SIMPLY THE REST – THE BLOG THAT PUTS UP WITH WATCHING MICHAEL STEWART SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO
Motherwell 2-5 Celtic
Despite Boli Bolingoli’s free-form interpretation of the left back role briefly giving us hope of an upset, Celtic eventually ran out very comfortable winners at Fir Park. Motherwell started well, dominating the ball and pressing Celtic high up the park, and were worth their lead taken through a nice strike from Liam Donnelly (ably assisted by a poor attempt at a save from Scott Bain).
Sadly, had you fired up Spotify and put on The White Stripes’ sub-2 minute stomp Fell in Love with a Girl when Donnelly’s opener hit the net, it would have finished exactly as Ajer equalised for Celtic. Our foes then hit their stride, and crashed in a further 4 goals in short order from Griffiths, Forrest, Edouard and Christie. A late consolation from Donnelly made it 5-2.
St Johnstone 2-2 Livingston
St Johnstone continued their idiotic start to the season by falling two goals behind Livingston, before recovering to draw 2-2. Goals from Scott Pittman and Stevie Lawless gave an impressive Livingston a 2-0 halftime lead, but St Johnstone capitalised on a slack back pass and then a rebound to equalise through Matty Kennedy and Callum ‘son of Colin’ Hendry, respectively.
Zander Clark revealed after the game that following last week’s 7-0 shellacking at Parkhead he had turned to red wine for comfort, and he showed bottle to save an injury time penalty from Livi striker Lyndon Dykes which had been given away by former Ibrox boo boy Ricky Foster. St Johnstone will think themselves lucky to have escaped with a point, and now have two weeks to sign a striker and catch a grip of themselves before their next game. Livingston will be hoping that they are not lamenting the 2 points dropped here at the end of the season.
Hamilton 2-0 Kilmarnock
It appears that reports of Kilmarnock’s demise have been largely accurate. Despite playing against ten men for over half an hour thanks to Brian Easton’s audition for the second series of Warrior, Killie fell to a very disappointing 2-0 defeat at the Fountain of Youth Stadium. Beleaguered manager Angelo Alessio called for more signings in his post-match interview, but one suspects that a bad result against Hamilton next week in the League Cup, or indeed against Aberdeen in their next league fixture, would be his last.
Hamilton meanwhile will keep on being Hamilton, securing the odd win here and there and doubtless not getting relegated despite being rubbish. 19 year old Lewis Smith, making his first league start, gave Kilmarnock a torrid time when cutting onto his left foot and he both scored the opener and set up the second for George Oakley. Early days, but perhaps he will be the next young midfielder off the Hamilton production line to go onto bigger things.
Hearts 0-0 Ross County
In This is Memorial Device, David Keenan’s fictional account of the post-punk scene in Airdrie in the 1980s, the singer of the titular band Memorial Device, Lucas Black, has a brain condition which renders him unable to retain memories - every moment of his day-to-day existence is swept away like the splinters of a ship in a storm. Hearts fans will feel jealous of Mr Black after witnessing this execrable performance at Tynecastle in which they were fortunate to escape with a draw. The natives are getting restless after no wins in their last 9 league games, there may come a time in the near future when Director of Football Craig Levein has to give First Team Manager Craig Levein his jotters.
Ross County did not pull up any trees at Tynecastle themselves, but they will be disappointed they did not take all 3 points here considering Brian Graham missed a penalty. Nevertheless, 4 points from their opening 2 fixtures represents a solid start to life back in the top tier for the Staggies.
St Mirren 1-0 Aberdeen
St Mirren built on their decent showing at Easter Road last week with a well-deserved win over Aberdeen. İlkay Durmuş continued to look a real threat, and it was he who scored the winner with a nice finish after good work from Kyle Magennis. Jim Goodwin’s Alloa side were reliant on pace and invention from wingers such as Dario Zanatta and our own Jake Hastie, and in Durmuş, Magennis and the recently returned Kyle McAllister it looks like he has the personnel to replicate that approach in the Scottish Premiership. St Mirren are our next league opponents and we will need to be wise to their fast attacking transitions.
Aberdeen, while unfortunate to fall victim to Steven McLean’s idiosyncratic understanding of the handball law in not getting a penalty, were poor here. With Sam Cosgrove nursing a hamstring injury, Curtis Main was entrusted with leading the line and he looked every bit the man that only scored 3 goals in the league for Motherwell last season. While Aberdeen still look comfortably the 3rd best team in the league, their travails on Sunday point to the fact that their strength in depth is nowhere near that of Rangers or Celtic.
Next league fixtures:
Saturday 24th August
Celtic v Heart of Midlothian
Hamilton Academical v Motherwell
Hibernian v St Johnstone
Kilmarnock v Aberdeen
Ross County v Livingston
Sunday 25th August
St Mirren v Rangers