St Johnstone beat Hibs to make Betfred Cup final, Rangers run riot, Aberdeen bounce back, Hearts stunned at home - Scottish football wrap
Callum Davidson’s team went into the match as underdogs against their Edinburgh opponents and despite Hibs starting the better and Jamie Murphy missing two good chances, a thumping header from Jason Kerr on 35 minutes put them ahead.
The second goal was always going to be crucial and it was the Saints who got it, with Shaun Rooney bulleting another header home from a Craig Conway free-kick.
Conway got in on the act himself on 63 minutes, sliding in a Rooney cross, as the Saints made the final of the League Cup for the first time since 1998. They will face either Livingston or St Mirren, who play in tomorrow’s semi-final.
Hibs were favourites to win the trophy, but underperformed badly. It is the second time Jack Ross’ men have lost in a semi at Hampden in the space of four months, going down 2-1 to Hearts in the Scottish Cup back in October.
Five-star Rangers run riot
Rangers continued their march towards the Scottish Premiership title in style with a 5-0 win over Ross County at Ibrox.
Goals from Ryan Kent, Filip Helander, Joe Aribo, Ryan Jack and Connor Goldson made it a comfortable afternoon for Steven Gerrard’s men, who are now a whopping 23 points clear of second-placed Celtic, who are inactive this weekend and have three games in hand.
Kent fired Rangers into a sixth-minute lead and although James Tavernier failed to convert a penalty for a second time in a row just seven minutes later, further first-half goals from Helander (28) and Aribo (37) all but sealed the points at half time.
Jack got in on the act on 66 minutes, netting moments after coming on a substitute following two months out with injury, and Goldson wrapped up the scoring just before full-time
Dons bounce back
In the only other Premiership match, Aberdeen moved back into third spot with a 2-0 win over ten-man Motherwell at Pittodrie.
The Dons made a strong response to last weekend’s surprise 4-1 drubbing at Ross County, with Tommie Hoban opening the scoring 15 minutes in.
Motherwell’s cause was not helped just after half time when Liam Polworth was red-carded and Derek McInnes’ men secured all three points when Andy Considine (77) scored.
Aberdeen are now just four points behind Celtic, albeit with one more game played. Hibs, who they leapfrogged in the table, do not play in the league this weekend as they are in Betfred Cup action later this evening against St Johnstone at Hampden.
Motherwell remain joint-bottom of the Premiership alongside Hamilton Accies and are still looking for a win under new manager Graham Alexander.
Leaders stunned at Tynecastle
There was a huge shock in the Championship as leaders Hearts suffered their first home defeat of the season, losing 3-2 to Raith Rovers at Tynecastle.
Gozie Ugwu opened the scoring five minutes in and the Kirkcaldy outfit could have been further ahead had Jambos goalkeeper Craig Gordon not turned a Regan Hendry penalty onto the post.
However, just two minutes into the second half, Rovers were awarded another spot-kick and Manny Duku made no mistake.
Their 2-0 lead became 3-0 on 52 minutes thanks to Regan Tumilty and although Liam Boyce gave Hearts some hope just four minutes later, Raith goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald made a series of excellent saves to defy his old employers. Boyce did score again in stoppage time, but it was too little, too late.
Pars can’t take advantage
Hearts' nearest challengers Dunfermline Athletic could not take advantage of the slip-up, however, drawing 0-0 at East End Park against Ayr United. They remain six points behind Robbie Neilson’s pace-setters.
Elsewhere in the Championship, Queen of the South triumphed 2-1 over Morton at Palmerston Park, with first-half goals from Ayo Obileye and Aidan Fitzpatrick making the difference despite Kalvin Orsi pulling one back for Morton. The win moves Queens above Inverness and into seventh place, with Caley's home match against Alloa postponed due to a frozen pitch.