The Scottish Premiership reached the halfway mark this afternoon with four fixtures taking place across the top-flight as Dundee hosted Hearts, Livingston welcomed Ross County, Motherwell faced St Johnstone and Rangers took on Dundee United.
With fog causing havoc in the lower divisions, all four games went ahead without (major) difficulties as Hearts solidified their grip on third place and Motherwell moved three points clear of Dundee United in the race for fourth place.
Ross County’s recent good form continued as they opened up a narrow gap over twelfth-placed St Johnstone in the battle to avoid going into the winter break bottom.
Here’s our quick round-up of how this afternoon’s Scottish Premiership games ended:
Dundee 0-1 Hearts
Three points at Dens!
— Heart of Midlothian FC (@JamTarts) December 18, 2021
A tense opening 45 saw both sides battling to get control of the game with little joy in front of goal. The second 45 would open up a bit more with Hearts having a goal disallowed when Willie Collum ruled out Jamie Walker’s strike to pull the ball back for an earlier foul on a Jambos player.
Walker would break the deadlock soon afterwards, slamming the ball home when substitute Aaron McEneff’s shot was deflected off the foot of Liam Fontaine and onto the post.
Dundee: Legzdins, Kerr, Fontaine, McGhee, Mullen, McGowan, Elliot, McCowan, McMullen, Anderson, Griffiths.
Substitutes: Lawlor, Jakubiak, Panter, Donald, Lamb.
Hearts: Gordon, Kingsley, Souttar, Halkett, Haring, Mackay-Steven, Devlin, Moore, Halliday, McKay, Woodburn.
Substitutes: Stewart, Smith, Walker, McEneff, Cochrane, Gnanduillet, Logan
Livingston 1-1 Ross County
FT | LIV 1-1 ROS
A valuable point on the road pic.twitter.com/laW4zX06p7
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) December 18, 2021
Ross County picked up a point at the Tony Macaroni Arena to end Livingston’s hopes of a third Scottish Premiership win in a row. The Staggies took the lead just before the break through David Cancola when the Ross County star curled one into the top corner from 25 yards.
Livi pushed for an equaliser in the second 45, going close on several occasions before Ayo Obileye grabbed a dramatic 89th-minute equaliser to earn a share of the points for David Martindale’s side.
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater, Obileye, Penrice, Holt, Omeonga, McMillan, Sibbald, Forrest, Shinnie.
Substitutes: Maley, Kelly, Longridge, Bailey, Pittman, Panayiotou, Anderson.
Ross County: Maynard-Brewer, Randall, Baldwin, Clarke, Vokins, Tillson, Cancola, Spittal, Charles-Cook, D. Samuel, White.
Substitutes: Callachan, A. Samuel, Watson, Burroughs, Hungbo, B. Paton, Laidlaw.
Motherwell 2-0 St Johnstone
A well-earned win 👏
Motherwell 2-0 St Johnstone
— Motherwell FC (@MotherwellFC) December 18, 2021
A game of very few chances in the opening 45 saw Motherwell go in 1-0 thanks to Dean Cornelius’ strike – the only shot on target either side registered in the first half.
Motherwell turned up the pressure after the break and Kevin van Veen made it 2-0 ten minutes after the restart, prompting attack after attack from the hosts without managing to add to their lead.
Motherwell: Kelly, O’Donnell, Solhom, Mugabi, McGinley, Goss, Donnelly, Cornelius, Van Veen, Woolery, Watt.
Substitutes: Fox, Carroll, Slattery, Amaluzor, Grimshaw, Roberts, Shields.
St Johnstone: Clark, Gordon, Brown, Booth, Rooney, McCart, Craig, Bryson, Solomon-Otabor, Middleton, May.
Substitutes: Parish, Devine, Dendoncker, Davidson, Butterfield, O’Halloran, Crawford.
Rangers 1-0 Dundee United
FT | RANGERS 1-0 UNITED
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) December 18, 2021
With three teenagers in the starting XI, Dundee United frustrated Rangers for long spells as the hosts put together a disjointed performance. It took a 70th-minute penalty for Rangers to break the deadlock, James Tavernier scoring from 12 yards.
Darren Watson’s injury-time header cracked the crossbar and almost stunned the Gers but Thomas Courts’ side head home with nothing after a rough week for the Tannadice side.
Rangers: McGregor, Patterson, Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Kamara, Lundstram, Arfield, Hagi, Kent, Morelos.
Substitutes: McLaughlin, Simpson, King, Aribo, Bacuna, Wright, Sakala.
Dundee United: Carson, Mulgrew, Edwards, McMann, Moore, Sporle, Glass, Mochrie, Meekison, Watson, Clark.
Substitutes: Newman, Chalmers, Hoti, Smith, Appere, Thomson, O’Donnell.
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