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Ladbrokes Premiership: Dundee United not giving up yet

| 25.01.2016

Dundee United showed they will not go down without a fight in the Ladbrokes Premiership after beating Kilmarnock 5-1 with a stunning display of attacking football.

Blair Spittal was the chief architect for the Terrors, who close the gap on Killie to a slightly more manageable 11 points.

The 20-year-old midfielder scored two and set-up two more as the hosts raced into a 4-0 half-time lead. Spittal had the Terrors in front after just eight minutes and set up Mark Durnan for the second after half an hour.

Spittal then struck again on 39 minutes and turned provider four minutes later to tee up John Rankin.  A miserable day for Killie was completed with Sean Dillon making it 5-0 on 78 minutes before a Josh Magennis strike proved scant consolation in the last 10 minutes.

Elsewhere Celtic and Aberdeen cemented their grip on the top two places with the Bhoys beating St Johnstone 3-1 and the Dons edging a 1-0 win over Dundee.

Gary Mackay-Steven hit a brace for the Hoops, his strikes coming either side of Stuart Armstrong’s, goal, while Steven MacLean briefly made a contest of it with his 12th-minute strike levelling the game at 1-1.

Adam Rooney was again the hero for Aberdeen, his 16th strike of the season coming after just 14 minutes and enough to put the Dark Blues to the sword.

Hearts lost ground on the top two with a goalless draw away to Hamilton. The hosts had a golden opportunity to see of the Jambos, who had Igor Rossi sent off just before the break. However, Jesus Garcia Tena’s dismissal levelled the sides up in the second half and neither side could find a way through.

The same can be said for Inverness and Partick Thistle, who played out a 0-0 draw at Caledonian Stadium, while Motherwell went down 2-1 at home to Ross County.

Jackson Irvine had the Staggies 1-0 to the good after 20 minutes and Brian Graham doubled the lead with 69 minutes on the clock. Stephen Pearson’s late strike set up a tense finale but the visitors held on to take all three points.

The weekend’s action means Celtic remain at the top of the table; three points clear of Aberdeen, while Hearts are eight points further back in third.

Ross County head a close chasing pack with their 33 points just one ahead of St Johnstone in fifth and four ahead of Inverness and Dundee.

Partick’s draw mean they are level on 25 points with Motherwell and Hamilton, leaving all three clubs looking over their should at Killie, who occupy the relegation play-off place with 24 points.

And then there’s basement boys Dundee United who now have 13 points on the board. The Terrors are still favourites for the drop but a few more performance like that against Killie and we’ll see them make a fist of it yet.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.