Tuesday 12 December 2017

Falkirk focus for Mowbray Guthrie brace in Tykes rout McCulloch grabs double Hull low point shocks Moyes Chambers nets Hoops leveller

Tony Mowbray is looking for his Celtic side to make amends for their poorest performance of the season when they revisit the Falkirk stadium today.

The 3-3 draw against the Bairns in November was due to some shambolic Hoops defending and it represented an early blow to their SPL title hopes which were all but extinguished by their Old Firm defeat at Ibrox last week.

The Parkhead club continue their ongoing spat with referees and the Scottish Football Association following the controversial dismissal of skipper Scott Brown against Rangers -- and the subsequent rejection of his appeal.

More controversy surrounds the state of the Falkirk pitch, although Mowbray has rejected outright reports that Celtic have complained. The Celtic boss is focusing only on beating the Bairns with whom they also drew at home in January.

"In the 3-3 game we played as poorly as we have played," Mowbray said. "I stated that after the game and yet I gave them credit, the did very well on the day. Falkirk are a good football team, they like to expand the pitch and try to play football."

Mowbray will wait on the fitness of defender Glenn Loovens but is in no rush to re-route the captain's armband in the absence of Brown. "I haven't given it any thought. Scott remains the captain but if he is not on the pitch someone else will wear it," he said.

Guthrie brace in Tykes rout

Jonas Gutierrez finally got a chance to unveil his Spiderman mask as Newcastle tightened their grip on the Championship with a 6-1 rout of 10-man Barnsley.

The Argentina international did not have the mask with him when he scored his only other goal against Peterborough, but it was worth the wait after he produced a mazy run and stunning 61st-minute finish to put the Magpies 4-0 ahead in front of 44,464 at St James' Park.

Peter Lovenkrands had earlier struck from the penalty spot a minute before the break and then with a fine header three minutes later as the visitors wilted in the wake of 'keeper Luke Steele's dismissal.

Danny Guthrie put the result beyond reasonable doubt with a deflected 50th-minute effort, and after Gutierrez's strike, Guthrie made it 5-0 with a free-kick which eluded substitute 'keeper David Preece, who was then rounded by Kevin Nolan as Newcastle claimed their biggest win this season.

Daniel Bogdanovic pulled one back seven minutes from time, but in truth the Magpies might have won even more handsomely.

McCulloch grabs double

Lee McCulloch grabbed a double as Rangers moved 13 points clear at the summit of the SPL with a 3-1 win over St Mirren.

Saints took a shock lead at Ibrox through the on-loan Graham Carey before McCulloch netted either side of the break and Nacho Novo put the gloss on the win late on.

Both teams meet for the sixth time this season later in the month when they will contest the first silverware of the campaign -- the Co-operative Insurance Cup.

Hull low point shocks Moyes

David Moyes needs no reminding of when Everton's Premier League campaign hit its nadir -- but will get it as Hull visit Goodison Park today.

The Toffees endured a troubled and injury-hit start to the season and three successive defeats in November left them fifth from bottom. Amid that run was a dreadful performance at struggling Hull when Moyes' side conceded three times in the opening 28 minutes. They hit back to lose just 3-2 but Moyes was still furious at his team's capitulation and was left questioning their commitment and desire.

"On that night, I think there were genuine reasons for asking those questions. The situation we were in at that time was terrible, our performance was shocking," said Moyes.

Chambers nets Hoops leveller



A penalty converted by James Chambers in the 65th minute saw Shamrock Rovers begin the new league campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds last night.

Eoin Doyle had put the home side ahead with a header on 22 minutes, while Richie Ryan saw a shot touched onto the crossbar by Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Alan Mannus in the second half.

Sligo: Brush, Whelan, Peers, Keane, Davoren, McCabe (Marshall 88), Ventre, Ryan (O'Grady 71), Doyle, Blinkhorn, Amond (Doninger 71).

Shamrock: Mannus, Flynn, Murray, Price, Murphy, Bradley (Baker 57 (Kavanagh 66)), Rice, Chambers, O'Connor, Dennehy, Barrett (Cahill 83).

Referee: A Buttimer (Cork).

Sunday Independent

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