• Scottish football round-up

St Mirren stun Celtic to reach final

ESPN staff
January 27, 2013 « Etim: Renee Forte gets punished at Wembley Arena | Chartbeat test »
St Mirren's heroics have booked them a final date with Hearts in March © PA Photos
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Second from bottom in the SPL, St Mirren stunned Celtic 3-2 to reach the Scottish League Cup final where they will play Hearts.

Esmael Goncalves, Paul McGowan and Steven Thompson scored for the Buddies while the league champions could only offer one Gary Hooper goal and a consolation from Charlie Mulgrew.

Mulgrew was at fault for McGowan's goal as he gave away the penalty which the midfielder converted in the 64th minute. Mulgrew's handball from Gary Teale's cross came not long after the defender had missed a penalty of his own and his 90th-minute goal will not have drastically eased his painful afternoon.

By then it was all but over because Thompson had got on the end of Marc McAusland's cross in the 69th minute to establish a 3-1 lead. At half-time that scoreline seemed improbable as Hooper had cancelled out debutant Goncalves' eight-minute opener and the tide seemed to be with the Hoops.

But the Buddies were inspired to raise their game and took Celtic on in all areas of the field to reach March's final back at Hampden Park.

In the SPL, Aberdeen dominated the side directly above them in the table Hibernian but failed to score a goal and had to settle for a 0-0 draw at Pittodrie.

The closest the home side came to breaking the deadlock was in the 11th minute when Niall McGinn had a chance from the penalty spot. Hibs defender Tim Clancy had brought Jonny Hayes down in the area but Ben Williams saved his team-mate and his side by diving low to his right to thwart McGinn.

As the first half drew to a close Williams pulled off another quality save when Clark Robertson directed a powerful effort goalward. Williams was active in the second half as well but Aberdeen's wastefulness was really to blame for them not getting on the scoresheet.

For Hibs, Eoin Doyle's header in the 68th minute was a clear-cut opportunity but it lacked power and failed to challenge Jamie Langfield in goal.

There were no goals either in Dundee's match with Kilmarnock at Dens Park. But the league's bottom club will be glad for the clean sheet and a share of the points in a 0-0 draw.

With Ross County securing a draw against Dundee United on Saturday, the Dark Blues desperately needed all three points but a draw cut the gap to St Mirren to 11 points.

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