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Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Saturday, 3 December 2011

Saturday's SPL as it happened


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By Colin Moffat

1712: I'll give the last word to a fuming fin1991Official on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "Getting relegated would likely be the kick up the backside that Aberdeen would need to finally start investing in the team."

1710: Tomorrow, we have Dundee United v Celtic kicking off at 1245, so tune in again for our coverage. That should be a cracker. Thanks for your company today and enjoy the rest of your Saturday.

1705: Much of the talk will be of Aberdeen's ineptitude but Kilmarnock must take credit for a second clean sheet in a row. Manuel Pascali and Mo Sissoko are forming a formidable partnership at the heart of the Rugby Park defence.

1702: Steve Lomas has had a dream start to life as St Johnstone boss. A draw at Ibrox, followed by an Edinburgh double. After thrashing Hibs last weekend, the Saints were too good for Hearts at Tynecastle and are now just four points behind third-placed Motherwell.

1659: Inverness fans will have a good journey back up the road from Paisley. A well-deserved win lifts Terry Butcher's side off the bottom and up to the giddy heights of ninth place.

1657: Rangers stretch their lead at the top to seven points with a less than convincing win at home to Dunfermline, while Aberdeen slip to the bottom spot after defeat at Kilmarnock. The Dons were toothless in attack and gave away a really soft opening goal.

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1656: From Stewart in Royal Deeside by text: "Absolutely shattered by Aberdeen! When will the players realise the time, money and effort that goes in to follow the Dons. Bring Back Russell Anderson. He knows what the Red Jersey means! A close to tears Stewart here."

1654: FULL-TIME: St Mirren 1-2 Inverness

1653: FULL-TIME: Hearts 1-2 St Johnstone

1653: FULL-TIME: Rangers 2-1 Dunfermline

1652: Oooh! Inverness keeper Ryan Esson makes a smart save to smother a powerful header from St Mirren Stevie Thompson.

1651: FULL-TIME: Kilmarnock 2-0 Aberdeen

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1650: From Ross in Dunfermline by text: "Effectively the Pars have got four strikers on the park at the moment. Who says we shut up shop?"

1649: Alex Keddie's header from a late Dunfermline corner is just too high as the Pars press for a late leveller at Ibrox.

1648: The St Mirren fans claim for a penalty as Kenny Gillet appears to handle the ball but referee Euan Norris is having none of it.

Hearts are right back in it as we approach the final few minutes as Mehdi Taouil lashes the ball past Peter Enckleman. The home fans find their voices again.

1646: GOAL Hearts 1-2 St Johnstone (Taouil)

1645: Rangers substitute Kyle Lafferty tugs his shot wide after being found by the lively Sone Aluko.

1644: Eight minutes to go at Ibrox and Dunfermline, now with Andy Kirk on from the bench, are still very much in this game.

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1642: From Steven in Aberdeen by text: "The Dons should get rid of Craig Brown and go for Stuart McCall. Third time lucky for ex-Motherwell managers!!!!?"

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1641: The texts and tweets keep coming from concerned Aberdeen fans. This from Paddy: "Re: 1629 Couldn't agree more, Jimmy wasn't perfect but his predecessors have never been able to replicate his record in the SPL!"

1640: From SF_Ally on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "This is becoming depressing for AFC. Something has to change or we'll be in the first division next Christmas."

Saints defender Dave Mackay finds the top corner from 12 yards after Murray Davidson is clipped in the penalty box by Eggert Jonsson.

1639: GOAL Hearts 0-2 St Johnstone (MacKay)

1638: Penalty to St Johnstone.

1634: Aberdeen have got around 15 minutes to find two goals or hope that St Mirren hit back against Inverness or they will be sitting bottom of the league by close of play.

1632: Inverness striker Billy McKay is lying prone on the turf as the ball come his way but still manages to get a kind of crab-football shot away, only to see his effort trickle narrowly wide.

What a screamer! Jonny Hayes curls in a lovely shot from 20 yards out, leaving Craig Samson standing to put Inverness into the lead again.

1630: GOAL St Mirren 1-2 Inverness (Hayes)

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1629: From an anonymous Aberdeen fan by text: "We need Jimmy Calderwood back. It has to be the one, idiotic decision to sack JC that defines Stewart Milne's tenure. Please, please, please bring JC back!"

1627: Aberdeen skipper Ricky Foster takes James Dayton out in a cynical fashion as the Killie man nipped the ball by him. There were covering defenders, so it's only a yellow card for the full-back.

The Aberdeen defence is caught square as James Dayton breaks away to rifle a low shot past Jason Brown.

1624: St Johnstone keeper Peter Enckleman saves Jamie Hamill's spot kick. Howls of frustration from the Jambos inside Tynecastle.

1624: GOAL Kilmarnock 2-0 Aberdeen (Dayton)

1623: Penalty to Hearts

1621: Nikica Jelavic threatens again and this time his shot is well saved by Paul Gallacher.

1619: Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic heads wide from Gregg Wylde's cross. It's been a rather tame second half at Ibrox.

1618: Liam Craig fires in a low shot that speeds wide of the Hearts goal. St Johnstone continue to look dangerous on the counter attack.

1617: St Mirren's Gary Teale powers in a long-range free-kick from the right-hand side of the penalty box and Ryan Esson is at full-stretch to tip the ball over the bar. It remains 1-1 in Paisley.

1616: Paul Heffernan trudges off for Kilmarnock. The striker has been a bit off-colour in recent weeks. James Dayton is his replacement as the rain batters down in Ayrshire.

1612: Rangers midfielder Sone Aluko continues to torment the Dunfermline defence and fires in a shot that is blocked by Alex Keddie.

1610: St Mirren have made a bright start to the second half and Ryan Esson had to get down smartly to bat away a side-foot strike from Stevie Thompson.

1608: More hesitancy in the Hearts defence presents Liam Craig with a shooting chance but the Saints midfielder's effort whizzes wide.

1607: Kilmarnock keeper Cammy Bell does well to tip over a long range strike from Rory McArdle. The defender let fly from fully 35 yards...

1605: We're off again across the country.

1603: The rain is lashing down in Paisley. The Inverness team are nowhere to be seen as St Mirren wait to kick off. Surely these hardy Highlanders aren't scared of getting wet?

1559: BBC Radio Scotland summariser Craig Paterson is of the opinion that Rangers' penalty, given for a trip on Sone Aluko, was "of the soft variety".

It's raining
1553: The weather is grim right across the country but every game has served up at least one goal so far. Hearts and Aberdeen will need to improve. I don't think either side has had a shot on target in the first 45 minutes.

Half time
1549: HALF-TIME:
Rangers 2-1 Dunfermline
St Mirren 1-1 Inverness
Hearts 0-1 St Johnstone
Kilmarnock 1-0 Aberdeen

It's like witchcraft isn't it? As soon as I had written the Buddies off, Stevie Thompson rises unchallenged to nod in a corner.

1547: GOAL St Mirren 1-1 Inverness (Thompson)

1546: St Mirren are really struggling to get a foothold in the game. Inverness are well on top in Paisley.

1544: That Dunfermline goal has really upset Rangers' rhythm and caused some unease in the home crowd

1543: Hearts have weathered the St Johnstone storm but still trail 1-0. Rudi Skacel sends in a wicked corner that is agonisingly too high for team-mate Andy Webster, who rose unchallenged but couldn't get his head on it.

1540: It's pretty poor stuff at Rugby Park, with neither side able to conjure up a goal threat since Gary Harkins' early breakthrough - and that was a gift from Aberdeen defender Andrew Considine.

1538: Inverness are moving the ball around well on the slick St Mirren Park surface and Greg Tansey slams a shot from 18 yards wide.

1536: Rangers press again, with Steven Davis denied Pars keeper Paul Gallacher and Gregg Wylde smashing a shot across goal.

Out of nothing, Dunfermline pull one back as Joe Cardle retrieves Martin Hardie's pass, cuts inside and beats Allan McGregor at his near post.

1534: GOAL Rangers 2-1 Dunfermline (Cardle)

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1534: From Steve by text: "Very refreshing to see a player with an attitude like Sone Aluko's. He really wants to be there and can create something from nothing."

1532: Marian Kello brilliantly tips away a ferocious Marcus Haber drive. What a save! That looked a certain goal for St Johnstone.

Sone Aluko twists and turns and is tripped by Gary Mason. Nikica Jelavic converts from 12 yards to double Rangers' lead.

1531: GOAL: Rangers 2-0 Dunfermline (Jelavic)


1528: Aberdeen are making a good fist of a comeback at Rugby Park, with Kilmarnock pressed deep into their own half for long spells.

1526: Correction from Ibrox. That goal has now been credited as an own goal from Dunfermline's Alex Keddie. He got one last weekend as well...

Rangers have the lead at Ibrox after goalkeeper Paul Gallacher's attempted clearance canons off Thomas Kind Bendiksen and into the net. A bit fortunate but the home side have been doing all the pressing.

1524: GOAL Rangers 1-0 Dunfermline (Bendiksen)

1523: After all the recent rain, the Rugby Park pitch is cutting up badly, making life difficult for Kilmarnock and Aberdeen. The strong wind isn't helping either...

1522: Dunfermline goalkeeper Paul Gallacher is at full stretch making an excellent save to deny Gregg Wylde.

1521: St Johnstone keeper Peter Enckleman makes a hash of an attempted clearance from Liam Craig's back-pass but Hearts fail to capitalise.

1520: Billy McKay puts the ball in the back of the St Mirren net, but referee Euan Norris had already blown for offside. Inverness are looking very sharp...

1519: Rangers are shelling the ball into the danger area with Steven Whittaker, Kirk Broadfoot, Maurice Edu and Sone Aluko all having efforts at goal but nothing finding the net.

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1518: From Mark by text: "Both Montrose strikers wearing gloves today. I'm sure there's a rule against that in the Scottish Football League - surely only foreigners can get away with gloves?"

1517: Jim Goodwin clears off the line to prevent Inverness from doubling their lead after Andrew Shinnie fires in from a corner.

1516: Hearts keeper Marian Kello races from his line to clear under the close attention of Carl Finnigan, as St Johnstone look to double their lead. The Hearts fans are becoming increasingly restless with their side under the cosh...

1515: Just to clear up on that goal from Rugby Park; Andrew Considine was the guilty party for Aberdeen, with a dreadful headed back-pass.

1513: Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic flashes a header wide from a Steven Davis cross.

Inverness are ahead in Paisley as Andrew Shinnie picks up a pass from Jonny Hayes and blasts the ball into the back of the net from 15 yards.

1512: GOAL St Mirren 0-1 Inverness (Shinnie)

1511: St Mirren forward Nigel Hasselbaink shanks a shot high and wide of target from inside the Inverness box.

1510: St Johnstone press for a second goal but goalscorer Liam Craig's corner kick is cleared by an unconvincing Hearts defence. The visitors are flying in the capital.

A poor defensive header from a hopeful, long ball, forces Jason Brown to come racing from his goal but he's beaten to the ball by Gary Harkins and the midfield strolls on to calmly roll Kilmarnock into the lead.

1508: GOAL Kilmarnock 1-0 Aberdeen (Harkins)

Hearts keeper Marian Kello comes and fails to claim a ball into the box as team-mate Marius Zaliukas heads it into the air and Liam Craig shows composure to chest the ball down and lob it into the empty net. Great start for Saints but a goalkeeping howler for the Jambos.

1505: GOAL Hearts 0-1 St Johnstone (Craig)

1504: A thrilling run by Sone Aluko sets up a chance for Nikica Jelavic but the Rangers striker fires wide from six yards.

It's sunny
It's raining
1504: "It's a blustery day in Paisley. It's windy, it's raining and it's sunny - all at the one time - and the floodlights are on." BBC Scotland commentator John Barnes at St Mirren Park.

1502: From Aldo_QS_ on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: " Lets hope Rangers get 3 points and plenty of width in the team today. Lets put pressure on Celtic."

1501: We're off at Ibrox, Tynecastle, St Mirren Park and Rugby Park...

1459: There will be a minute's applause in the memory of Wales manager Gary Speed at every game in Britain today...

1458: Before the action starts, I've just got time to inform you that Inverness defender Roman Golobart replaces the injured Josh Meekings, while Billy McKay is preferred to Gregory Tade up front. Striker Steven Thompson returns to the St Mirren starting line-up.

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1456: From Pete in Cardonald by text: "At last a young gun gets a chance to impress for the champs with Bendikson getting the nod ahead of Lafferty. Hopefully this is the motivation for the youth and experienced guys to kick on to win the league. "

1454:Aberdeen manager Craig Brown explains the dropping of goalkeeper David Gonzalez, telling BBC Radio Scotland that the Colombian was "a wee bitty lacking in crispness" in last weekend's 3-3 draw at Dunfermline. That's about as savage as the 70-year-old former Scotland boss gets - in public...

1452: From JackWright10 on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "RE: Davros183 from earlier - Gonzales's loan is ending in January so Brown's giving Brown a run to see how he'll cope... "

Kilmarnock: Bell, Fowler, Pascali, Sissoko, McKeown, Silva, Fisher, Shiels, Hay, Harkins, Heffernan. Subs: Jaakkola, Dayton, Kroca, Racchi, Pursehouse, Davidson, Kennedy.
Aberdeen: Brown, McArdle, Mawene, Considine, Foster, Clark, Osbourne, Fyvie, Milsom, Vernon, Fallon. Subs: Gonzalez, Mackie, Pawlett, Magennis, Megginson, Masson, Grimmer.
Referee: Crawford Allan

St Mirren: Samson, McAusland, Goodwin, Mair, Teale, McLean, Haddad, McGowan, Tesselaar, Thompson, Hasselbaink. Subs: Smith, van Zanten, Barron, McKee, McShane, Mooy, Carey.
Inverness CT: Esson, Golobart, Tokely, Hogg, Gillet, Hayes, Andrew Shinnie, Davis, Tansey, Foran, McKay. Subs: Tuffey, Cox, Ross, Tade, Morrison, Sutherland, Graeme Shinnie.
Referee: Euan Norris

1445: From Steve10rfc on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: " Ally has seen that today if Rangers cant score with our starting 11, we have subs who can change the game. That was problem last week."

1444: "Hopefully our game plan can cause them problems. You don't get many chances when you come here, so we have to take them. We're one or two wins away from moving up to sixth place." Dunfermline manager Jim McIntyre tells BBC Radio Scotland.

1442: Young Norwegian Thomas Bendiksen gets his chance for Rangers after impressing in a midweek friendly against Hamburg. Ross Perry, Lee McCulloch and Kyle Lafferty are the players dropping to the bench for Ally McCoist's team.

Rangers: McGregor, Whittaker, Goian, Bartley, Broadfoot, Davis, Bendiksen, Edu, Wylde, Jelavic, Aluko. Subs: Alexander, McCulloch, Lafferty, Ortiz, Bedoya, Perry, Hemmings.
Dunfermline: Gallacher, Dowie, Potter, Keddie, Willis, Graham, Mason, Boyle, Cardle, Hardie, Barrowman. Subs: Smith, Kirk, Buchanan, Clarke, Ryan Thomson, Byrne, Campbell.
Referee: Steve Conroy

1438: Managers Paolo Sergio and Steve Lomas can keep each other company in the main stand at Tynecastle since they are both serving touchline suspensions.

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1437: From anon. by text: "Tough match for Saint Johnstone today as they're missing both Sheridan and Sandaza." Do remember to add your name to texts as we do like to credit you!

1436: Having gone four games without a goal, Hearts got back on track with a 2-1 home win over Inverness CT last weekend while St Johnstone saw off Hibernian 3-1 at McDiarmid Park. The Perth club have drawn their last two away games 0-0 and have kept clean sheets in all but two matches on the road this season.

Hearts: Kello, Hamill, Webster, Zaliukas, Jonsson, Templeton, Mrowiec, McGowan, Skacel, Sutton, Taouil. Subs: MacDonald, Elliott, Obua, Stevenson, Novikovas, Smith, Robinson.
St Johnstone: Enckelman, MacKay, Wright, Anderson, Callum Davidson, Millar, Moon, Murray Davidson, Craig, Finnigan, Haber. Subs: Mannus, Maybury, McCracken, Gibson, Durnan, May, Gray.
Referee: Stevie O'Reilly

1432: Pars legend Jim Leishman scored the decisive goal the last time the Fifers won in Govan. I think that was some time in the late 19th century...

1429: Rangers have seen their lead at the top of the table cut to four points after a draw at home to St Johnstone and a defeat at Kilmarnock. Dunfermline's three victories this season have all come away from East End Park, all by 1-0 margins, but they have never won at Ibrox in the SPL.

1425: St Mirren were crushed 5-0 at Celtic Park last weekend but are still in the top half of the table as they seek revenge for defeat in the Highlands earlier in the season. Caley Thistle are the only team in the SPL yet to keep a clean sheet.

1422: Davros183 via Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "Why have Aberdeen dropped Gonzalez? He made some stunning saves last week against Dunfermline"

1420: Kilmarnock are on a high after beating Rangers for the first time at Rugby Park since 1994 last weekend, while Aberdeen fought back from two goals down to draw 3-3 at Dunfermline. Killie won 2-0 in the last meeting between the teams in Ayrshire a year ago.

1416: Actually, that's not quite right. If Inverness pick up a win at St Mirren, they would overtake an Aberdeen side that draws. Of course, if the Dons lose and the Highlanders win, then Craig Brown's team will be bottom of the pile come five o'clock.

1415: This week marked the one-year anniversary of Mark McGhee's sacking at Pittodrie. The Dons were second bottom of the table when he was given the boot and that's where they start today. If they avoid defeat at Rugby Park, Aberdeen will rocket up to ninth spot.

1411: As ever, BBC Radio Scotland provides commentary from every SPL game or you can tune in to Open All Mics for a chaotic concoction of live updates. I'll be doing my best to keep up with events with this written offering. Don't forget to send us your thoughts via text on 80295 or on Twitter using the hashtag #bbcsportsound.

1408: Rangers hand a first SPL start to Norwegian forward Thomas Kind Bendiksen. Gregg Wylde is back from suspension and Kyle Bartley also returns for the league leaders.

1406: Some early team news from Rugby Park: Aberdeen drop goalie David Gonzalez, bringing in Welshman Jason Brown.

1405: Let's hope all the clubs have done a quick check on their floodlights after last night's damp squib at Fir Park. A small electrical fire led to the abandonment of the Motherwell v Hibs game, with the visitors 1-0 ahead at half-time. I can neither confirm or deny the rumours that Off The Ball presenter Tam Cowan was spotted near the fuse box with a box of matches...

1402: We have four matches today - all kicking off at 1500. Leaders Rangers aim to return to winning ways as Dunfermline make the trip Ibrox. A win for Hearts at home to in-form St Johnstone would see Paolo Sergio's men leapfrog the Perth side into fourth place. Aberdeen visit a Kilmarnock side buoyed by last weekend's win against Rangers, while basement club Inverness are in Paisley to take on St Mirren.

1400: Good afternoon and welcome to our live Scottish Premier League coverage.

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Scottish Premier results

3 Dec 2011 23:59 UK

Scottish Premier table snapshot

As it stood on 3 Dec 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Rangers 17 24 42
2 Celtic 16 20 35
3 Motherwell 16 2 30
4 St Johnstone 16 7 26
5 Hearts 17 3 22
6 Kilmarnock 17 -2 22
7 St Mirren 17 -6 20
8 Dundee Utd 16 -5 18
9 Inverness CT 17 -11 15
10 Hibernian 16 -10 14
11 Dunfermline 17 -16 14
12 Aberdeen 16 -6 13

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