Scottish Football Midweek Matches – May 2018

This midweek saw matches being played on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening. Games were from the Scottish Premiership, as well as from the Scottish Championship and Scottish League One Play-Off Ties.

Premiership:

Aberdeen 1-1 Rangers

It was a battling performance by Jimmy Nicholl’s Rangers side as they left Pittodrie with a point which almost guarantee’s the Glasgow side a place in Europe next year with a top three finish almost certainly guaranteed.

The visitors started brightly with Alfredo Morelos shooting straight at Lewis after 5 minutes, however, the opening goal went the way of the hosts.

Kenny McLean was fouled by Jason Holt inside the area, with the Norwich City loanee firing past Jak Alnwick to open the scoring for the Dons from the penalty spot.

Ryan Christie shot on target, but it was simple for ex-Port Vale shot-stopper Alnwick before Derek McInnes’ side nearly double their advantage, only for the bar to deny McLean his second goal of the encounter.

Graham Dorrans had to leave the pitch early through injury, being replaced by QPR loan midfielder Sean Goss. Hosts captain Graeme Shinnie saw a shot blocked before McLean was repelled once more by Alnwick as the half-time whistle went.

Christie forced the keeper in to action again early on in the second-half before Rangers finally got a grip of the tie. Morelos saw a shot blocked as it spun in to the grateful arms of Joe Lewis before he sliced a shot well wide of target from the left.

Shinnie would see another attempt well-defended by the Gers before the Colombian Morelos had another effort, this time with his head, but it couldn’t beat Lewis on this occasion. Then, Jason Cummings was brought on for Holt as Nicholl gambled and put 2 up front.

It made almost an immediate impact as Ross McCrorie grabbed the equaliser. With McInnes’ men unable to clear the danger, the defender – plying his trade in midfield in the Granite City on Tuesday evening – rose above his marker to nod home from close-range; the Scotland Under-21 international dedicated his goal to his grandmother after the match as the promising youngster scored a vital equaliser in this clash.

Morelos was snuffed out before Greg Stewart replaced ex-Rangers loanee Dominic Ball in the centre of the park for the home side. Gary Mackay-Steven shot at goal but Alnwick was alert to the danger to deny the former Celtic winger, while James Tavernier and Goss saw shots blocked heading into the closing stages.

Stevie May replaced youngster Sam Cosgrove up front for the final 10 minutes, Both sides had chances blazed over the bar as Goss became more influential with proceedings while fellow substitute Stewart couldn’t keep his shot down at the other end.

McLean was last to try at goal but this effort also sailed high and wide. Adam Rooney replaced Mackay-Steven in injury-time but the last-ditch attempt to grab a winner wasn’t forthcoming for the hosts, who remain in second place, just a point ahead of their opponents with one match-day left.

Attendance: 17,745

Celtic 0-0 Kilmarnock

It was a frustrating evening in Glasgow as Premiership champions Celtic were held to a 0-0 draw by Steve Clarke’s Killie.

It was a very slow opening period, with neither side creating many chances of note. In fact, it took until the 37rh minute for the opening shot of the contest as James Forrest headed over the bar from the centre of the box.

Scott Sinclair dragged a shot wide from 6-yards out before Patrick Roberts knocked an attempt high and wide to the left on the stroke of half-time.

The first save of the night at Celtic Park came on 48 minutes as Forrest struck towards goal but it was straight at Jamie MacDonald who saved comfortably.

Callum McGregor failed to hit the target before Stuart Armstrong saw a shot blocked. This was the Scotland internatonal’s final involvement as he was replaced by Tom Rogic in the engine room.

Just a minute later and youngster Calvin Miller was taken off for Kieran Tierney as Brendan Rodgers through on his key men to try and salvage a victory. With thirteen minutes remaining, the visitors replaced Eamonn Brophy with Kris Boyd, as Kilmarnock looked to register their first shot of the match.

That didn’t come however as Celtic continued to press forward. Jack Hendry saw a shot blocked before he headed wide of target following a corner late on. Rogic saw a shot well-defended as well, sandwiched in between the two chances for ex-Dundee defender Hendry.

Ewan Henderson was switched in for Roberts for the Hoops in their final change of the evening while Killie used their final two substitutions available to them late on too as Chris Burke replaced Greg Kiltie while Iain Wilson was brought on for Youssouf Mulumbu.

Rogic saw another shot blocked as the visitors held firm in a tremendous defensive performanc which only saw Celtic accrue 10 shots, with only one being on target. Despite no shots themselves, it’ll be the Ayrshire club who leave Parkhead with a smile on their faces.

Attendance: 54,916

Hamilton Academical 1-2 St Johnstone

David Wotherspoon’s 80th minute strike helped secure a victory for St Johnstone at New Douglas Park on Tuesday evening as Tommy Wright’s men hope to end the term strongly.

It was a slow beginning, with neither side creating a chance within the opening 15 minutes. However, on-loan Manchester United midfielder Matthew Willock picked up an injury and was replaced by Saints Under-20’s Alistair McCann.

It took until just after the half-hour mark for the first shot in anger of this contest, as David Templeton forced a good ave out of Zander Clark with a curling effort to the left.

Next, David McMillan had the opening opportunity for the hosts but the striker headed off-target from the centre of the box. Danny Redmond came close while Scott McMann saw a shot blocked. George Williams then smacked the left-hand post from just a few yards out as that elusive first goal failed to materialise for either side.

Redmond was to fire high over the bar from inside the area before St Johnstone hit the post again. This time it was Scott Tanser, with the Perth side coming agonisingly close right before the break.

Within 5 minutes of the restart, Darian McKinnon and Murray Davidson both saw their headers saved. Hamilton’s Ryan Fulton making a comfortable save while Clark was made to work in similar fashion.

Templeton fired wide and also had a shot blocked: sandwiched in between was a fantastic chance for Dougie Imrie but his shot went wide from inside the 6-yard box.

The opener was found on 65 minutes as Fulton took out Williams inside the penalty box. McMillan stepped up and slotted the ball home, with a right-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner, to open the scoring.

Redmond was snuffed out before McKinnon tried his luck from distance but the strike was straight down the throat of Clark. McMillan almost doubled his tally, at the other end, but he saw his header saved by ex-Liverpool youth Fulton.

Antonio Rojano came on for Marios Ogboe in attack for Hamilton while Martin Canning also switched Mikel Miller, in place of Redmond. Youngster Callum Hendry would also enter the fray – for the away club – replacing goalscorer McMillan.

Stefan Scougall came on for Williams as the game hit a lull before Hendry tested Fulton from range. Then, Hendry would be the provider as he set-up David Wotherspoon whose shot went across goal and into the net for 2-0 Saints.

Accies hit back straight away though; Templeton forced another save out of Clark but almost immediately they had another chance, with Imrie nodding the ball home following Miller’s cross.

Hendry saw an attempt blocked as Hamilton pushed forward at the other end. Another striker, Rakish Bingham was brought on in the closing stages, switching with Templeton.

But, it was the visitors who kept finding chances: Hendry headed over before McCann saw an attempt blocked. The game would finish with a win for Wright’s men though, with Canning’s side disappointed to have not taken their chances once again.

Attendance: 2,367

Heart of Midlothian 2-1 Hibernian

Hearts were victorious once again in the Edinburgh Derby as Craig Levein’s men deny their Capital rivals the opportunity to finish above fourth this term.

It was a bright start by Neil Lennon’s men as Brandon Barker saw two shots blocked while the Manchester City winger also forced Jon McLaughlin into a smart stop down low to the right on 15 minutes.

Just before that, John McGinn had fired wide for the Hibees, but, it was the hosts who opened their scoring. With their first shot of the evening, Kyle Lafferty managed to poke the ball across the face of Ofir Marciano’s goal and into the far corner to pile the misery on to their Edinburgh rivals.

This opened the game up even further as Christophe Berra and then Harry Cochrane forced Israeli international keeper Marciano into stops. Barker, at the other end, also made McLaughlin worked once again with the ex-Burton keeper saving to the right this time.

Harry Cochrane saw a shot blocked before Dylan McGeouch was forced on earlier than planned as Martin Boyle pulled up with an injury; a big blow for the Easter Road club.

Scott Allan had two late attempts at goal: his first effort being saved by McLaughlin before he curled one wide just prior to the interval.

Just moments in to the second-half, however, and Hibs had the chance to draw level. Joaquim Adao fouled Lewis Stevensson inside the penalty box, with Finnish striker Florian Kamberi firing high into the left-hand corner to make the game all-square once more.

McGinn tried his luck again but if drifted off-target before Steven Naismith flicked on Cochrane’s free-kick delivery to send Tynecastle into raptures again as the visitors fell behind for the second time in the contest.

McGinn saw an attempt blocked before teenager Cochrane’s effort flew past Marciano’s right-hand post. Striker Jamie Maclaren replaced captain Paul Hanlon while the home side also made a switch, with Danny Amankwaa coming off for Don Cowie.

Vykintas Slivka came on for Allan as the Lithuanian international looked to provide a little bit more impetus in the final third. Barker curled one agonisingly close to a second equaliser with 12 minutes remaining as Hibs piled on the pressure.

Cochrane picked up a knock and was substituted by ex-Raith midfielder Ross Callachan while Kirkcaldy born winger Anthony McDonald came on for David Milinkovic.

Steven Whittaker headed over the bar from a corner before Darren McGregor swiped at fresh air with the goal at his mercy; the move stayed alive but Kamberi knocked the ball into the away support as Hearts secured a victory, with the Jambos fans celebrating another win over their fiercest rivals this campaign.

Attendance: 19,324

Partick Thistle 0-1 Motherwell

Scottish Cup Finalists Motherwell bounced back from a heavy 5-1 weekend defeat to St Johnstone to defeat second-bottom Partick Thistle at Firhill.

It was the hosts who started strongly; Conor Sammon headed wide within the opening minute while Ryan Edwards headed straight at Trevor Carson.

Chris Erskine saw a shot blocked soon after before Ryan Bowman missed the first opportunity of the evening for Well as his effort narrowly went over the bar.

Martin Woods shot straight at Carson while Sammon dragged an effort wide. Woods then tried his luck again but his left-footed attempt curled wide of target.

Erskine had the final chance of the half, but Carson saved again. Stephen Robinson was unhappy with his sides first-half performance which saw Gael Bigirimana replacing Stephen Hendrie at the break.

Youngster David Turnbull saw an effort blocked out by the home defence before Bigirimana flashed a shot over the bar for the visitors.

Alan Archibald’s side continued to press forward as Sammon missed the target again with a left-footed effort. Then, the only goal of the contest was scored on the hour mark.

Ryan Bowman nipped in inside the 6-yard box to head the ball past Tomas Cerny and into the net following a set-piece situation, with Thistle finding their domination being punished by a clinical Motherwell side.

Curtis Main was relatively quiet for his standards but did shoot over just before he was replaced, by winger Elliot Frear. Partick continued to push on, Erskine and then Baily Cargill making Carson work, but the Northern Irishman wasn’t to be beaten.

Erskine and Kris Doolan were replaced in attack by Steven Lawless and Miles Storey, as the home side looked for fresh impetus in the final third in the remaining 20 minutes of this Premiership encounter.

Allan Campbell shot straight at Cerny before Storey knocked one wide. Sammon and Storey missed again in a frustrating evening for Thistle. The Firhill club then made their final change of the match with Blair Spittal coming on for Adam Barton.

Motherwell also made their third switch as Nadir Ciftci was substituted on for Turnbull late on, but, the Steelmen were to hold on. Despite Spittal’s injury-time header needing to be saved by Carson, the home side were unable to find the net.

Attendance: 3,320

Ross County 0-1 Dundee

Ross County are just one game away from being relegated to the Scottish Championship after a home defeat to Dundee.

Liam Fontaine was the man who notched the first shot of the evening but his right-footed effort went wide. Dutchman Randy Wolters then had a chance of 25 minutes for the visitors but Scott Fox saved to the right.

Kevin Holt attempted a left-footed effort – as the full-back aimed to score his second goal in consecutive matches – but his shot went wide of target on this occasion. It was a quiet first-half, with very few chances, but, Fox was replaced at the interval by Aaron McCarey.

Davis Keillor-Dunn shot over early on in the final period before Dundee grabbed the opener. Wolters fired in a delivery which found Simon Murray and his bullet header flew into the net to send the away section into raptures. Murray received a booking for his celebrations but the former Tayport forward was not caring as he sent Neil McCann’s men in front.

Murray then saw a shot blocked before Keillor-Dunn’s header forced Elliot Parish into a good save as Stuart Kettlewell and Stevie Ferguson’s side looked for a quick-fire equaliser.

The match fell into a bit of a lull as both sides new how important the next goal would be: Roarie Deacon and Faissel El Bakhtaoui were brought into the fray, replacing Wolters and Craig Wighton in attack.

The former Dunfermline forward, El Bakhtaoui, shot over soon after coming on before Craig Curran was brought on in place of Alex Schalk for the hosts.

The Dingwall club saw their shots foiled once more as Parish saved from Billy McKay’s left-footed attempt, before the striker was replaced by Frenchman David N’Gog.

N’Gog had an early opportunity but the substitute couldn’t take advantage before Paul McGowan struck high and wide for the Dees at the other end.

Defender Genseric Kusunga came on late in the match, in place of Lewis Spence, as McCann looked to shore up his side as they looked to protect their lead in the Highlands.

Murray shot down the throat of McCarey, with the ex-Wolves keeper saving before Marcus Fraser saw an attempt blocked as the Staggies fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat. It was a disappitning evening for Ross County with a minor miracle now needed to avoid the drop this season.

Attendance: 3,976

Play-Offs:

Premiership;

Dundee United 2-3 Livingston

Livingston took a massive stride towards Premiership football with a win over Dundee United in the first-leg of the Premiership Play-Off Semi-Final.

Raffaele De Vita was slipped in by Scott Robinson and he coolly slotted the ball home within the opening 90 seconds.

Then, just seconds later, Thomas Mikkelsen would equalise, with his left-footed volley creeping into Neil Alexander’s left-hand side following Billy King’s cross.

With only four minutes gone, Josh Mullin fired over in an enthralling start to the match. Bilel Mohsni headed a corner high and wide as the game continued to swing from end-to-end.

De Vita looked to put Livi in front again but Harry Lewis was able to save the Italian’s effort this time. The game then got bogged down into a midfield battle as the match progressed but it livened up again just over midway in to the opening period.

Anthony Ralston shot wide following a corner after being found at the far-post. But, the Celtic full-back wouldn’t be denied for long as the youngster was picked out on the right by Sam Stanton, before firing across goal and into the net via a slight deflection.

De Vita tried to catch Lewis out at his near-post but David Hopkin’s side couldn’t find the target on this occasion. Scott Fraser then curled a right-footed shot wide of goal as the game swung from end-to-end.

Ralston was found at the far-post once again following a corner, but, the teenager would blaze wide of goal for a second time in the opening 45 minutes.

Scott McDonald saw his header saved by Alexander before Fraser struck over the bar. Scott Pittman then saw an attempt blocked before Nicky Cadden came on for De Vita with 70 minutes on the clock.

Willo Flood picked up a booking after a foul on Scott Robinson, something that would later cost him dearly. Csaba Lazslo then made his first change of the evening as he brought on Emil Lyng for King, but, it was disaster for the Hungarian.

Mulln weaved his way forward, going from right to left before clipping the ball past Lewis to square the game. Keaghan Jacobs then replaced Robinson but this wasn’t to dampen the attacking threat of Livi.

Scott Pittman was next to wander into the penalty area unchallenged before scooping the ball home to put the Lions ahead against the Terrors.

Cadden shot high and wide with minutes remaining on the clock and the frustration seemed to get the better of captain Flood. After being tripped by Shaun Byrne, the midfielder stood up to see the ex-Dunfermline man standing in his way, stopping any quick free-kick being taken. But, the Irishman was to react by pushing the 24-year-old to the ground, which left the referee with no other option than to send off the experienced individual.

Declan Gallagher saw his header saved by Lewis late on before Jordan Thompson was brought on to waste some time near the end, replacing Jackson Longridge. United were also to make a switch, with Mark Durnan replacing Mohsni, but that was because of injury.

Mikkelsen saw an attempt blocked in stoppage time but the full-time whistle would soon be blown to provide the West Lothian club the advantage heading into Friday’s second-leg.

Attendance: 5,610

Championship;

Alloa Athletic 0-1 Dumbarton

Stuart Carswell’s stunning strike was enough to see Alloa off in the first-leg of the Championship play-off final at the Indrodrill Stadium on Wednesday evening.

It was Alloa who began in command as the League One outfit brought a save out of Scott Gallacher from an Andy Graham effort on 5 minutes. Jordan Kirkpatrick had a shot blocked seconds beforehand, but, it’d be the Wasps who would fall behind.

With only 360 seconds gone, Stuart Carswell broke forward and unleashed a terrific strike into the top left-hand corner of Neil Parry’s net, leaving the shot-stopper with no chance as the bulleted right-footed attempt flew home into the top corner.

Danny Handling nodded a good chance over the bar from close range before Kirkpatrick tried his luck again, only to see his effort this time smash against the post before the Sons cleared their lines.

Ross Stewart was denied by Gallacher before Carswell lined up again but this time, the former Motherwell midfielder’s attempt was straight at Parry.

Kevin Cawley curled an effort narrowly wide while Handling had a long-range shot snuffed out by the Wasps defence. Jim Goodwin was then enforced into a substitution, with Kirkpatrick having to be replaced due to injury, with Callum Smith coming on in his place.

Stewart had another go but it was Aitken’s side who were in the lead as the teams headed back into the dressing-room at the interval.

Kevin Nisbet forced Parry to save early on in the second-half while Carswell was blocked out. Next, Kyle Hutton tried the spectacular and almost bettered the goal of his central midfield partner, but the ex-Rangers man saw his right-footed effort arch the wrong side of the post.

Liam Burt was then introduced by the visitors, as Handling had to go off through injury. Smith then tried a shot from 20-yards but it was deflected before Nisbet fired high over the crossbar.

Scott Taggart attempted a piledriver which forced Gallacher into a smart stop, but the full-back was unable to find the equaliser on this occasion. Goodwin then brought on forward Kris Renton to replace midifielder Gary Fleming as he pushed his side on.

Iain Russell also came on for Tom Walsh as Aitken looked for some fresh legs in the forward areas. However, it’d be Alloa to continue piling forward as Stewart fired wide of target.

Smith then saw a shot blocked before he was set-up inside the area but the on-loan Dunfermline attacker couldn’t take advantage as Gallacher pulled off a fantastic block to deny the teenager.

Mark Stewart replaced Andy Stirling for Aitken’s Dumbarton, as Ross Stewart couldn’t get a shot in on goal due to the sturdy backline of the visitors. The home side did have one last opportunity through Renton but his header was saved.

Attendance: 811

League One;

Stenhousemuir 2-0 Peterhead

Stenhousemuir made it four wins from five against Peterhead this season, to see Brown Ferguson’s side in the driving seat as they travel north on Saturday for the final match of a long-season for both clubs.

Aidan McIlduff had the opening opportunity of the game in the early stages but his left-footed shot flew wide of Chris Smith’s goal.

Next, Scott Brown’s effort goes by the post as Jim McInally’s side got a good start to the game. Martin Scott’s header saw Stenny’s first chance of the match go abegging as he nodded the ball the wrong side of the post.

Allan Smith drove over the bar to the right before Mark McGuigan had a similar opportunity and outcome at the other end as both sides looked for the opening goal.

Despite trying to soldier on, Jason Brown was forced off for the Blue Toon shortly before the break at Ochilview, with ex-Edinburgh City forward Abdelkarim Belmokhtar replacing him.

Mark Ferry was penalised inside the area for a trip on Smith and that gifted the visitors a chance to take the lead on the stroke of half-time: The ever-reliable Rory McAllister stepped up but uncharacteristically dragged his right-footed shot wide to the left and Stenhousemuir survived.

Scott had another heading opportunity but it once again didn’t test Greg Fleming in the away goal. Alan Cook tried his luck from distance but the shot drifted by the post again for the home side.

Jack Leitch saw a shot blocked before Willie Gibson tried the spectacular from a direct free-kick on the right but it was well-held by Smith in the opposing goal.

Leitch’s next attempt was blocked out also, then, Russell McLean headed over following a corner as the visiting side kept on looking to open the scoring.

On 60 minutes, Michael Dunlop saw a shot blocked inside the area, with the ball deflecting off Smith for a corner. The ex-Albion Rovers centre-back wasn’t to be denied for long though as, from the resultant corner, the experienced defender headed home Eddie Ferns’ delivery to put the hosts in to the lead.

Ruaridh Donaldson fizzed in an effort which whizzed over Fleming’s bar before Andrew Dallas replaced Scott up front for Ferguson’s side. A further boost was the sight of McAllister who had to leave the field of play due to injury, being replaced by Chris Johnston.

Hibs loanee Innes Murray replaced Ferns and then with just under 15 minutes to play, Dunlop would double his tally. Cook sent across a free-kick delivery which the towering defender met again, leaving Fleming with no chance.

Smith saw a right-footed shot snuffed out before being replaced by Jordan Brown in the closing stages. McLean then headed another corner wide as David Marsh replaced Cook for the home club.

Belmokhtar rifled in an effort but it was saved in the top centre of the goal by Smith, as Brown’s late effort was beaten away by the hosts backline to secure a clean-sheet and a victory for the Larbert side with just 90 minutes of the season remaining.

Attendance: 796

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