
SPL photo gallery
26 Sep 09 |  Scottish Premier

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