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Monday 29th April 2019

Weekend in numbers

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

1 – Celtic moved to within one point of the Ladbrokes Premiership title thanks to a 1-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Celtic Park on Saturday. The only goal of the game was scored by Hoops number 5 Jozo Simunovic, on the day they remembered the club’s most famous No 5, Billy McNeill. Celtic remain unbeaten at home in domestic football this season – they have picked up 18 wins and two draws in 20 matches at Parkhead. They extended their unbeaten home run against Killie to 12 matches – the Ayrshire side’s last success at Celtic Park was in October 2012.

2 – Rangers defeated Aberdeen 2-0 at Ibrox to secure a top-two finish in the Ladbrokes Premiership for the first time since 2011/12. James Tavernier netted a penalty double to take his tally for the season to 16 goals in all competitions, 14 of which have come from the penalty spot. The Light Blues finished third behind Aberdeen in each of the last two seasons, but have now ended the Dons’ run of four consecutive runners-up finishes. This was the seventh meeting of the sides in all competitions this season – the last time they faced off so often was in 1979/80.

1 – Ross County secured the Ladbrokes Championship title with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Queen of the South at the Global Energy Stadium on Friday night. Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell secured the Staggies’ immediate return to the Ladbrokes Premiership following their relegation last time out. They are just the fourth relegated side this century to bounce straight back, joining Inverness Caledonian Thistle (2009/10), Dundee (2013/14) and Heart of Midlothian (2014/15). County’s incredible home record played a big part in their title success – they only lost once at home in all competitions this season - a 1-0 reverse against Dundee United in November.

2 – Forfar Athletic defeated Montrose 1-0 at Station Park to move a step closer to securing second place in Ladbrokes League 1. Jim Weir’s Loons are a point ahead of Raith Rovers in second place with one fixture remaining - if they beat East Fife they will secure their highest league finish since 1991/92, when they were relegated from the second tier. Despite the defeat on Saturday, the Gable Endies also secured fourth place and a play-off spot courtesy of East Fife’s draw with Stenhousemuir – that is also their highest league finish since 1991/92. With Arbroath already promoted, there is now a real prospect of there being two Angus teams in the second tier for the first time since, you guessed it, 1991/92.

3 – Albion Rovers completed their great escape in Ladbrokes League 2 by thumping Berwick Rangers 3-0 at Shielfield on Saturday. Rovers took just seven points from their first 23 games but have picked up six wins in their last 12 matches to leapfrog Berwick and ensure they will remain in SPFL next season. Their recent away form has been particularly impressive – they have picked up three wins and a draw in their last four matches on the road, which is their best unbeaten run since the opening four league matches of last season. Berwick Rangers will now face a difficult play-off against the winners of the Pyramid play-off between Cove Rangers and East Kilbride (Cove lead 2-1 from the first leg at K-Park) – if they lose that then they will be relegated to the Lowland League and the Scottish League will be without English representation for the first time since 1954/55.