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Ladbrokes Premiership: Late Griffiths strike saves Celtic

| 04.01.2016

Celtic are back to the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership with a game in hand over nearest rivals Aberdeen after some late heroics from fit-again striker Leigh Griffiths.

The Bhoys went into their January 2 tie with in-form Partick Thistle looking for a first win in five games at Parkhead but a strong Jags side featuring a resolute Tomas Cerny looked to have frustrated their host to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.

However, Griffiths, returning from injury, had other ideas and struck in the 90th minutes to ensure all three points and some much-needed breathing space over the Dons, who saw their game with St Johnstone postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

While Celtic’s win cemented their place at the top of the table the exact opposite was the case for Dundee United, with another defeat for the Terrors leaving them rooted to the bottom and seemingly on course for relegation.

Having made the short trip up the road to play Dundee it seemed the thrill of the derby had inspired the guests, with Blair Spittal firing his side ahead after just 15 minutes.

The Dees fought back though and goals from Kane Hemmings and Nick Ross ensure bragging rights and all three points, while a red card for Guy Demel compounded Mixu Paatelainen’s misery.

The only other winners from the weekend were Inverness who comfortable saw off Ross County 2-0 thanks to first-half goals from Miles Storey and Greg Tansey. The result sees Caley maintain a two-point gap over Dundee to remain sixth with a game in hand on the Staggies, who sit two points better off in fifth.

While the remaining two games failed to produce a winner they made up for that with a hatful of goals with Kilmarnock holding Hearts 2-2 and Motherwell and Hamilton dishing out a six-goal thriller.

Killie currently occupy the relegation play-off spot but you wouldn’t have known after they went 1-0 up after 43 minutes through Conrad Balatoni.

However, Gavin Reilly levelled for the Jambos just two minutes later and Callum Paterson gave Robbie Neilson’s men the lead shortly after the restart.

The hosts were not done though and Josh Magennis’ 80th-minute goal was enough to ensure a share of the spoils.

Not to be outdone on the goal front Scott MacDonald fired Motherwell into a ninth-minute lead over Hamilton only to see the Accies turn the game on its head through Lucas Tagliapietra and Darian MacKinnon.

A second McDonald strike and a 57th-minute goal from Louis Moult appeared to have sealed surprise win but Ali Crawford dashed such hopes when firing in his 90th-minute spot-kick.

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.