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Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Saturday, 17 December 2011

SPL as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times GMT)

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By Thomas McGuigan



1702: Motherwell & St Mirren share the spoils at Fir Park and earlier 10-man Aberdeen saw off Hibs in a controversial afternoon at Pittodrie. We'll have highlights of all today's games on our website from 1800 GMT tomorrow. Before then, we'll have St Johnstone v Celtic from McDiarmid Park. Hope you can join us then. Thanks for your company and enjoy your Saturday night. Cheers!

1700: What a dramatic finish at Ibrox as Rangers see off a brave challenge by Inverness to extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points. Hearts put their off-field woes behind them to thump Dunfermline 4-0, while Dundee United hit back with a late equaliser to stun Kilmarnock.

Full time
1653: FULL-TIME
HEARTS 4-0 DUNFERMLINE
RANGERS 2-1 INVERNESS CT
MOTHERWELL 1-1 ST MIRREN
KILMARNOCK 1-1 DUNDEE UTD

Hearts goal: Ryan Stephenson's shot is saved by Paul Gallacher and, as the keeper went for the rebound with Rudi Skacel, the winger headed in leaving the goalkeeper down injured.

Dundee Utd goal: A late, late equaliser for the visitors at Rugby Park. Paul Dixon finds the net, cutting inside, burrowing forward and hammering the ball past Cammy Bell.

1648: GOAL! HEARTS 4-0 DUNFERMLINE (RUDI SKACEL)

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
1647: GOAL! KILMARNOCK 1-1 DUNDEE UNITED (PAUL DIXON)

1646: Cammy Bell races from his line to claim the ball under pressure from Jon Daly. Brave goalkeeping from Bell.

1645: A terrific effort from Kenny McLean is tipped over the bar by Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph: it remains 1-1 at Fir Park.

Rangers goal: Ally McCoist's men make Inverness pay for their profligacy as substitute Kyle Lafferty thumps an 18-yard strike past the helpless Ryan Esson. Incredible game!

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
1642: GOAL! RANGERS 2-1 INVERNESS CT (KYLE LAFFERTY)

1640: Inverness appear destined to take the lead but Jonny Hayes sees his shot cleared off the line by Lee Wallace. The visitors are flying at Ibrox.

1638: Lauri Dalla Valle has joined the Dundee United attack in search of an equalising goal.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1636: Inverness are denied a second goal by the woodwork, as Willie McKay rounds Allan McGregor but sees his effort hit the outside of the post.

1635: Inverness CT goalscorer Andrew Shinnie performs heroics at the other end, clearing a Kyle Lafferty off the line: both sides chasing a winner at Ibrox.

1633: Alex Keddie goes close to pulling a goal back for Dunfermline at Tynecastle with a flashing header following a corner.

Twitter
1632: Happy to clarify earlier mistake in tweet: Hearts won't leapfrog St Johnstone and move into fourth spot with victory against the Pars. No worries Scott Cowan cheers.

1631: Richie Foran thinks he's given Inverness CT the lead at Ibrox, but he's flagged offside.

Hearts goal: David Templeton surely secures the points for Hearts after Martin Hardie tried to dribble out of the Dunfermline defence, loses the ball and the winger fires superbly into the net.

Inverness goal: The visitors equalise through Andrew Shinnie in controversial circumstances as play rages on while Rangers' Nikica Jelavic is injured after a challenge from Roman Golbart. Shinnie finished off some smart play from Gregory Tade.

1628: GOAL! HEARTS 3-0 DUNFERMLINE (DAVID TEMPLETON)

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
1626: GOAL! RANGERS 1-1 INVERNESS CT (ANDREW SHINNIE)

1625: Dunfermline goalkeeper Paul Gallacher produces a double save to deny David Templeton and Adrian Mrowiec. When the latter's shot comes back out, Hearts have cries for a penalty waved away as Templeton hits the deck. It's all happening...

Someone has struck the woodwork
1624: Sasa Papac comes agonisingly close to doubling Rangers' advantage as he gets the break of the ball from a challenge on Nikica Jelavic and smashes a left-foot shot against Ryan Esson's crossbar.

1623: David Templeton whips a shot over his shoulder just wide of the Dunfermline post after good work from one of Hearts' scorers, Mehdi Taouil.

1621: Paul McGowan almost makes it two St Mirren goals within a few minutes after taking the ball past Darren Randolph, but he blasts his shot over the bar. Oh no!

St Mirren goal: Motherwell's lead is short-lived as Jim Goodwin fires in an unstoppable shot into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
1618: GOAL! MOTHERWELL 1-1 ST MIRREN (JIM GOODWIN)

Rangers goal: Lee Wallace sends a ball to the back post which Nikica Jelavic chests down and knocks into the path of Carlos Bocanegra, who slides in at the angle of the six-yard box to put Rangers ahead.

1615: Dundee United have been rocked by falling behind. They had the better of the first half and now they are trailing but the Tangerines are still creating chances.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
1614: GOAL! RANGERS 1-0 INVERNESS CT (CARLOS BOCANEGRA)

1613: A brilliant save from Marian Kello denies Liam Buchanan after the Dunfermline striker is set up inside the Hearts box by Martin Hardie.

1612: Kyle Lafferty comes on to replace Alejandro Bedoya who looks to have picked up a knock for Rangers.

1611: Hearts almost kill off Dunfermline on the break, but Stephen Elliott fires into the side-netting.

1610: Inverness appeal unsuccessfully for a penalty again as Billy McKay claims he is held by Kyle Bartley inside the Rangers box...

Kilmarnock goal: It's a stunner from James Dayton as he cuts inside and smashes home a howitzer from 25 yards.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
1609: GOAL! KILMARNOCK 1-0 DUNDEE UNITED (JAMES DAYTON)

Motherwell goal: Michael Higdon rises above the St Mirren defence to nod in a Nicky Law cross and put Motherwell one up against his former club.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
1605: GOAL! MOTHERWELL 1-0 ST MIRREN (MICHAEL HIGDON)

1604: Jim Goodwin clears for a corner after Omar Daley breaks free and sends a ball across the face of the St Mirren goal.

1602: The Hearts tannoy welcomed the side onto the park at half time to the tune of "Paint It Black" in reference to the story in midweek that midfielder Ian Black has been supplementing his delayed income with some decorating work. Black's corners have been a constant threat to Dunfermline...

Twitter
1601: Craigl295 tweets: "Rangers are seriously missing Naismith! It's like a completely different team without him"

1600: Here's hoping for a good few goals in the second 45 in our four SPL matches...

Half time
1545: HALF-TIME:
MOTHERWELL 0-0 ST MIRREN
HEARTS 2-0 DUNFERMLINE
KILMARNOCK 0-0 DUNDEE UNITED
RANGERS 0-0 INVERNESS CT

1543: Marius Zaliukas sends the ball wide from only six yards as Hearts miss a great chance to go 3-0 ahead of Dunfermline after another dangerous corner.

1542: "Inverness are finishing this first half the better side - they are hemming Rangers into their box."
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Allan Preston

1540: Inverness appeal for a penalty for handball by Nikica Jelavic, but referee Bobby Madden is uninterested.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1539: Kenny McLean rattles the Motherwell crossbar with a thunderous effort - the Buddies so close to breaking the deadlock...

1536: Inverness midfielder Lee Cox drives at Carlos Bocanegra and puts a ball across the face of the goal, but there are no takers and Kyle Bartley clears. Rangers escape.

Twitter
1535: ScottCowan5 tweets: "2 nil.. thinking we are heading into the top 4 this afternoon #HMFC #bbcsportsound"

1534: Andrew Barrowman heads over from a corner as Dunfermline go close to pulling a goal back against Hearts.

1532: Motherwell winger Jamie Murphy goes on a superb run and sets up Michael Higdon, but the Englishman fails to connect cleanly and hits it with his shin past an open goal. Ouch!

1531: Dundee United captain Jon Daly side-foots wide from an excellent scoring position. What a chance for the striker!

Hearts goal: The hosts double their lead at Tynecastle as a fine run into the box by defender Ryan McGowan sets up Mehdi Taouil, whose shot ought to have been saved by goalkeeper Paul Gallacher.

1528: "Terry Butcher must be delighted; just the one chance for Rangers, but apart from that his gameplan has gone perfectly." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Allan Preston

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
1527: GOAL! HEARTS 2-0 DUNFERMLINE (TAOUIL)

1525: Shaun Hutchinson pulls down Jeroen Tesselaar on the edge of the penalty area and referee Calum Murray blows for what appears to be a penalty. Controversy reigns, though, when the ref penalises Tesselaar for offside.

Twitter
1523: NathanWCurrie tweets: "All I want for Christmas is Jordan Rhodes at Parkhead #Celtic #bbcsportsound"

1522: Paul Heffernan finds himself in space on the edge of the Dundee United box but his touch is poor and he pokes the ball past the post.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1520: Dundee United's Stuart Armstrong cracks in a shot that smacks off the Kilmarnock post.

1518: Inverness CT have yet to record a clean sheet in an SPL game this season. "Rangers have begun to grab this game by the scruff of the neck after a lively start from Inverness."
BBC Radio Scotland commentator Liam McLeod

1516: Rangers are turning the screw as they force a couple of corners in quick succession, but it remains goalless at Ibrox.

1515: Dunfermline defender Alex Keddie squanders a chance to equalise. After controlling the ball neatly on his chest, he drags his shot wide of the far post. Hearts quickly move up the other end, win a corner and Marius Zaliukas is again left unmarked as he sends a powerful header wide.

1513: The Kilmarnock fans are up in arms after James Dayton goes down in the box under the challenge of Paul Dixon but no penalty is awarded. The ball runs clear and Dean Shiels's powerful shot clips the top of the bar.

1512: Rangers come close to breaking the deadlock at Ibrox as Inverness keeper Ryan Esson superbly tips away Steven Whittaker's downward header from Gregg Wylde's cross.

1511: "Rangers assistant Kenny McDowall is having a go at the players and asking them to pick up the pace. He's quite right." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Allan Preston

1510: "Dunfermline are playing three central defenders, Hearts have noticed that and are using the flanks really well. Stephen Elliott through the middle seems to have more pace than the three in defence and is the difference between the sides"
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Sandy Clark

1509: "Inverness have made a good start and look really up for the match." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Allan Preston

1508: "Danny Lennon will be delighted with the way his St Mirren players have started. He's trying to get them to keep the ball moving. Motherwell need to work a bit harder at the back to keep them out."
BBC Scotland pundit Steve Cowan at Fir Park

1507: Dundee United come close to taking the lead at Rugby Park. Gavin Gunning's header is touched onto the crossbar by Cammy Bell and then Bell denies Jon Daly.

1506: Hearts go close to a second goal and again it's thanks to awful marking in the Dunfermline defence. This time, though, Ryan McGowan's header is straight at goalkeeper Paul Gallacher.

1505: St Mirren's David Van Zanten tests Darren Randolph with a low shot from distance, but the Motherwell keeper is equal to the task.

1504: "Inverness list only six substitutes. They are struggling for numbers today." BBC Radio Scotland commentator Liam McLeod

Hearts goal: Terrible defending by Dunfermline sees the Jambos take the lead. The unmarked Stephen Elliott, who himself earned the corner, scores from two yards.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
1502: GOAL! HEARTS 1-0 DUNFERMLINE (STEPHEN ELLIOTT)

1500: Here we go across the country!

1455: Rangers have the chance to move seven points clear of Celtic - who face St Johnstone tomorrow - if they can see off Terry Butcher's Inverness.

Twitter
1451: Mark27049 tweets: "Every week lots of attention is on referees. they are too inconsistent and that's what is so frustrating." And Bringthemonjpn says: "Kyle Lafferty on the bench? But Ally McCoist must know what he's doing, being a manager of a big team..."

1449: KILMARNOCK v DUNDEE UTD
Kilmarnock: Bell, Pursehouse, Kroca, Pascali, McKeown, Dayton, Shiels, Kelly, Hay, Harkins, Heffernan. Subs: Jaakkola, Silva, Racchi, Fisher, Kennedy, Barbour, Sissoko.
Dundee Utd: Pernis, Dillon, Gunning, Neilson, Dixon, Armstrong, Rankin, Robertson, Mackay-Steven, Russell, Daly. Subs: Banks, Kenneth, Flood, Watson, Douglas, Dalla Valle, Dow.
Referee: William Collum

1446: HEARTS v DUNFERMLINE
Hearts: Kello, Hamill, Webster, Zaliukas, McGowan, Templeton, Black, Mrowiec, Robinson, Taouil, Elliott. Subs: MacDonald, Sutton, Stevenson, Novikovas, Skacel, McKay, Kane.
Dunfermline: Gallacher, Dowie, Potter, Keddie, Willis, Burns, Mason, Hardie, Graham, Barrowman, Buchanan. Subs: Smith, Cardle, Kirk, Clarke, Ryan Thomson, Byrne, Young.
Referee: Charlie Richmond

1443: Former Celtic and Rangers striker Mo Johnston is at Ibrox this afternoon. He's just told Chick Young that he's enjoying being back in Glasgow. Most recently he was manager and then director of football at Major League Soccer outfit Toronto FC.

1441: MOTHERWELL v ST MIRREN
Motherwell: Randolph, Hateley, Hutchinson, Craigan, Hammell, Daley, Jennings, Lasley, Law, Murphy, Higdon. Subs: Bradley, Humphrey, McHugh, Forbes, Page, Clancy, Hughes.
St Mirren: Samson, van Zanten, McAusland, Barron, Tesselaar, McGowan, Goodwin, McLean, Carey, Thompson, Hasselbaink. Subs: Smith, Murray, McKee, Mooy, McShane, Teale, Haddad.
Referee: Calum Murray

1439: RANGERS v INVERNESS CT
Rangers: McGregor, Whittaker, Bartley, Bocanegra, Wallace, Edu, Papac, Bedoya, Davis, Wylde, Jelavic. Subs: Alexander, Broadfoot, McCulloch, Lafferty, McKay, Bendiksen, McCabe.
Inverness CT: Esson, Gillet, Tokely, Golobart, Graeme Shinnie, Cox, Foran, Hayes, Tansey, Tade, McKay. Subs: Tuffey, Piermayr, Andrew Shinnie, Ross, Morrison, Sutherland.
Referee: Bobby Madden

1437: Right, team news from this afternoon's four other SPL games to follow. Bear with me...

1435: Debate over the Pawlett penalty award and then his dismissal will run and run and run...

1429: NickHood87 tweets: "I would pay good money to see Craig Brown lob a snowball at the officials!" Would the managerial veteran fire one underarm or would he favour an action like skimming a stone at Loch Lomond?

Twitter
1427: SPL stats tweets: "Peter Pawlett's red card was Aberdeen's 6th in the #SPL this season already - twice as many as any other team."

1425: "The linesman's view was a player (Peter Pawlett) coming across, jumping into a tackle with studs showing. For me, I'd settle for a booking and I don't think it was a penalty!"
BBC Sportsound pundit Craig Paterson

1422: Ten-man Aberdeen are jubilant at the full-time whistle, but the home fans, while relieved at the victory, give the officials pelters as they leave the pitch. Plenty of controversy in the second half at Pittodrie after a tepid first half. The Dons move six points clear of Hibs in the table.

Full time
1421: FULL-TIME: ABERDEEN 1-0 HIBS

1420: Dons keeper Jason Brown saves well from Danny Galbraith's raking drive from inside the penalty area.

1419: Should the Dons hang on to claim maximum points, goalkeeper Jason Brown will earn some of the plaudits: he's been superb today when called into action.

Yellow card
1418: Aberdeen fans howl for a red card but David Stephens earns only a yellow for a sliding and ill-timed tackle on Chris Clark. A sea of red jerseys swarm round referee Craig Thomson but he's having none of it.

1417:... but another toothless attack from the visitors fizzles out and Aberdeen have a goal kick and the opportunity to run down the clock.

1416: The Aberdeen dugout is a ball of anxiety and frustration as they look to see out these last few moments of the game. Craig Brown shelters his face from the snow and can hardly bear to look. Here come Hibs again...

1414: "Hibs are doing the right thing by gambling and charging forward. That's what they have to do."
BBC Sportsound pundit Murdo MacLeod

1413: What a chance for Hibs! Akpo Sodje finds himself in space inside the Aberdeen box but his shot is brilliantly saved by Jason Brown.

1410: Dons striker Scott Vernon is flagged offside after collecting a cracking pass from Isaac Osbourne. The pace of the game has quickened - we've got just over five minutes remaining at a pulsating Pittodrie.

1409: Aberdeen make another change as Chris Clark replaces Fraser Fyvie as the snow continues to fall. Not much in the way of festive cheer for the match officials...

Yellow card
1407: The snow starts to fall at Pittodrie and you wouldn't be surprised if Dons boss Craig Brown fired a snowball at referee Craig Thomson given half the chance! Hibs striker Garry O'Connor goes into the book for a theatrical tumble under the close attention of Kari Arnason.

1405: A little over 13 minutes remaining for 10-man Aberdeen to hang on for victory or Hibs to somehow find an equaliser.

Twitter
1402: Twitter is also ablaze following that controversial red card. Markovanwatson says: "Farce of a decision. Pawlett was clearly trying to block the clearance. Was leading with the outside of his left foot." And Skovdahl79 adds: "Any worse than Sproule's challenge on the opposite touchline in the 1st half? He wasn't even booked!"

1401: Ten-man Aberdeen spurn a great chance to double their lead as striker Scott Vernon turns back inside the box to get the ball onto his right foot but Hibs recover and clear the danger.

1359: Pittodrie is suddenly crackling with the white-hot protests of the Aberdeen fans, who remain livid over Pawlett's dismissal. Youl Mawene replaces Rory Fallon as Craig Brown shuffles his Dons pack; Akpo Sodje is brought on for Michael Hart.

1356: "It's a shocking decision."
BBC Radio Scotland summariser Murdo MacLeod

1355:
Red card
RED CARD! Moments after taking the lead Aberdeen are reduced to 10 men as Peter Pawlett is given his marching orders for a sliding challenge on Lewis Stevenson. Yet more controversy and the Dons fans are howling at the whistler...

Twitter
1352: LeytherMatt tweets: "Stuck in work in Wigan, praying to the football gods for a positive Hibs result but not holding much hope now :( Mon the Hibs! Hibs have hit the buffers in this second half...

1350: Replays of that Aberdeen penalty award show there wasn't much contact there. A difficult one for referee Craig Thomson - the whistler booked Sproule for his troubles too.

1348: This will be a real test for Pat Fenlon's Hibs side. They've won only three of their 17 SPL games this season and lost six of their last nine games on the road...

Aberdeen goal: Relief among the Dons fans as they take the lead from the penalty spot. Peter Pawlett speeds into the box before tumbling under the challenge of Ivan Sproule. Scott Vernon fires the ball home, despite Graham Stack getting a touch. Can Hibs respond?

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
1345: GOAL! ABERDEEN 1-0 HIBS (SCOTT VERNON)

1344: PENALTY TO ABERDEEN!

Twitter
1340: Bringthemonjpn on Twitter: "The billed "thriller with vanilla" in Aberdeen has turned out to be little more than an ice pole so far. Needs a good second half." Indeed sir!

1337: Seven minutes into the second half and it's similar to the opening 45: plenty of effort but few moments of brilliance in front of goal.

1334:
Twitter
Richard Mason tweets: "Nice cup a tea and a ham and spicy salami sandwich for a half-time snack here in Oz...no beer and bbq though #bbcsportsound" I'll swap you a red Opal Fruit for a bit of your sandwich. Sound fair?

1333: The second half gets under way. Some goals please!

1330: BBC Sportsound pundit Murdo MacLeod says his half-time steak pie was much better than his bovril. I'm having to make do with a glass of water and a couple of Opal Fruits. Sniff.

1325: EARLY TEAM NEWS FROM IBROX: Towering defender Dorin Goian won't feature Ally McCoist's men, as he's suffering from a fever, according to BBC Sportsound pundit Chick Young. Chick says Kyle Bartley is expected to slot into central defence.

1322: RANGERS v INVERNESS CT
HEARTS v DUNFERMLINE
KILMARNOCK v DUNDEE UTD
MOTHERWELL v ST MIRREN

1320: Leaving the game at Pittodrie to one side for the moment, we've got another four SPL games - all with a 1500 GMT kick off - to enjoy this afternoon.

1318: Well, we've got bucketloads of endeavour and honest toil at a sunny but cold Pittodrie. However, we're still looking for a creative spark to light up proceedings.

Half time
1317: HALF-TIME ABERDEEN 0-0 HIBS

1315: We're into stoppage time at the end of the first half. Aberdeen are pressing but once again the final ball lets them down in the final third.

1313: Hibs striker Garry O'Connor is flagged offside, not for the first time in the opening 45, and the big hitman is wearing the expression of a "burst baw" at the moment.

1311: I've been gripped by a sudden alarm: I dropped Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson from my fantasy football team and recalled Stoke's Jonathan Walters. Not sure whether that will prove a tactical masterstroke or not!

1309: "Both sides are working hard to get the ball; their passing's been good but neither side is creating chances."
BBC Sportsound pundit Murdo MacLeod

1308: Danny Galbraith receives the ball wide on the right and cuts inside but despite stepping away from the Dons defence his effort slides well wide of the Aberdeen goal. With seven minutes until the break, the game's crying out for a wee bit of magic.

1305: "Hibs' Ivan Sproule has not been involved in the game at all. That's one player you want to be part of your attacks."
BBC Radio Scotland summariser Murdo MacLeod

1303: Aberdeen manager Craig Brown looks frozen in the Dons dugout; I hope one of the elder statesman's backroom staff can get him some bovril or a cheeky wee cup of hot Ribena!

Twitter
1302: Rory Black tweets: "Can't believe Hibs have to rely on Hearts getting a decent result just so we don't go bottom #notimpressed"

1300: The visitors seem emboldened by that Martin Scott effort and are driving into Aberdeen territory with increasing confidence. A goal may not be far away...

1256: And then Hibs come within a whisker of taking the lead against the run of play. Danny Galbraith arrows in a dangerous free-kick to the back post only for Martin Scott to see his volley brilliantly tipped away by Jason Brown. Scott was completely unmarked. Great shot, great save...

1254: Rory Fallon bullets a header wide of goal from a sumptuous delivery from Rob Milsom: Craig Brown will be hopping up and down in frustration in the Dons dugout like a wee Scots terrier after ANOTHER chance is spurned.

1253: "You feel Rory Fallon and Scott Vernon are causing more problems for Hibs than Garry O'Connor is at the other end for Aberdeen." BBC Radio Scotland summariser Murdo MacLeod

1252:... Fraser Fyvie's whipped ball into the box is unconvincingly headed clear by David Stephens but Rory McArdle lashes high over the bar. What a chance for the Dons! It remains goalless but the hosts are knocking on the door here.

1251: Aberdeen have a free kick in a promising position, about 35 yards from Graham Stack's goal...

Twitter
1249: Gordon Bowie tweets #bbcsportsound: "Usual Aberdeen start at Pittodrie: fizzing the ball with some aplomb, will go a goal down just before 1/2 time."

1248: Hibs boss Pat Fenlon is still looking for his first victory since taking up the managerial reins at Easter Road. They're slowly finding their feet after a sluggish start at a frozen Pittodrie.

1246: Forget that! Danny Galbraith threads a lovely ball through to Gary O'Connor, whose low shot is well gathered by Jason Brown. That's more like it!

1245: I'd love to report plenty of goalmouth action... alas after 15 minutes there's been precious little for either goalkeeper to get excited about.

1242: Aberdeen are forced to make an early substitution: Peter Pawlett comes on in place of Mohamed Chalali, who hobbles off after failing to recover from going over on his ankle a few minutes earlier.

1240: Garry O'Connor, in a rare foray forward for the visitors, thinks he's got a clear run on goal but the linesman's flag halts the Hibs sharpshooter in his tracks.

1239: The cold snap always triggers memories of the time I took one of the old Mitre Mouldmaster balls straight to the ear, when defending a free-kick with my under-10 team. The ball deflected for a corner but my poor lug wasn't the same for months. Ouch!

1238: Hibs have yet to pressure this makeshift Aberdeen rearguard and it's Craig Brown's men who look the more impressive in the opening 10 minutes...

1237: Richard Mason tweets: "C'mon Hibs...sitting on a boat off the Coast of Western Australia praying for a win!!" Now I'm jealous!!

Twitter
1235: Rumdrunk tweets: "It's currently -6 in Beijing, but I bet it still feels colder at Pittodrie! Come on the Dons!"

1234: The Dons force an early corner, taken by Rob Milsom, but Hibs repel the danger.

1233: "Looking at Hibs; a couple of times when the ball is played up to Garry O'Connor there's no one close by to offer support."
BBC Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod

1232: Aberdeen are fizzing the ball about with some aplomb in the opening stages but have yet to get an effort on goal.

1230: We're under way at Pittodrie!

1224: This is most definitely a day for the sheepskin coat, gloves and copious amounts of bovril while taking in your respective games. Remember, you can get in touch by tweeting using the hashtag #bbcsportsound tweet me @thomasmcg76 or text via 80295.

1222: The cold snap has hit this afternoon's Scottish football fixture list, with games in the First, Second and Third Division all succumbing to the elements. Check our story here for the latest postponements.

1217: Hibs manager Pat Fenlon says it's a "blow" to lose Isaiah Osbourne for today's game and believes his side need to start climbing the league. "We're in the position we're in because we haven't won enough football matches," he told BBC Sportsound. "It's not going to be an overnight fix but we need to start winning some games. We'll look to add to the squad in January."

1215: Aberdeen hold a three-point lead over this afternoon's opponents and Dons boss Craig Brown is relishing the encounter. "The pitch is perfect; there's no wind and there's no excuse for either side not to play good football," he has told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

1214: Hibs are without the suspended Leigh Griffiths who is serving a one-match ban for making a gesture to Rangers fans last week. Martin Scott comes in for Griffiths, while Danny Galbraith comes in for injured midfielder Isaiah Osbourne.

1213: Aberdeen, without the suspended Andrew Considine, move Rory McArdle into central defence. Fraser Fyvie and Mohamed Chalali both start with Youl Mawene, who had been struggling with a knee injury, and Chris Clark dropping to the bench.

1212: TEAMS FROM PITTODRIE:
Aberdeen: Brown, Osbourne, McArdle, Arnason, Foster, Chalali, Jack, Fyvie, Milsom, Fallon, Vernon. Subs: Gonzalez, Mawene, Clark, Mackie, Pawlett, Magennis, Megginson.
Hibernian: Stack, Hart, O'Hanlon, Hanlon, Stevenson, Wotherspoon, Scott, Stephens, Galbraith, Sproule, O'Connor. Subs: Brown, Booth, Murray, Palsson, Sodje, Towell, Welsh.
Referee: Craig Thomson

1210: Good afternoon and welcome to our Scottish Premier League coverage. Aberdeen host Hibs at Pittodrie in the first of five top-flight games: a football bonanza!



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Scottish Premier table snapshot

As it stood on 17 Dec 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Rangers 19 27 48
2 Celtic 18 22 41
3 Motherwell 18 5 34
4 St Johnstone 18 3 26
5 Hearts 19 6 25
6 Kilmarnock 18 -2 23
7 Dundee Utd 19 -5 22
8 St Mirren 19 -6 22
9 Aberdeen 19 -4 20
10 Inverness CT 19 -13 15
11 Hibernian 18 -13 14
12 Dunfermline 18 -20 14


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