An off the field incident overshadowed Dundee United’s victory against Aberdeen, whilst Motherwell brushed past Hearts and points were shared at St Mirren.
Dundee United 1-0 Aberdeen
Ian Harkes’ winner ten minutes from time secured the three points for Dundee United but Saturday’s match is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The incredible scenes at Tannadice started in the 42nd minute, United captain Callum Butcher receiving a red card for a strange incident involving opposition striker Christian Ramirez; Butcher appearing to grab Ramirez’s genitals. Three minutes later, in even stranger circumstances, the teams were levelled at ten-a-side. Aberdeen midfielder Funso Ojo, carried by his momentum, left the pitch, and approached the Dundee United fans where he was seemingly pushed by a supporter at the front of the stand. Ojo appeared to motion towards the supporter and exchange words, which was enough for referee Bobby Madden to show him a second yellow card. The conversation about the incident will continue, and the police are also investigating.
There was also some football played. Jandro Fuchs had an effort blocked and Kieron Freeman also came close for Dundee United, whilst Ryan Hedges and Christian Ramirez spurned opportunities for the visitors.
United thought they had taken the lead, but Louis Appéré’s effort was touched onto the post by Joe Lewis. The resulting corner made its way through the penalty area to Harkes, who finished with the outside of his right foot into the net. Aberdeen couldn’t find a response as they fell to a second consecutive defeat.
Motherwell 2-0 Heart of Midlothian
Connor Shields and Ricki Lamie goals were enough to defeat a lacklustre Hearts side in their visit to Motherwell.
The visitors offered little in the first half; Ben Woodburn and Josh Ginnelly nearly breaching the Motherwell defence, but Hearts were unable to create a clear-cut opening. Motherwell controlled play before the breakthrough came in the 23rd minute; Connor Shields was on hand to convert for close range after his ‘Well colleague Sean Goss failed to connect properly with Kaiyne Woollery’s cross.
The second half was more the same as Motherwell created the better of the opportunities and the game was decided in within two minutes with a little over a quarter of the game remaining. Hearts’ defender Taylor Moore received a second yellow card when he halted Connor Shields’ progress towards goal. To confound Moore’s side’s misery, Sean Goss delivered an inviting ball into the box which was met by Ricki Lamie to head beyond Craig Gordon with sixty-six minutes plated. It could have even better for the ‘Well but Tony Watt’s effort was deflected wide and an outstanding double save by Gordon prevented Woollery and Shields from adding a third.
St Mirren 1-1 Livingston
Two stunning strikes shared the points in Paisley: a closely contested encounter which sprung to life in the 68th minute. Both sides largely cancelled each other out until the ball fell at the feet of Jamie McGrath who, spotting Livi’ ‘keeper Max Stryjek off his line, curled a dipping effort into the net from twenty-five yards. There were only two minutes of normal time remaining when Livingston captain Nicky Devlin rifled a powerful low shot from distance into Jak Alnwick’s goal to level the scores. St Mirren had two handball claims denied in injury time; Joe Shaughnessy’s chance was blocked by Jack Fitzwater before Livi’s Stephane Omeonga headed the ball against his own arm with the last action of the game.
What it means…
No change at the top as Rangers and Celtic were in League Cup action. Dundee United draw level on points with third place Hearts; Motherwell remain fifth but open a five-point gap to St Mirren, who move into sixth. Hibs fall to seventh but have three games in hand due to Covid disruptions and cup duties. Livingston remain tenth after their draw, moving three points clear of the relegation play-off place.