Scottish Premiership round-up: Aberdeen suffer home defeat to St Johnstone as Kilmarnock edge thriller with Hearts

Ross County registered a first win since mid-December; relegation rivals St Mirren and Hamilton settle for draw

St Johnstone's Ali McCann celebrates his well-taken goal in the win at Aberdeen
Image: St Johnstone's Ali McCann celebrates his well-taken goal in the win at Aberdeen

A round-up of a busy night of Scottish Premiership action as both Celtic and Rangers win, but Hearts lose at home to Kilmarnock.

Aberdeen 0-1 St Johnstone

An early goal from midfielder Ali McCann gave St Johnstone a 1-0 win at Aberdeen, who have now gone four league games without a goal.

The Dons fans vented their frustration as the match wore on, with Derek McInnes' side having won only one of their last seven league matches.

There was intrigue for the home fans with new signing Ronald Hernandez handed his debut, the Venezuela international one of three changes from the side that had drawn with Rangers at the weekend.

Scott McKenna has a late chance saved by St Johnstone’s Zander Clark
Image: Scott McKenna has a late chance saved by St Johnstone’s Zander Clark

Aberdeen were instantly on the attack, but Jon Gallagher sent his low effort into the side netting from Ryan Hedges' pass.

Tommy Wright's team took the lead after just six minutes, though, as Hedges chose the wrong pass in attack, allowing Liam Craig to lead the charge forward. He picked out McCann as the Dons defence parted and the 20-year-old midfielder clipped past Joe Lewis to open the scoring.

Saints could have gone further in front had Michael O'Halloran's run on the right ended with a finish of similar quality, but he skewed his effort into the stand.

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Hearts 2-3 Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock’s Alan Power shows his delight after a crucial victory at Hearts
Image: Kilmarnock’s Alan Power shows his delight after a crucial victory at Hearts

Hearts' home hoodoo against Kilmarnock continued as Daniel Stendel's team succumbed to a breathless 3-2 defeat at Tynecastle.

Goals from Stuart Findlay, Chris Burke and Eamonn Brophy secured a fourth successive victory in Gorgie for the Ayrshire side, while their overall unbeaten run in Edinburgh's west end stretches back to December 2016.

Killie ended the game with 10 men following the foolish dismissal of goalkeeper Laurentiu Branescu and endured a nervous finish following goals from Sean Clare and Craig Halkett.

But they held firm to claim a second win on the bounce under Alex Dyer and ensure Hearts returned to the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Motherwell 0-4 Celtic

Callum McGregor celebrates scoring Celtic's third goal against Motherwell
Image: Callum McGregor celebrates scoring Celtic's third goal against Motherwell

Celtic's comprehensive 4-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park kept the champions on a steady course for their ninth successive Ladbrokes Premiership title.

In-form striker Odsonne Edouard scored after nine minutes of a first half in which the battling home side had missed several chances.

However, it became too much when Leigh Griffiths prodded in number two in the 51st minute before Callum McGregor added a third with a thunderous volley.

Edouard then curled in a wonderful free-kick, his second set-piece goal in two matches, for his 24th goal of the season as Celtic secured a sixth victory in a row since they lost to chasing Rangers at the end of last year.

The Hoops remain seven points ahead of Rangers at the top of the table, albeit Steven Gerrard's team have a game in hand, but if anything it is Neil Lennon's side who are building a head of steam towards the run-in.

Rangers 2-1 Hibernian

Ianis Hagi celebrates making it 2-1 to Rangers against Hibernian
Image: Ianis Hagi celebrates making it 2-1 to Rangers against Hibernian

Ianis Hagi kept Rangers in the title race as his first goal for Steven Gerrard's side sealed a 2-1 win over Hibernian at Ibrox.

Old Firm rivals Celtic were threatening to disappear over the horizon as Rangers again struggled to breakdown a stubborn defence.

Paul Hanlon had sparked fear and alarm amongst the Gers support as he fired Jack Ross' team in front midway through the first-half.

But George Edmundson - back in the starting line-up for the first time since October - slammed home his first goal since joining from Oldham in the summer to level just before half-time.

However, it appeared Rangers - who had dropped five points in their first four games after the winter break - were set to lose further ground on Neil Lennon's champions as the Leith side clung on.

But with just six minutes left, on-loan Genk midfielder Hagi opened his Ibrox account to ensure the deficit stays at seven points with a game in hand. Hibernian, meanwhile, clung onto their slot in the top six.

Ross County 2-0 Livingston

Billy McKay celebrates with his team-mates after scoring against Livingston
Image: Billy McKay celebrates with his team-mates after scoring against Livingston

Ross County registered a first win since mid-December after Billy McKay's double defeated Livingston 2-0.

The form book would have had Livi as the heavy favourites going into the contest, having won their last five matches in all competitions, but the Staggies got their just rewards for improved performances in recent weeks, ending an eight-match winless streak.

The Staggies did not have to wait long to make an impact at the other end, as they went ahead after just three minutes.

Sean Kelly delivered a cross from the left into a busy penalty area, but captain Marcus Fraser had time to take the ball down with a lovely touch and lay it off for McKay to finish.

It was the hosts who found the all-important second goal on the hour mark.

Iain Vigurs won the ball back as Livingston were trying to push up the park, and played in McKay who had broken the offside trap.

Livi's defenders seemed to stop expecting the flag, but it stayed down and McKay went round the goalkeeper to find the net.

St Mirren 1-1 Hamilton

St Mirren’s Ilkay Durmus celebrates his goal with teammate Cammy MacPherson
Image: St Mirren’s Ilkay Durmus celebrates his goal with teammate Cammy MacPherson

Premiership relegation rivals St Mirren and Hamilton settled for a 1-1 draw in Paisley after Mickel Miller missed a second-half penalty for Accies.

David Templeton put the visitors in front midway through the first half before Ilkay Durmus equalised from a free-kick after Ryan Flynn had been fouled by Miller.

Miller then won a penalty after being caught by Lee Hodson but dragged his effort wide of goal, leaving Hamilton one point above bottom-placed Hearts and three behind St Mirren.

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