Scottish football as it happened

Dundee United host St Johnstone and Hibs visit Inverness while Rangers can clinch the League One title.

12 March 2014 Last updated at 19:08

As it happened

  1. 19:07: 

    Hello and welcome to our coverage of tonight's fixtures in the Scottish Professional Football League. The focus tonight is not just on two important Premiership fixtures but on League One, where Rangers can clinch the title with eight games to spare should they beat Airdrieonians.

  2. 19:11: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Rangers manager Ally McCoist received some criticism after his side were held to a 1-1 draw at home to League Two outfit Albion Rovers. Some fans were upset that he insisted that it was not an "embarrassing" result. Former Rangers striker Steven Naismith backed up McCoist today by saying that would be disrespectful to the Coatbridge side. What do you think? And who do you think will finish in the top six in the Premiership and qualify for Europe behind prospective champions Celtic?

    Text us at 80295 or message us on Twitter at @BBCSportScot or direct at @CliveLindsayBBC

  3. 19:17: 

    In the top-flight, Dundee United and Inverness Caledonian Thistle will both be looking to narrow the gap with third-top Motherwell, while Hibernian and St Johnstone are chasing points to secure sixth spot before the Premiership splits into two for the final round of fixtures. United host Saints, while Hibs have made the trip north to take on Caley Thistle.

  4. 19:18: 

    Inverness have a small matter of a Scottish League Cup final appearance at the back of their minds as they entertain Hibs. Ironically, it is Caley Thistle's former manager, Terry Butcher, who will be looking to engineer a defeat tonight and dampen the Highlanders' spirits ahead of Sunday's meeting with Aberdeen at Celtic Park.

  5. 19:19: 
    LINE-UPS

    Rangers: Bell, Foster, McCulloch, Mohsni, Wallace, Aird, Black, Law, Templeton, Little, Daly. Subs: Peralta, Simonsen, Clark, Crawford, Shiels, Faure, Steven Smith.

    Airdrieonians: Adam, Barr, Buchanan, Milojevic, Patrick Boyle, McCormack, McAleer, Watt, Parker, Bain, Lister. Subs: Cadden, Stewart, McCluskey, Ward, Evans, Coult, Coogans.

    Referee: Brian Colvin

  6. 19:22: 

    Airdrieonians arrive at Ibrox on a high, a run of seven games unbeaten under Gary Bollan taking them clear of bottom spot in League One. However, they have yet to score in four defeats by Rangers so far this season. Ally McCoist's side, of course, are 23 points ahead of second-top Dunfermline Athletic and need that win to secure the title. A draw would delay their celebrations for another few days at least.

  7. 19:28: 
    LINE-UPS

    Inverness CT: Brill, Meekings, Devine, Warren, Tremarco, Foran, Ross, Polworth, Williams, Doran, McKay. Subs: Esson, Shinnie, Vincent, Greenhalgh, Pepper, Christie, Evans.

    Hibernian: Murdoch, Forster, Nelson, Hanlon, McGivern, Cairney, Taiwo, Stanton, Watmore, Haynes, Collins. Subs: Craig, Stevenson, Maybury, Handling, Heffernan, Cummings, Grant.

    Referee: Stephen Finnie

  8. 19:29: 
    LINE-UPS

    Dundee Utd: Cierzniak, Watson, Dillon, Gunning, Robertson, Paton, Rankin, Armstrong, Dow, Mackay-Steven, Ciftci. Subs: Graham, Wilson, Gauld, Souttar, McCallum, Gomis, El Alagui.

    St Johnstone: Mannus, Miller, Mackay, Anderson, Brian Easton, Dunne, McDonald, O'Halloran, Millar, Wotherspoon, May. Subs: Cregg, Hasselbaink, Banks, Brown, Croft, Clancy, Iwelumo.

    Referee: Crawford Allan

  9. 19:31: 

    St Johnstone have made three changes for the match at Tannadice. Michael O'Halloran replaces the suspended Steven MacLean and David Wotherspoon and Chris Millar come into midfield, while Lee Croft and Nigel Hasselbaink drop to the bench. Dundee United name the same team that beat Inverness 5-0 on Sunday. It means that teenagers John Souttar and Ryan Gauld are on the bench following recent injury problems.

  10. 19:34: 

    There was much speculation about whether Inverness manager John Hughes would rest players with the Scottish League Cup final only four days away. He has made several changes, with Danny Devine, Carl Tremarco, Nick Ross, Liam Polworth and Danny Williams coming into the side after the 5-0 hammering by Dundee United in their Scottish Cup quarter-final. Graeme Shinnie and James Vincent drop to the bench, with Greg Tansey, Marley Watkins and Ross Draper banned and David Raven also not involved.

  11. 19:37: 

    On-loan Sunderland winger Duncan Watmore returns to the Hibs side following injury, while Tom Taiwo is also back in the visitors' midfield after suspension. It means Liam Craig and Lewis Stevenson are both relegated to the bench following the 3-3 home draw with Motherwell.

  12. 19:37: 
    BBC Scotland's Richard Wilson at Ibrox Stadium

    "Ibrox is filling up slowly but surely for what so far feels like a low-key occasion despite the opportunity to clinch the title. Only one change to the starting line-up from last Sunday's draw with Albion Rovers, so players have no doubt been told to go out and redeem themselves."

  13. 19:47: 

    Dundee United are aiming for sixth straight victory - something they also managed earlier in the season. St Johnstone have only won once in their last 10 league visits to Tannadice.

  14. 19:47: 
    KICK-OFF

    We're off at tonight's three venues, two in the Premiership and one in League One.

  15. 19:48: 
    PENALTY

    Andy Little goes down in the penalty box at Ibrox, downed by former Rangers goalkeeper Grant Adam.

  16. 19:49: 
    GOAL - Rangers 1-0 Airdrieonians (Lee McCulloch)

    Lee McCulloch sends Grant Adam, who was yellow-carded for conceding the penalty, the wrong way from the spot. The Rangers captain's strike should settle any nerves among the home side and ought to send the runaway leaders towards the win they need to clinch the League One title.

  17. 19:54: 

    Should Rangers win the League One title, it will be the earliest anyone has secured a championship since Partick Thistle won the old Second Division in 1975/76.

  18. 19:54: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit Willie Miller at Tannadice Park

    "Dundee United haven't really got into their stride yet. They haven't been able to get the ball down and pass it because St Johnstone have been so dominant."

  19. 19:55: 
    LINE-UPS - Hibs amendment

    Hibernian: Williams, Forster, Nelson, Hanlon, McGivern, Cairney, Taiwo, Stanton, Watmore, Haynes, Collins. Subs: Craig, Stevenson, Maybury, Handling, Heffernan, Cummings, Murdoch.

  20. 19:56: 

    Hibs left-back Ryan McGivern has a crack at goal and goalkeeper Dean Brill needs to look lively to tip the ball over.

  21. 19:57: 

    Aaron Doran replies for Inverness with a flashing shot across the face of Ben Williams' goal and the sliding Billy McKay is only inches away from connecting.

  22. 19:59: 

    Jon Daly goes close to a second goal for Rangers with a glancing header that nestles in the side-netting after a Richard Foster cross.

  23. 20:00: 

    As St Johnstone striker Stevie May puts a shot just over the crossbar, BBC Scotland's Jim Spence says: "St Johnstone are bossing this game."

  24.  
    Andy Little and Lee McCulloch celebrate Rangers' opener Andy Little won the penalty that was scored by Rangers captain Lee McCulloch, his 15th goal of the season
  25. 20:07: 

    St Johnstone defender Brian Easton is leaving the scene already through injury, with Tim Clancy coming on as substitute.

  26. 20:07: 
    PENALTY

    Another penalty for Rangers at Ibrox.

  27. 20:08: 
    GOAL - Rangers 2-0 Airdrieonians (Lee McCulloch)

    Lee McCulloch sends Airdrieonians goalkeeper Grant Adam the wrong way once again to score his eight penalty of the season. Rangers look like they are easing to the League One title.

  28. 20:10: 
    BBC Radio Scotland's John Robertson at the Caledonian Stadium

    "It's been a very even contest so far, with both teams trying to get the ball down and pass it."

  29. 20:10: 

    Gary Mackay-Steven should score for Dundee United, but he takes an extra touch and, as he finally drives the ball towards goal, St Johnstone manage to get a man back on the line.

  30. 20:11: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit Willie Miller at Tannadice Park

    "I think Dundee United fans will be disappointed with the way they've started. It's been mostly St Johnstone picking the ball up and taking the game to United."

  31. 20:13: 

    Nadir Ciftci misses a great chance for Dundee United with an astonishing miss from in front of goal. The talented Turkish striker almost passes the ball back to St Johnstone goalkeeper Alan Mannus. Ciftci is limping away - a genuine excuse? The limp disappears pretty quickly, so maybe not!

  32. 20:16: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit Willie Miller at Tannadice Park

    "Dundee United are certainly turning the screw now. They had a slow start, but they're now causing all sort of problems."

  33. 20:17: 

    Suggestions from Ibrox are that Rangers ought to have had a third penalty after a challenge from Airdrieonians central defender Gregor Buchanan. Can't believe that, he says, trying to ingratiate himself with his dad, Gordon, the former Rangers and Stenhousemuir centre-half who I played in the same team as while a schoolboy! A proud dad, indeed, who will be in the Airdrie end tonight despite his usual loyalties!

  34. 20:21: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit John Robertson at the Caledonian Stadium

    "There's certainly been no holding back from Inverness. Richie Foran is doing well in a deep midfield role and Aaron Doran and Billy McKay are looking sharp up front."

  35.  
    Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes (left) at Caledonian Stadium Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes (left) is at Caledonian Stadium to spy on Sunday's Scottish League Cup final opponents
  36. 20:28: 
    GOAL - Rangers 3-0 Airdrieonians (Lee McCulloch)

    Rangers captain Lee McCulloch is leading by example by completing his hat-trick, firing low into the corner to ensure victory over Airdrieonians - and the League One title.

  37. 20:32: 
    HALF-TIME - Dundee United 0-0 St Johnstone
  38. 20:33: 
    HALF-TIME - Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-0 Hibernian
  39. 20:34: 
    HALF-TIME - Rangers 3-0 Airdrieonians
  40. 20:37: 
    BBC Scotland's Richard Wilson at Ibrox Stadium

    "Rangers supporters have been singing about being champions and that 'we're going up'. The League One title is all but assured following Lee McCulloch's hat-trick and a commanding display against Airdrieonians has been the reward of some adventurous and enterprising play. Only injuries to Andy Little and David Templeton have spoiled the mood of celebration for the home fans."

  41.  
    Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci looks disappointed Nadir Ciftci squandered Dundee United's best chance as the two Scottish Premiership matches ended goal-less at half-time.
  42. 20:45: 

    Nadir Ciftci's expression just about sums up our feelings about the two Premiership games this evening. At least there are some goals at Ibrox, even if they only serve to prove that Rangers have outgrown League One after only one season in Scotland's third tier. Poor Airdrieonians' seven-game unbeaten run is about to come to an end me thinks!

  43. 20:48: 
    KICK-OFF

    Here's hoping we get a bit more excitement in the two Premiership games in the second half.

  44. 20:49: 
    GOAL - Dundee United 0-1 St Johnstone (Stevie May)

    Stevie May grabs his 22nd goal of the season, but it's a nightmare for the normally impressive Dundee United goalkeeper, Radoslaw Cierzniak. The St Johnstone striker fires a speculative shot from 30 yards and the Pole has let the trundler slip through his grasp and over the line. A loss of concentration there by Cierzniak.

  45. 20:57: 

    Stevie May goes close to a second goal for St Johnstone with a looping header following a corner.

  46. 21:00: 

    Rangers winger Fraser Aird fires a drive that is beaten away by Airdrieonians goalkeeper Grant Adam.

  47. 21:00: 

    Inverness break swiftly to set up a shooting chance for Billy McKay, but Caley Thistle's top scorer sends his effort well wide.

  48. 21:02: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK

    Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni is next to take a pop at the Airdrieonians goal, his 16-yard drive striking the post as he looks for his 17th goal of the season.

  49. 21:05: 

    "Dundee United are not making an impact on the game. It's all too easy for St Johnstone," says BBC Radio Scotland pundit Willie Miller as manager Jackie McNamara prepares to throw on the returning Ryan Gauld and Farid El Alagui.

  50. 21:07: 

    Richie Foran mis-times a clumsy challenge on Hibs' Sam Stanton and picks up a yellow card. BBC Radio Scotland pundit John Robertson reckons another referee might have chosen a red, which would have ruled the Inverness captain out of Sunday's League Cup final.

  51. 21:14: 

    A Danny Devine clearance sails over the main stand at the Caledonian Stadium and might just be bobbing down the Moray Firth. It's not been a night for football purists in the Highlands.

  52. 21:14: 

    Hibs goalie Ben Williams makes his first meaningful save of the night, pushing away a fierce shot from Aaron Doran.

  53. 21:15: 
    PENALTY APPEAL

    There are loud calls for a penalty as Dundee United substitute Farid El Alagui goes down in the box. The referee takes a long hard look at it but decides not to give the spot kick. Jackie McNamara is furious in the dugout and fourth official Iain Brines has to push the Dundee United manager away.

  54.  
    Lee McCulloch celebrates his hat-trick Rangers captain Lee McCulloch is leading by example at Ibrox after scoring a hat-trick
  55. 21:20: 

    Both managers at Tannadice have been sent to the stand after Tommy Wright and Jackie McNamara argue over the refusal to award a free-kick for Ryan Gauld after the teenage substitute's jinking run is brought to an abrupt halt.

  56. 21:22: 
    Stevie May celebrates Stevie May scored his 22nd goal of the season to put St Johnstone into the lead at Tannadice
  57. 21:28: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds at Ibrox Stadium

    "It has been a scrappy second half. Airdrie have had their moments and Rangers have had their moments. But they should have been doing this all season, Rangers, getting the job done early and enjoying the second half."

  58. 21:32: 

    There's only 2,537 fans at Caledonian Stadium tonight. A bit of a snub really for a home side who have reached Sunday's Scottish League Cup final. How many of those 7,000 tickets sold for Celtic Park will be Inverness fans and not Aberdeen fans pretending?

  59. 21:33: 

    Striker Nadir Ciftci squanders what could have been Dundee United's last chance to equalise by blasting a 18-yard free-kick into St Johnstone's defensive wall.

  60. 21:35: 
    FULL-TIME - Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-0 Hibernian
  61. 21:36: 
    FULL-TIME - Dundee United 0-1 St Johnstone
  62. 21:37: 

    Dundee United striker Brian Graham and defender Gavin Gunning have to be pulled apart by St Johnstone players as the pair disagree about a late missed chance inside the vistors' penalty box at Tannadice.

  63. 21:38: 
    FULL-TIME - Rangers 3-0 Airdrieonians
  64. 21:39: 

    So, in a week when manager Ally McCoist was being criticised by his own fans, Rangers secure their second successive promotion by easing aside in-form Airdrieonians. They have won the League One title at a canter and now lead League one by 26 points over Dunfermline Athletic. However, McCoist will know that his side will need to strengthen again - and improve their performances too - for their Championship campaign next season.

  65. 21:45: 

    Referee Crawford Allan was roundly booed off the park by the majority of the fans in the 6,720 crowd at Tannadice. The Dundee United fans thought they ought to have had a penalty when Farid El Alagui went down following a coming together of shoulders.

  66. 21:46: 

    Caley Thistle's lacklustre draw with Hibs is still enough to lift the Scottish League Cup finalists a point above Dundee United in the Premiership table with a game in hand because of the Terrors' home defeat by St Johnstone.

  67. 21:48: 

    St Johnstone not only ended Dundee United's unbeaten run but move four points clear of Hibs in the chase for sixth spot in the Premiership table. They also edge to within six points of United and also have a game in hand over the Edinburgh side.

  68. 21:51: 
    BBC Scotland's Richard Wilson at Ibrox Stadium

    "Rangers fans have celebrated more significant triumphs down the years, but those who stayed behind at Ibrox to greet the final whistle were not subdued just because they were hailing the League One championship. A Lee McCulloch hat-trick secured the title and another step back towards the top flight and there was a genuine sense of accomplishment and gratitude between the fans and the players as they enjoyed the moment."

  69.  
    Rangers captain Lee McCulloch and manager Ally McCoist celebrate Rangers captain Lee McCulloch and manager Ally McCoist celebrate winning the League One title after a 3-0 win over Airdrieonians
  70. 21:57: 

    We are waiting some insight into the incident involving Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara, St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright and fourth official Iain Brines. It all followed a United penalty claim with Saints leading 1-0 and ended with both managers being sent to the stand.

  71. 22:06: 
    St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright on BBC Radio Scotland

    "It was a tremendous performance and we had to dig in at times.

    "We started the game very well and they came back into it, but we got the goal at the right time.

    "To win tonight goes a long way to getting that sixth spot."

  72. 22:07: 
    St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright on BBC Radio Scotland

    (on being sent to the stand along with Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara)

    "I've seen worse and managers not being sent off.

    "I will defend my players to the hilt and felt that there were comments made about my players that weren't called for.

    "I responded to that as it was out of order. It was a cheap shot.

    "I will move on from it, but I think Jackie should have showed my team more respect."

  73. 22:10: 

    Strong words there from Tommy Wright that leave us wondering what exactly he is claiming was said by Jackie McNamara. We won't hear, tonight at least, a response from the Dundee United manager, who has decided not to speak to the media himself and has sent assistant Simon Donnelly out to do the post-match interviews.

  74. 22:14: 

    Watch this space as they say. That will be a story for later tonight, or even tomorrow. Thanks for your company tonight and join us again on Friday evening, when Kilmarnock host Premiership leaders Celtic.

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As It Stood Table

Last updated 11 Mar 2014 UK

Scottish Premiership summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Celtic 28 54 75
No movement 2 Aberdeen 28 14 54
No movement 3 Motherwell 28 3 51
No movement 4 Dundee Utd 27 17 44
No movement 5 Inverness CT 26 7 44
No movement 6 St Johnstone 27 3 35
No movement 7 Hibernian 28 -7 33
No movement 8 Kilmarnock 29 -12 30
No movement 9 St Mirren 28 -17 27
No movement 10 Partick Thistle 28 -16 26
No movement 11 Ross County 28 -17 26
No movement 12 Hearts 29 -29 6

As It Stood Table

Last updated 12 Mar 2014 UK

Scottish League One summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Rangers 28 73 80
No movement 2 Dunfermline 28 17 54
No movement 3 Stranraer 28 5 45
No movement 4 Ayr 28 -5 39
No movement 5 Forfar 28 2 36
No movement 6 Stenhousemuir 28 -10 34
No movement 7 Brechin 28 -11 32
No movement 8 Airdrieonians 28 -21 25
No movement 9 East Fife 28 -29 25
No movement 10 Arbroath 28 -21 24