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Ladbrokes Premiership: Hearts hit Well for six as Celtic maintain lead

| 18.01.2016

Celtic maintained their lead at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership over the weekend but saw third-placed Hearts steal the headlines with an awesome display of attacking football against Motherwell.

Celtic got the weekend off to an early start when visiting basement boys Dundee United on Friday night.

Leigh Griffiths and Jozo Simunovic combined to put the guests 2-0 up inside half an hour before Simon Murray drew one back for the Terrors to give Mixu Paatelainen’s men a glimmer of hope.

However, second half goals, first from Griffiths and then Kris Commons sealed the points for the Bhoys to leave United rooted to the bottom of the table and now 14 points adrift.

While Celtic maintained their lead Aberdeen did well to not lose further ground by beating an in-form Ross County in a five-goal thriller.

Ian McShane had the hosts in front after 22 minutes and things looked good for County when the Don’s mark Reynolds saw red four minutes later. However, an Adam Rooney penalty levelled things just 11 minutes later. Shay Logan gave the visitors the lead three minutes later and the Englishman seemed to have settled the tie when firing home again on the hour mark.

McShane scored again in the 82nd minute to set up a nervy finale but Derek McInnes’ men held on to stretch their unbeaten run to nine league games.

And then came Hearts. The Jambos took just 11 minutes to get their noses in front against Motherwell with Igor Rossi opening the scoring and it was all downhill from there for the away side.

Osman Sow made it two just five minutes later and a Gavin Reilly penalty had the hosts out of sight inside half an hour. Second half goals from Callum Paterson, Juanma and an Arnaud Djoum penalty confounded the guests’ misery to leave Well four points off the top six in eighth.

Elsewhere, it was advantage Kilmarnock in the race to avoid the relegation play-off spot with Kille running out 2-1 winners over Inverness. Greg Kiltie put the hosts 1-0 up after nine minutes only to see Thistle’s Ross Draper level proceedings just before the break. Craig Salter came to Killie’s rescue on 51 minutes to leave Gary Locke’s men level on 24 points with Hamilton and Partick Thistle.

Thistle managed to score twice through David Amoo and Kris Doolan when they hosted Dundee but goals from Kane Hemmings, Gary Harkins and Greg Stewart saw the Dark Blues run out 4-2 winners to leapfrog Caley into the top six.

And lastly St Johnstone’s misery in front of goal continues as they fired a fifth consecutive blank in a 0-0 draw with the Accies, with the poor McDiarmid Park surface scuppering any chance of free-flowing football in Perth.

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.