Simply The Rest – Week 6
Livingston 0-2 Aberdeen
Before watching the highlights of this game, I had prepared myself for Aberdeen to be bad having read that they were fortunate to come away with the win – but jeeso. Aberdeen just plain sucked. I’ve seen Aberdeen suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked on Saturday. Nevertheless, they left the Toni Macaroni Arena with the most undeserved victory since Crash won Best Picture at the Oscars in 2005.
Aberdeen’s goals came from Andrew Considine accidentally bundling in a corner with his shin, and Sam Cosgrove scoring an injury-time penalty that the referee incorrectly awarded after a perfectly good tackle from Keaghan Jacobs. Outside of that, Livingston battered the Dons through a combination of their own good play and some calamitous defending, yet were unable to make the breakthrough. Livi were missing their main striker Lyndon Dykes after his foolish sending off at Ibrox last week, and ultimately that was probably the difference in them losing the game. Whoever wrote the article on the BBC website calling for a Scotland call-up for 32-year-old Considine clearly only saw his shinroller goal and not his dreadful pass which led to Livingston’s best chance of the game, which culminated in Chris Erskine taking a fresh-air swipe with the goal at his mercy. After the game, Derek McInnes said that, “the pleasure doesn’t come from watching the game”, which is a decent summary of his Aberdeen tenure as a whole.
Motherwell 1-2 Ross County
Motherwell had the opportunity to (briefly) rise to second in the table on Saturday, but choked in losing 2-1 at Fir Park to Ross County. Motherwell had taken the lead on the hour mark with a fine goal from the ever-improving Allan Campbell, who steered home from the edge of the 18-yard-box after some good work from Devanté Cole and James Scott. Unfortunately for Motherwell, Ross County were soon back in the game with Brian Graham finishing well after a nice reverse pass from Michael Gardyne.
When Motherwell signed left back Jake Carroll in the summer, the fans of his previous club, Cambridge United, were less than complimentary. “Unlucky @motherwellFC fans a truly awful left back, the worst I’ve seen in forty years of watching @CambridgeFC” alleged simon66bullock. “Wow. He’s genuinely the worst lb I can remember watching in 23 odd supporting Cambridge, can’t cross, can’t defend….you’ve had a mare here lol” opined samline1982. Berney395 posited “as a cambridge fan this makes me laugh one of the worst players I have seen at the abbey pmsfl [nine cry laughing emojis] thank you for taking him from us ….. God help you”. Carroll has actually played ok for Motherwell so far this season but perhaps gave us a peek of the patter to come by getting sent off for two daft bookings in two minutes, both for fouls on Ross Stewart. Despite looking as natural a right-winger as Jeremy Corbyn, the gangly Stewart has proven to be effective since being stationed out wide, and it was he that scored the winner after getting on the end of an excellent back-post cross from the remarkably resurgent Ricky Foster.
St Mirren 0-0 Hamilton
I can only imagine how tired and unhappy I looked after staying up past midnight to watch recorded highlights of this dull game on Monday evening, only to afterwards stumble across a grimly fascinating documentary about David Cameron on BBC One. Our erstwhile Prime Minister blithely explained how he brought down his own government, whilst various talking heads with bad teeth tried to justify their personal ambitions and grudges that led us into the chaos that has enveloped the country. The main takeaway from the whole sordid affair was that these people don’t speak for us.
There were no surprises in Paisley on Saturday as two of the lowest scoring and least talented teams in the division played out the worst game of the season so far. George Oakley attempted to liven up proceedings by getting sent off for two bookings at opposite ends of the lenient-harshness scale, but sadly, his efforts were in vain. St Mirren had slightly the better of it, with Kyle Magennis again looking full of endeavour, but the Buddies struggled to make any clear-cut chances. Indeed, the most attacking invention shown by a St Mirren player on the day was Kyle McAllister impressively back-heeling Scott McMann in the face.
Celtic 3-1 Kilmarnock
Those of us watching the St Johnstone game on television on Sunday would have felt a stirring in the loins when BT informed us that Kilmarnock had taken an unexpected lead at Celtic Park. Sadly that was as good as it got for Killie, with Eamonn Brophy doing well to score (through a deflection) from outside the box after a delightful outside-of-the-boot pass from Mohamed El Makrini. Unfortunately, Stuart Findlay was tasked with marshalling Odsonne Édouard and the centre half was on a mission to prove that my opinion that he is completely mince is wholly accurate. He was caught under the ball for Édouard’s first, and then allowed the Frenchman to run off him for the second. Ryan Christie tapped in the third.
Neil Lennon was telling the press during the week that he had changed his mentality and had left the anger behind, only to promptly lose the run of himself at an entirely correct penalty decision given against Scott Brown and become the first Premiership manager to get a yellow card. Sadly, Alan Power’s effort from the penalty spot was weak and easily saved by Fraser Forster.
Hibernian 1-2 Hearts
It has felt like both Edinburgh teams’ seasons have been building towards this show off between the two most underperforming teams in the league, and (eventually) it did not disappoint. After a first half that was a classic Edinburgh Derby in that it was turgidly unwatchable, the game burst into life with a 33-yard howitzer from Stevie Mallan, which rocketed past Joel Pereira and gave Hibs a 1-0 lead. Mallan is an utterly pathetic footballer considering how good he is at kicking a football, but Hearts allowed him the space to do the one thing he can do and paid the price. Whilst Hibs were not exactly dominating, they had a glorious chance to make it 2-0 when Melker Hallberg/Helker Mallberg (delete as applicable) skewed horribly wide.
From then on, the game became the Uche Ikpeazu Experience. Christophe Berra nodded down a corner, and Ikpeazu showed the greatest upper body strength since Lex Luger body slammed Yokozuna aboard the USS Intrepid to pin about 4 Hibs defenders before hooking the ball past Chris Maxwell. The bold Uche then did the best bit of pointless showboating since Andrei Kanchelskis jumped up and turned in a circle against Kilmarnock that time, performing two step-overs while standing still before laying the ball into the path of the onrushing Aaron Hickey. Hickey’s deflected winner has garnered a great deal of hype for the 17-year-old full back, and while he looks like a good prospect the hysteria should be dampened somewhat given his mixed display on both sides of the Hearts defence. Our own Glenn Middleton roasted young Hickey in the dying minutes, but Pereira got down to save an effort that would have been a goal of the season contender.
Next week’s fixtures
Saturday 28th September
Hibernian v Celtic
Hamilton v Livingston
Kilmarnock v Ross County
Rangers v Aberdeen
St Johnstone v Motherwell
St Mirren v Hearts