McInnes hails players as Dons leapfrog Celtic

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes hailed his players after they took advantage of Celtic’s postponement at Partick by beating St Johnstone to move top of the Scottish Premiership.

McInnes hails players as  Dons leapfrog Celtic

David Goodwillie’s superb overhead kick sent the Dons on their way to their sixth straight league victory, which was made safe by Cammy Smith’s injury-time goal.

McInnes said: “We can’t deny it’s a great feeling to be top of the league. We said it was all about the game today and that it was another three points up for grabs, just like any other game, but that extra bit of motivation to go top of the league is something that the players recognised.”

With Aberdeen next in action at Motherwell on Sunday, a day before Celtic go to Kilmarnock, they could extend their lead at the summit.

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara heaped praise on his players following their 6-2 destruction of rivals Dundee at Tannadice. A double before the break from Gary Mackay-Steven allied to Stuart Armstrong’s early opener and Chris Erskine’s strike put the hosts in command after Greg Stewart had briefly levelled for the Dark Blues, who also netted in the dying minutes through substitute Luka Tankulic.

United defender Jaroslaw Fojut headed home the fifth in the 65th minute before sub Charlie Telfer completed the rout with a sweet finish as the Tangerines scored six goals for the first ever time in a derby.

McNamara said: “I’m delighted. To win against your biggest rivals is great first and foremost but with that scoreline and the manner in which we won it’s obviously even better.”

Inverness manager John Hughes was delighted to see his side get back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Ross County in the Highland derby at Global Energy Stadium. Goals from Aaron Doran (2) and Billy McKay goal were enough to give Caley Thistle a well deserved victory, with substitute Jackson Irvine replying for the hosts.

Hamilton player-manager Alex Neil admitted he could not imagine a better feeling than savouring their 5-0 New Year’s Day derby thrashing of Motherwell. Accies surpassed their 4-0 win at Fir Park with a dominant performance at New Douglas Park to record their heaviest win over their Lanarkshire rivals for 80 years.

Dougie Imrie started the rout when he accepted a gift in the eighth minute and Ali Crawford, Mickael Antoine-Curier, Tony Andreu and substitute Danny Redmond converted some of the many chances Accies created as they moved four points off the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Kilmarnock secured their second successive win in the Scottish Premiership after edging out St Mirren 2-1 at St Mirren Park. Alexei Eremenko and Craig Slater scored penalties for Killie in a game which saw both sides have a player dismissed.

Kenny McLean was shown a straight red in the second half after reacting to a foul on one of his team-mates with Slater picking up a second yellow for over celebrating after scoring Kilmarnock’s second goal.

Gregg Wylde pulled a goal back for the home side, scoring a penalty of his own inside stoppage time, but it came too late for the struggling Buddies.

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