Misfiring Celtic extend lead courtesy of Dundee United defeat

SPL leaders have taken just one point from six after being held by stuggling Ross County

Celtic finished off 2014 in unimpressive style with a 0-0 draw against struggling Ross County at Parkhead.

The Scottish Premiership leaders bossed a rather one-paced and uninspiring first-half but were unable to get the breakthrough.

There was no great improvement after the break with the Hoops huffing and puffing against a resolute, if at times desperate, County rearguard.

The result means Celtic have dropped five points in their last two matches but ironically they extended their lead at the top to five points.


That's because St Johnstone scored twice in the final 15 minutes to stun Dundee United and claim a dramatic 2-1 victory at McDiarmid Park.

The visitors came into the game second in the table and Calum Butcher opened the scoring just before half-time with a clever back-post finish.

But Jackie McNamara’s side squandered multiple chances to add to their lead and were punished when Michael O’Halloran headed home for his sixth league goal of the season.

The comeback was complete after 86 minutes when Chris Millar had time to turn in the box and find the bottom corner with a low finish to give the home side a sixth consecutive victory.

St Mirren moved off the bottom of the table thanks to a deserved 3-1 win over 10-man Dundee at Dens Park.

A double from man-of-the-match Kenny McLean either side of a goal from teenager Stephen Mallan gave caretaker manager Gary Teale his first win since taking over from Tommy Craig.

McLean struck after 28 minutes and Mallan added another in the 68th minute to put the visitors on the road to a surprise win.

And McLean rounded things off with a 78th-minute penalty which saw Dundee defender Paul McGinn red-carded and meant Saints leapfrogged fellow strugglers Ross County, despite Gary Irvine hitting a late consolation for the home team six minutes from time.

John Sutton scored another winner as Ian Baraclough continued his winning start as Motherwell manager with a 1-0 victory over Partick Thistle at Fir Park.

Sutton's 14th-minute penalty proved enough to move Motherwell three points behind the Jags in the bottom six of the Scottish Premiership.

Motherwell, who had Steven Hammell back in the team after a long absence, were worthy of their half-time lead but they survived 45 minutes of pressure from the visitors, although they created the best chance of the second half when Lee Erwin failed to convert a counter-attack.

A stunning stoppage-time free-kick from Alexei Eremenko handed Kilmarnock their first victory in eight Scottish Premiership matches as they defeated Hamilton 1-0 at Rugby Park.

The visitors had the better of the chances in the match, particularly in the first half, although Kilmarnock’s struggling forwards also spurned opportunities before substitute Eremenko curled in the winner with the last kick off the ball to give Allan Johnston’s side their first win since October.