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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 9, 2006

Scotland: Celtic stay top as Hearts crash

Celtic stayed top of the Scottish Premier League (SPL) with a 1-0 win at Aberdeen on Saturday while Hearts crashed 1-0 at home to St Mirren.

SPL newcomers St Mirren snatched a late win with a goal from Stewart Kean in the 78th minute and it emerged later that Hearts' Czech striker Roman Bednar was given a red card after the match.

He was censured for showing dissent to referee Stuart McDonald in the tunnel, the BBC reported.

"A lot of people didn't expect us to win whether we play at home or away," Saints manager Gus MacPherson told BBC Radio Scotland.

"But we have a group of players who are honest and hard-working and feel they have something to prove.

"They want to show people...who watch SPL football that they are capable of performing at this level."

Rangers won 4-0 at home to Falkirk to move into second place in the SPL with 12 points from six games.

Phil Bardsley curled home the opener in 17 minutes before Croatian striker Dado Prso volleyed a shot into the top right from 12 metres.

After the interval Kris Boyd was brought down by Darren Barr for a penalty which he took and slammed into the top right for 3-0.

Belgian Thomas Buffel crashed home a fabulous shot high into the net to wrap up the points.

"I am not entirely satisfied with the performance because at the beginning we were a bit flat," manager Paul Le Guen told BBC Radio Scotland.

Celtic beat Aberdeen with a late goal from Dutch striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink earlier on Saturday.

Boss Gordon Strachan said: "We are a bit rusty in the last 30 yards at the minute. But this is a team that has just been put together."

Celtic top the SPL standings with 13 points from six games.

Motherwell crashed 1-4 at home to Inverness Caley while Dunfermline won 3-2 at home to Kilmarnock.

Hibernian play Dundee United on Sunday.