Ladbrokes Premiership: Has Aberdeen’s early optimism been shattered?

Champions Celtic are now just one point behind pacesetters Aberdeen as both clubs enjoyed contrasting fortunes in the Ladbrokes Premiership over the course of the weekend.

It’s now back-to-back defeats for Derek McInnes’ Dons outfit and the manner in which they lost most recently certainly raised a few eyebrows.

St. Johnstone hammered the leaders 5-1 on their own patch and their clinical display has blown the league wide open.

Brian Easton and Joe Shaughnessy had the visitors 2-0 up inside the opening 10 minutes before Ash Taylor immediately reduced the deficit.

However, Liam Craig’s effort and a brace from Steven MacLean completed the Saints rout and ensured they picked up their first away points of the season.

That result enabled Celtic to close the gap at the top although they were made to work hard by Hamilton in the Sunday lunchtime kick-off.

Gramoz Kurtaj gave The Accies an early lead with Dedryck Boyata at fault. The Hoops defender did make amends though, prodding Leigh Griffith’s free-kick over the line for a 26th-minute equaliser before Griffiths secured the three points just five minutes later.

At the other end of the table these are worrying times for managerless Dundee United.

They’re now rock-bottom following a 3-0 defeat to fellow strugglers Partick Thistle.

David Amoo scored for the second week running to put the Jags ahead. United threatened a brief fightback but it was left to Mustapha Dumbuya and Stuart Bannigan to add the gloss on another miserable afternoon for The Terrors.

Elsewhere, city rivals Dundee cemented their top-six placing with a 2-1 victory over Motherwell.

Rory Loy notched his third goal in two games to give Paul Hartley’s side the lead and then Kevin Holt doubled their advantage.

Stephen Pearson pulled one back for Well but it was too little and too late for them to salvage something at Dens Park.

Meanwhile, Inverness continue to enjoy an upturn in fortunes with their 2-1 Highland Derby win over Ross County another measure of their progression.

Miles Storey and James Vincent gave Caley a 2-0 half-time advantage at Dingwall before Liam Boyce’s 90th-minute consolation got nerves jangling.

And finally, former Hearts defender Conrad Balatoni was at the centre of the action at Tynecastle as current employers Kilmarnock secured a share of the spoils in Edinburgh.

His foul on Osman Sow gave away a first-half penalty which Jamie Walker converted to put Hearts ahead.

Balatoni atoned for that error though when firing in an equaliser with just 11 minutes remaining.

That result leaves the Jambos in third-place while Kilmarnock are still treading water in eighth.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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William Geldart

Having graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Wales, Bangor, William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.