Aberdeen's top six dreams dashed by a familiar face

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

In football, fate often grants players and managers the opportunity to get one over their former employer.

Kilmarnock boss Jimmy Calderwood took full advantage of such an occasion by ending Aberdeen's slim hopes of reaching the top six.

Although Calderwood, who guided the Dons to the top six for five years in succession, will never publicly say so, his side's 2-0 victory must have brought a certain sense of satisfaction following his dismissal from Pittodrie last summer.

The Dons travelled to Rugby Park on Sunday knowing they required three wins to give themselves a faint chance of pipping St Johnstone and Hearts for the final place in the top half of the Scottish Premier League.

Yet there would be no three wins in a row. There wouldn't even be one. Davide Grassi, a defender who has a CV containing references from Parma and Espanyol, has struggled to acclimatise himself to this more honest and traditional footballing land.

When the Italian defender prodded the ball past his own goalkeeper after 25 minutes there would be no way back for Aberdeen, Allan Russell's looping header in the second half merely adding insult to injury.

This is a season that has never really started for Aberdeen and Mark McGhee, and they will be glad to see the back of it at Pittodrie, where there will be plenty of comings and goings during the summer.

Kilmarnock's win was bad news for bottom side Falkirk, who themselves picked up a rare victory over Motherwell.

St Mirren could have given themselves a bit of breathing space at the wrong end of the table after being one-up against Hearts but a second half strike by Maurius Zaliukas meant Gus MacPherson's side had to settle for one point rather than three.

Further up the table there were yet more refereeing controversies at Ibrox. It was the faithful of Hamilton Accies' turn to sample the grievances felt earlier this season by the supporters of Celtic and Dundee United, amongst others, at a decision going against them at the home of champions-elect Rangers.

Billy Reid's side thought they had earned a deserved share of the points when, already one down to a Maurice Edu goal, James McArthur slotted the ball home with 12 minutes remaining only for the strike to be contentiously chalked off for offside.

In Edinburgh, Celtic's caretaker boss Neil Lennon got his second win in a row thanks to Robbie Keane's 12th goal in 12 games that gave the Hoops a 1-0 win over Hibernian.

But forget about overturning Rangers' 10-point lead at the top of the table. Lennon's real mandate between now and the end of the season looks likely to be preventing Dundee United overtaking the Celts for the potentially lucrative second Champions League spot.

Peter Houston's men are now only five points behind Lennon's charges after beating St Johnstone 1-0 on Monday evening. Both sides have six games remaining and you wouldn't rule out United catching Celtic if they can continue their recent form.

Scottish Football League Round Up

A spectacular late overhead kick from Richie Foran gave Inverness Caledonian Thistle a battling 4-3 win over Raith Rovers.

In a few weeks' time this moment of brilliance from the Irishman may prove to have given Terry Butcher's side the impetus to claim the First Division title and promotion back to Scotland's top tier.

Dundee, however, remain in hot pursuit thanks to a 3-0 victory over Ayr United while Ross County, who defeated Dunfermline 2-1, could still make a late charge for the title if they manage to win their three games in hand.

Alloa Athletic defeated East Fife to remain top of the Second Division but Stirling Albion's promotion push was dealt a blow with a 2-1 home defeat to Dumbarton.

And in the Third Division, Livingston missed out on the opportunity to wrap up the title as they lost 2-0 to Annan Athletic.

It's been a good week for... Peter Houston. The United manager has done a superb job since Craig Levein's departure with his side now unbeaten in eight matches.

It's been a bad week for... Mark McGhee. The Dons will be scrapping for survival in the bottom six as their poor season continues.

Scottish stats * Club news Features * News * Interviews * Home
Interact: Twitter * Facebook * Forums