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Everton slip to third successive defeat

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Celtic snatch late draw to go clear at top

GLASGOW, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Champions Celtic moved two points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League on Saturday after substitute Derek Riordan's late strike allowed them to snatch a 1-1 draw at home to St. Mirren.

Struggling Saints grabbed the opener when Celtic goalkeeper Mark Brown parried a Billy Mehmet shot in the 73rd minute only for Steve McGinn to crack in the rebound.

With just five minutes left, Riordan bundled in the leveller after a pass from Dutch midfielder Evander Sno.

Celtic, aiming for their third successive SPL title, top the standings with 33 points from 15 matches.

Second-placed rivals Rangers, on 31 from 14 games, had their Sunday clash with Gretna postponed to allow them more time to prepare for their Champions League match against Lyon.

Elsewhere, Hearts lost 2-1 at home to Motherwell after going ahead in an exciting tussle.

Andy Driver cracked in a back-post volley in the 12th minute from a cross by Lithuanian Andrius Velicka for the Hearts opener. Motherwell levelled with a Chris Porter close-range header in the 53rd minute.

Motherwell clinched the three points with a Ross McCormack shot that deflected off Lithuanian defender Marius Zaliukas.

In the day's other action, Falkirk crushed Dundee United 3-0, Aberdeen beat Kilmarnock 2-1 and Inverness Caledonian Thistle were 2-0 winners against Hibernian.