The Drama In the Scottish Premiership
It may have been the Scottish Cup that was supposed to take centre stage this weekend, but the previously postponed league matches of Ross Country and Motherwell ended up stealing the Sunday morning headlines.
With Inverness’ quarter final against Raith Rovers on Saturday postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, focus in Scotland turned to the Premiership where both Ross County and Motherwell were playing their games-in-hand, affording them the opportunity to pull away from relegation rivals Saint Mirren.
All three relegation contenders began the day on 21 points, yet only Saint Mirren would finish the day on that total as they watched on from home to see Motherwell move one point further away, while Ross County secured a massive three points.
It was a 1-1 home draw with Kilmarnock that saw Motherwell move off the foot of the table, with returning legend Scott McDonald the man to have equalised after Tope Obadeyi’s beautiful early opener for the away side. Despite coming from behind, Motherwell will have been bitterly disappointed not to have won the match given that Darryl Westlake was dismissed just before the interval for Killie.
Still, a point at the bottom is always valuable and it currently gives The Well a one point advantage over Saint Mirren, with the latter winning the goal difference battle that could prove key come the final day of the season.
Even better than Motherwell’s point were the three that Ross County picked up when Partick Thistle visited Dingwall. County won their fourth straight Scottish Premiership match, while Thistle have now lost six out of seven and will now be concerned about their top flight status themselves. Only seven points separate the Glasgow side from the foot of the table and only six stand between Thistle and the dreaded relegation play-off spot.
The Jags certainly weren’t helped by the red card shown to Kallum Higginbotham on 59 minutes. Unlike relegation rivals Motherwell, Ross County did take advantage of their extra man and protected their lead – earned in the 33rd minute through a Craig Curran header – to secure those massive three points.
Having looked dead and buried just a month ago when County had only 12 points to their name, Jim McIntyre’s side have now doubled their tally in just four matches.
The three clubs in the relegation dog fight are all on their travels next weekend when "normal" league action resumes. Motherwell visit 2nd placed Aberdeen on Friday before County and Saint Mirren visit Hamilton and Kilmarnock respectively.
This battle is certainly not over yet, but is only just beginning.