Ladbrokes Premiership: Dundee United back in survival race
Dundee United took another step closer to possible Ladbrokes Premiership survival over the weekend after cruising to victory against Ross County.
The Terrors ran out 3-0 winners against the Staggies courtesy of goals from Paul Paton, Billy McKay and Ryan Dow and now sit just eight points behind Kilmarnock with a game in hand.
Kilmarnock, for their part, were unlucky to be dragged further into the dog fight after going down 1-0 to third-placed Hearts.
Killie keeper Jamie McDonald saved two penalties but it proved to no avail with Jamie Walker converting the rebound from the first of those spot kicks to seal victory.
The subsequent penalty stop also proved in vain as Sam Nicholson’s headed shot against the cross bar was the closest the visitors came to an equaliser.
While Killie were unable to ease their relegation fears, Motherwell jumped to eighth with their first home win of 2016 against Partick.
Mark McGhee’s side led 1-0 at half-time thanks to a Louis Moult penalty and the hosts kicked on in the second half as another Moult strike and a 69th-minute effort from Marvin Johnson sealed the points. Callum Booth threatened to make a game of it with 15 minutes to go but his goal ultimately served as scant consolation for the Jags who drop to ninth.
Meanwhile, in the race for the top six, Dundee maintained a two-point gap over seventh-placed Inverness after an 86th-minute strike from the in-form Kane Hemmings cancelled out Ross Draper’s early effort for Caley and St Johnstone cemented their place in fourth with a late rally against Aberdeen.
The Dons took a first-half lead through Simon Church and looked to have claimed all three points, only for Liam Craig’s 88th-minute penalty to level proceedings and earn the Saints a share of the spoils.
That draw was a missed opportunity for the Dons who could have closed the gap on Celtic who could only draw away to Hamilton in Friday evening’s kick-off.
League top scorer Leigh Griffiths put the Bhoys ahead from the spot after 35 minutes but the game was turned on its head when Dedryck Boyata was sent off just before the break.
The Accies made the extra man count and got their breakthrough on 73 minutes when substitute Eamonn Murphy struck to earn what could prove a vital point in the race for survival.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.