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Monday 4th March 2019

Weekend in numbers

Resident statto @splstats looks at some of the numbers from the weekend...

1 – St Mirren beat Livingston 1-0 at the Simple Digital Arena to record their first Ladbrokes Premiership victory of 2019. Saints have won just four league games all season - their most recent success until the weekend came against Motherwell in December, and since then they had picked up just two points from eight matches. Saturday’s victory moves them to within a point of Dundee at the foot of the table, and four back from Hamilton Academical. Ryan Flynn netted the only goal for Saints - it was his first in the Scottish top flight since he scored the winner for Falkirk against Motherwell at Fir Park in April 2010.

5 – Celtic defeated Hibernian 2-0 at Easter Road to progress to the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup for the fifth consecutive season. The Hoops have reached the last four of the cup in nine of the last 10 seasons – the only exception was in 2013/14, the final season of Neil Lennon’s first spell, when Aberdeen beat them 2-1 at Celtic Park in round five. The Hoops have won 11 consecutive domestic matches in 2019, with their only losses this year coming against Valencia in the Europa League. Celtic are now unbeaten in 25 consecutive matches in domestic cup competitions - their last defeat in a cup competition came against Rangers on penalties in the 2015/16 Scottish Cup semi-final.

4 – Dunfermline Athletic moved into the final promotion play-off spot in the Ladbrokes Championship thanks to a 1-0 victory over Queen of the South at East End Park. As recently as February 15, the Pars were languishing in seventh place, just two points ahead of the relegation play-off places, but since then Stevie Crawford’s side have recorded four straight wins to surge to fourth in the table. Dunfermline have not conceded a single goal in their run of wins – it is the first time they have kept four straight clean sheets in the second tier since May-August 1994 under Bert Paton.

4 – Inverness Caledonian Thistle reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup thanks to a dramatic late 2-1 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice. This will be the Caley Jags’ fourth time in the last four and their first since they won it back in 2015. Curiously, despite the club having spent more than half of their existence playing in the top flight, three of their four Scottish Cup semi-final appearances have come while in the second tier.

6 – Forfar Athletic thumped East Fife 3-0 at Station Park to move up to second place in Ladbrokes League 1. The Loons have all but cemented their spot in the promotion play-offs – they are now 11 points ahead of fifth-placed Montrose with just nine matches remaining. Jim Weir’s side have built their success this season on an excellent home record – only leaders Arbroath have a better one. The Loons have now recorded six straight league wins at Station Park, which equals their best run since World War II. If that form continues into the play-offs, then Forfar may well reach the Championship for the first time since 1991/92. 

4 – Annan Athletic moved a step closer to securing their place in the promotion play-offs in Ladbrokes League 2 after beating Queen’s Park 2-1 at Galabank on Saturday. Peter Murphy’s side have opened up a 10-point advantage over fifth-placed Stirling Albion thanks to an impressive run of four consecutive wins. The Galabankies have recorded six wins and a draw in their last seven matches – that includes wins over leaders Peterhead and third-placed Edinburgh City, plus a draw with second-placed Clyde. This is Annan’s 11th season in the SFL/SPFL but they have yet to escape from the bottom tier despite three previous attempts at the play-offs - they will be hoping this season is fourth time lucky.