SPFL round-up: Hickey wins it for Hearts as Celtic and Rangers march on
17-year-old Aaron Hickey (right) struck late as Hearts beat Hibs at Easter Road. Photo by Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

SPFL round-up: Hickey wins it for Hearts as Celtic and Rangers march on

Hearts came from behind to win the Edinburgh derby, while wins for Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen give the top of the table a familiar look.

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Graham Davidson

Hickey hands Hearts the spoils in Edinburgh derby


17-year-old Aaron Hickey’s meteoric rise continued at Easter Road with a late winner for Hearts against local rivals Hibs in the Edinburgh derby. After a relatively even opening period, the home side took the lead with Stephen Mallan’s incredible 30-yard piledriver two minutes after the break. With time possibly running out for Craig Levein to save his job, the visitors rallied to equalise on 70 minutes through Uche Ikpeazu, before Hickey’s deflected strike six minutes from time gave the Jambos the points. The pressure surely now shifts from Levein to Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom, whose side have now taken just one point from five games, and sit one place above the bottom. Hearts, meanwhile, move up to eighth after their first league win of the campaign. 

Champions march on against Killie

Celtic recovered from going a goal down to Kilmarnock to run out comfortable 3-1 winners. Despite dominating the opening exchanges, Celtic fell behind on 33 minutes to Eamonn Brophy’s deflected shot. Kilmarnock nearly held out until half-time, but Odsonne Edouard headed in from James Forrest’s cross a minute before the break to restore parity. Edouard completed the turnaround on 53 minutes, squeezing in from a tight angle, while Ryan Christie made the points safe four minutes later. While Killie will take heart from a creditable performance, Celtic were worthy winners, and sit on top of the league with a perfect 18 points from six games.

Gers second-half blitz too much for St Johnstone

Rangers scored four second half goals in Perth to cement their second place position in the SPFL. Despite enjoying the better of the first period, only a fine Alan McGregor save prevented Steven Gerrard’s men from going in behind at the break. However, an Alfredo Morelos strike and Connor Goldson header had the Ibrox side 2-0 up by the hour mark, while Jermaine Defoe added two in last two minutes to more the scoreline more emphatic. While St Johnstone will point to a disputed goal-line clearance which would have made the score 2-1 directly before Rangers broke upfield for the third, few will argue against Rangers being deserved winners.

Dons steal the points from Livi

Aberdeen put their injury crisis to one side to beat Livingston 2-0 at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Despite being second best for long periods, the Dons took the lead on the half hour when Andrew Considine struck at the near post from a corner. Livingston may feel slightly aggrieved after commanding much of the game, with Jon Guthrie striking the bar, Chris Erskine missing the ball completely with the goal at his mercy, and Scott Robinson being thwarted by Joe Lewis in the Aberdeen goal. However, composure in front of goal proved to be key, and Sam Cosgrove would not be denied. After coming on for Curtis Main, Cosgrove won and converted the injury time penalty which moved Aberdeen up to third in the table.

Late comeback for the Highlanders at Fir Park

Ross County ended Motherwell’s impressive recent run, scoring twice in the last quarter at Fir Park. Despite a stodgy opening 45 minutes, the home side deservedly took the lead on the hour when Allan Campbell finished low into the left-hand corner. The tide turned with quarter of an hour remaining. Michael Gardyne found Brian Graham for the equaliser, then Jake Carroll was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in very quick succession. With two minutes remaining, Ross Stewart bulleted home a tightly angled header after good work from Richard Foster. The result will leave a frustrated Motherwell pointing to a disputed disallowed first-half goal, but will be welcome relief for County, who now move up to fifth.

Stalemate at the bottom 

Hamilton held on with ten men for the majority of the second half to secure a point in Paisley against St Mirren. Despite losing George Oakley for a second yellow card on 50 minutes, the visitors rallied to deny a frustrated Buddies side who dominated possession but created little. Neat play in midfield was not matched by any significant penetration, with the home side managing only one effort on goal in the first half from Tony Andreu, and creating little further until a late surge towards the final whistle. The visitors were happy to play on the counter, and a Blair Alston drive came lose to snatching all three points for Accies. While St Mirren will be glad to break a run of three straight defeats, a meagre total of only three goals in six SPFL matches tells its own story. 

Results

Saturday

Livingston 0-2 Aberdeen 

Motherwell 1-2 Ross County

St Mirren 0-0 Hamilton

Sunday

Celtic 3-1 Kilmarnock

Hibs 1-2 Hearts

St Johnstone 0-4 Rangers
 

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