It was another exciting weekend in Scottish football which was split between Viaplay Cup semi-final action and the battle for cinch Premiership points.
Aberdeen and Rangers will play in the final of the Viaplay Cup after winning their respective last-four games, while Celtic extended their lead over the Light Blues to eight points at the top of the cinch Premiership with a 3-0 win at Ross County on Saturday. Motherwell lost again at Kilmarnock and Dundee beat Livingston.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five things from the weekend’s action.
James Tavernier continues to lead the way for Rangers
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) November 5, 2023
The free-scoring Rangers right-back once again proved his worth with a double in a 3-1 Viaplay Cup semi-final win over Hearts at Hampden Park. Tavernier broke the deadlock with a penalty five minutes after the interval before half-time substitute Scott Wright fired in a second five minutes later. A wonderful free-kick from Tavernier in the 64th minute effectively secured a place in the December 17 final against Aberdeen, with Hearts skipper Lawrence Shankland scoring from the spot late on by way of consolation.
James Forrest keeps on keeping on
“I’ve not scored many with my head but I will take anything!”
James Forrest delighted to score in 15th consecutive season
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) November 5, 2023
Celtic winger James Forrest came off the bench against Ross County to score the third goal in the Hoops’ 3-0 win. It was the 15th successive season in which the 32-year-old has notched in green and white. Forrest first scored on his Celtic debut against Motherwell in May 2010 and with a contract going up to 2025, there is ample opportunity to extend that remarkable run.
Honeymoon period over for Hibs boss Nick Montgomery
“The boys are hurting in there. We’re disappointed as we deserved something from the game. I thought some tough decisions went against us.”
Nick Montgomery on today’s Semi-Final defeat… pic.twitter.com/9jxpp0SR9V
— Hibernian Football Club (@HibernianFC) November 4, 2023
Things appeared to have started fairly brightly for Nick Montgomery, with supporters enjoying his style of play in his early weeks after replacing Lee Johnson in September. However, the excitement following the Yorkshireman’s appointment has faded fast. Hibs have won only two of his nine games in charge in all competitions, remain in the bottom six and are currently licking their wounds following a chastening night at Hampden on Saturday in which they blew a chance to reach the Viaplay Cup final by losing 1-0 to 10-man Aberdeen. Montgomery needs a swift and sharp upturn in form in order to start convincing supporters of his merit after such a damaging defeat so early in his reign.
Miovski magic takes Aberdeen to Viaplay Cup final
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) November 4, 2023
Hibernian were the better side against the Dons at Hampden Park on Saturday and were denied an opener in the 49th minute when VAR, after a lengthy check, ruled attacker Martin Boyle was offside before he had the ball in the Aberdeen net. Dons defender Jack MacKenzie was sent off by referee John Beaton in the 75th minute for a second yellow card but Miovski pulled him out of a hole three minutes later when he raced clear of the Hibs defence and fired in his 10th goal of the season to book a place in next month’s final.
Motherwell hit the skids
Kilmarnock 1 – 0 Motherwell. pic.twitter.com/QCsw3ciZ0K
— Motherwell FC (@MotherwellFC) November 4, 2023
Motherwell’s current slump in form continued with a 1-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, with Innes Cameron’s goal early in the second half proving decisive. The Steelmen took 10 points from the first four matches but have managed only one point since as they have slid down to eighth in the league following a sixth defeat in seven matches. “It’s not good enough for a club like Motherwell,” said manager Stuart Kettlewell, who knows the spotlight is now firmly on him.