Championship wrap: Commons nets for Hibs, Sons beat Dundee Utd

first_imgWhile the Terrors were in action they had been replaced at the summit by Hibernian after their win at Falkirk and Mark Docherty’s 27th-minute goal gave them an even steeper uphill task to wrestle back leadership of the division.Mark Durnan hit the crossbar and a post for Dundee United but that is the nearest they came to an equalising goal and they ended the year with a first defeat in 13 league matches.Sam Stanton threatened early on for the hosts who then went ahead through Docherty’s strike from the left side of the penalty area.Durnan hit the crossbar from close range at the start of the second half before Paul Dixon put two efforts over the top either side of the hour mark.Durnam came within a whisker of an equaliser again in stoppage time but his header hit a post.Ricki Lamie scored a last-minute equaliser as 10-man Morton earned a 1-1 draw at rock-bottom St Mirren in the Scottish Championship.Saints appeared set to earn bragging rights in the Renfrewshire derby until Lamie bundled the ball home for his first Morton goal.Gary MacKenzie had put the hosts ahead after 30 minutes with a firm header past Morton goalkeeper Derek Gaston.Promotion-chasing Morton’s hopes of a comeback suffered a blow when Jamie McDonagh was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Rocco Quinn, but they struck late to deny their rivals.Queen of the South and Ayr will both take their long winless records into 2017 after a goalless draw at Palmerston Park.The hosts are now 13 games since their last league victory, while Ayr have not won in nine Championship outings.Gary Harkins and Alan Forrest were narrowly off target early on for Ayr, who then hit the crossbar through Daryll Meggatt after 20 minutes.Stephen Dobbie threatened either side of half-time for Queen of the South and then brought a parry from Greg Fleming after an hour.Darren Brownlie saw a header go over the bar as the hosts pushed for a winning goal late on, but in truth a stalemate was always the likely outcome. Kris Commons’ late free-kick kept alive Hibernian’s hope of finishing 2016 top of the Scottish Championship as they won 2-1 at Falkirk.Hibs went into the match two points behind leaders Dundee United, whose match at Dumbarton finishes later, but they temporarily at least usurped their rivals after needing a Jason Cummings equaliser to cancel out Craig Sibbald’s opening goal for the hosts, before Commons’ 87th-minute winner.The result was a repeat of the last league meeting between the sides at Falkirk Stadium in August and extends Falkirk’s winless run to four league games, while Hibs finish the year with only one defeat in the last 13 Championship fixtures.There were chances at both ends with Luca Gasparotto and Commons threatening before Sibbald put Falkirk ahead from close range after 15 minutes. However, the lead was short lived as Commons set up Cummings to level things up two minutes later. Mark Kerr and John Baird went close for Falkirk before half-time while early in the second half Commons missed the target with a couple of efforts, one a header, before bringing a parrying save from Danny Rogers.David Gray might have done better than shoot wide from inside the penalty area shortly afterwards and substitute Bob McHugh did likewise for the hosts in the final five minutes.Commons’ bullet of a free-kick ensured all three points for Hibs after Peter Grant was booked for bringing down Martin Boyle on the edge of the box.Dundee United blew their chance of finishing 2016 on top of the Scottish Championship as they lost 1-0 at Dumbarton.last_img

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