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Monday 2nd August 2021

Heart of Midlothian Dumbarton cinch Premiership

Weekend in Numbers - Week 1!

Our resident statto SPLstats breaks down week 1

20 – Champions Rangers kicked off their title defence with a 3-0 victory over Livingston at Ibrox. Ianis Hagi’s early strike was followed up by goals from Scott Wright and Kemar Roofe as the Light Blues continued last season’s excellent home form. Rangers have now recorded 20 consecutive league victories at Ibrox, with their last loss coming against Hamilton Academical in March 2020. This is a new club record, but they still have some way to go to match Celtic’s top-flight record of 26 in a row, set between 2002 and 2004. Livingston have now visited Ibrox 17 times and have yet to come away with a victory.

2 – Heart of Midlothian marked their return to the cinch Premiership with a 2-1 win over Celtic at Tynecastle. John Souttar’s late winner handed the Jam Tarts the three points and condemned the Hoops to their first opening day defeat since 1997/98. Hearts ended a run of nine matches without a victory against Celtic – their last win came in August 2018 when Kyle Lafferty scored the only goal of the game at Tynecastle. Souttar’s goal was just his third Premiership goal of his career – he hadn’t scored in the league since March 2018, when he netted in a 3-0 victory over Partick Thistle.

4 – Raith Rovers and Hamilton Academical kicked off the cinch Championship season in style with a topsy-turvy 4-4 draw at Stark’s Park. Accies looked to be dead and buried when they trailed 4-0 after 65 minutes, but a double from former Raith player Kieran MacDonald and goals from Andy Ryan and Shaun Want saw them secure an unlikely point. This was the first time a club had come from 4-0 down to secure a point in a Scottish League match since Montrose fought back for a 4-4 draw against Stranraer in the 3rd Division in November 2011.

2 – Dumbarton defeated Clyde 3-0 at Broadwood in cinch League 1 to ensure a winning league start for new boss Stevie Farrell. The Sons just avoided relegation through the play-offs last season, but made an impressive start this time out with goals from Ross MacLean and Conner Duthie plus an own goal from Conrad Balatoni. This was just a third away league win for the Sons since the start of 2020, but two of those wins have come against Clyde in Cumbernauld – they also won 1-0 there in April.

1 – Kelty Hearts marked their SPFL debut with a 2-0 victory over local rivals Cowdenbeath in cinch League 2. This was the first ever meeting of the clubs in a national competition, and goals from Joe Cardle and Ross Philp ensured victory for the Lowland League champions. Kelty are the tenth new side to enter the SFL/SPFL in the last 50 years – of those clubs, six won their first match (Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Ross County, Peterhead, Annan Athletic, Cove Rangers and Kelty Hearts), one drew (Gretna) and three suffered a defeat (Meadowbank Thistle, Elgin City, Edinburgh City). Interestingly, both Ross County and Annan Athletic also picked up their first victory against Cowdenbeath.