The Scottish game from the Borders to the Highlands & Islands and beyond
SPL results: Sat Feb 20 Celtic 1-0 Dundee United, Falkirk 3-1 Aberdeen, Kilmarnock 1-1 St Mirren, Motherwell 1-0 Hibernian, St Johnstone P-P Rangers Sun Feb 21 Hearts 2-0 Hamilton
What a difference a week makes. After shipping four goals to Aberdeen last weekend, Celtic redeemed themselves with a hard-fought victory over in-form Dundee United.
The Hoops were handed a welcome boost before the match started when their title rivals Rangers' fixture at St Johnstone was called off an hour before kick-off. Instead of the Gers going 13 points clear, the Hoops now had the chance to move within seven points of the league leaders – which they duly did.
Robbie Keane netted his first home goal for his beloved Celtic to earn the Bhoys a nervy 1-0 win. Tony Mowbray's charges can now move within four points of the leaders if they win Sunday's eagerly-anticipated Old Firm derby at Ibrox.
The most eye-catching SPL result of the weekend saw Aberdeen's misery compounded with a 3-1 reverse at bottom of the league Falkirk. The Dons spurned the chance to answer their critics following their midweek capitulation at home to Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup by throwing away an early lead.
Thu Feb 18: Cup woes continue for dismal Dons
Dead-ball specialist Charlie Mulgrew broke the deadlock from a free kick but goals from Pedro Moutinho, Darren Barr and former Leeds striker Enoch Showumni gave Steven Pressley his first win as Falkirk manager. The Dons, who have now gone seven games without a victory, will look to end their poor run of form at home to Hearts next weekend.
Hibernian, another team currently on the slide, suffered their third loss in succession with a 1-0 defeat to Motherwell. Jamie Murphy scored the only goal of the game on the hideous Fir Park pitch against 10-man Hibs, who had Liam Miller controversially sent off for a lunging tackle on Jim O'Brien.
Elsewhere, Kilmarnock stretched their unbeaten run to seven but threw away two points against St Mirren when Billy Mehmet's late strike cancelled out Chris Maguire's opener.
And the two Davids – Obua and Templeton – were on the scoresheet for Hearts as they ran out 2-0 winners over Hamilton Accies, who are are now precariously placed only a single point above Falkirk.
In the Irn Bru First Division, Dundee took a massive step towards SPL promotion with a 1-0 win over Partick Thistle. Former Scotland international Jackie McNamara, making his Thistle debut, couldn't prevent the Glasgow side going down to Eric Paton's deflected winner after only six minutes.
Afterwards, Dundee boss Jocky Scott dedicated the victory to club legend Bobby Cox, who earlier in the day had lost his battle with cancer. Cox had led Dundee to the league title and the last four of the European Cup in the 1960s.
In the only other match to survive the freezing weather, Tam McManus gave Ayr United their first away win of the season against Dunfermline Athletic.
All Second Division matches were postponed but in the Third Division Livingston extended their lead at the top to seven points with a 2-0 win over second place East Stirling at Ochilview.
It's been a good weekend for... Tony Mowbray.
Robbie Keane's first goal at Celtic Park and the McDiarmid Park postponement helped ease the pressure on the beleaguered Hoops gaffer.
It's been a bad weekend for... Mark McGhee.
The Aberdeen boss held a “frank” hour-long discussion with his players after the Dons lost to bottom of the league Falkirk for the second time this month.
Scottish football's angriest fan. Something which made me chuckle on the excellent ScottishFootballBlog.co.uk: an irate Greenock Morton supporter. Click the pic to watch.
Previous Scottish football features from Danny Law:Thu Feb 18: Cup woes continue for dismal DonsMon Feb 15: Dons' McGhee vindicated, Accies' Jedward celebratedMon Feb 8: Why Scotland will reach Euro 2012... probablyFri Feb 5: Management is wasted on the young
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Thanks for the First Division update Mr.Law.
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