Toon Kids Romping In The Chilly Jocko Playground
Last season Alan Pardew had Chilly Jockos choking on their haggis by suggesting the Scottish Premier League was "rubbish".
But now he is using it to blood some of his youngsters.
Mehdi Abeid is at St Johnstone and Paul Dummett is at St Mirren, holding down regular places when they are some distance from Pardew's first team plans.
A peep over Hadrian's Wall to see how they are doing, as both played their part in decent results over the weekend ...HIBS 1 ST JOHNSTONE 3
Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon admitted St Johnstone simply wanted the points more than his side after suffering a 3-1 defeat at Easter Road. A double from Rowan Vine and a Patrick Cregg goal sealed the win that allowed Saints to leapfrog their hosts into fourth in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Leigh Griffiths did pull a goal back for Hibs but it was too little too late for the home side to mount a comeback.
Fenlon said: "It was bitterly disappointing to be honest. There was nothing in the game up until the first goal but, after that, we were all over the place and it wasn't good enough.
"I thought St Johnstone played really well but they also worked tremendously hard and we didn't have that.
"I can't say that too many times about my team this year but definitely we lacked that little bit of urgency, hunger and desire.
"They looked like they wanted it a little bit more than us."
Hibs were without David Wotherspoon, who was absent from the squad.
Fenlon explained: "We left him out, we just gave him a break. We thought over the last couple of weeks he has looked a little bit fatigued.
"Maybe that's a mistake we made in fairness but I just felt he was a little tired over the last two or three games."
Saints boss Steve Lomas felt the victory could have been even more comfortable.
He said: "It was very good from start to finish.
"We've had a few games this season where we have had good performances and sometimes haven't got what we deserved.
"But I thought we thoroughly deserved it and if it had been by two or three more, there probably couldn't have been much complaint."
The best chance to add to the goal tally came when the visitors won a penalty but Steven MacLean was denied by an impressive block by goalkeeper Ben Williams - his fifth penalty save of the season.
Asked if Vine - who was chasing a hat-trick - fancied the spot-kick himself, Lomas said: "He probably did.
"But we decided that once the penalty-taker was decided before the game, we stuck to it no matter what the situation was.
"Unfortunately, Steven has missed it but all credit to the goalkeeper.
"That's five out of seven he has saved and that's an unbelievable penalty ratio."ABERDEEN 0 ST MIRREN 0
Ten-man Aberdeen survived the dismissal of Mark Reynolds for two bookable offences to earn a share of the points from a goalless draw with St Mirren. They had keeper Jamie Langfield to thank, however, for the fine save he made from St Mirren's in-form striker Esmael Goncalves in the dying stages, with the game teetering towards the Saints.
The Dons went into the game without a win in their last five games but made just one change to the side defeated by Hibs in the Scottish Cup last Sunday, with Peter Pawlett starting in place of the benched Rob Milson.
Saints brought in Kenny McLean, David Barron and on-loan Newcastle left-back Paul Dummett, and dropped former Celtic pair Graham Carey and David van Zanten to the bench. John McGinn missed out completely.
A win for the away side would have seen them move from second bottom in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League to within a point of their sixth-placed hosts.
It took almost 18 minutes for either goalkeeper to be seriously tested, with Aberdeen winger Johnny Hayes drawing a comfortable save from Craig Samson.
At the other end, Steven Thompson's knockdown allowed Gary Teale the chance to shoot from 20 yards, but the former Scotland winger sliced his effort well wide of Langfield's post.
The game had failed to spark into life on a pitch that had clearly suffered for hosting Scotland's international victory over Estonia in midweek, but there was the glimmer of an opportunity when the Dons' Reynolds hauled back Goncalves, earning the game's first booking.
Teale lined up the free-kick, 22 yards out and to the left of centre, but blasted his shot straight at the wall.
Moments later Reynolds was joined in the book by St Mirren's McLean, but the Dons' set-piece also came to nothing.
St Mirren's biggest threat throughout the first half had been the runs of Dummett from left-back and, just before half-time, he put in a low cross which required the intervention of Reynolds and Joe Shaughnessy to turn it behind for a corner.
Aberdeen had invited Paul Lawrie to parade the Ryder Cup at half-time, and his lap of honour round Pittodrie was the highlight of the day so far.
And the glimpse of a trophy may have refocused the Aberdeen players, as they spent the first five minutes of the second period camped in the St Mirren half, albeit with only a 20-yard Hayes effort stinging the palms of Samson.
When St Mirren did eventually get the ball clear, Langfield had to be on his toes to palm Teale's powerful angled drive over the bar. And ten minutes into the second half, the goalkeeper was called upon to mop up Paul McGowan's weak header from a left-wing cross.
The Dons fans were convinced they should have had a penalty when Pawlett appeared to be pulled back by St Mirren skipper Jim Goodwin, but there looked to be very little in it, and referee John Beaton was unmoved by their appeals.
St Mirren were finding their way into the game, though, and on the hour mark McLean saw a thunderous drive blocked by Langfield, before Pawlett blocked his follow-up effort.
Isaac Osbourne became the third man to go into the book when he caught Conor Newton with a trailing leg after 64 minutes.
And then came the substitutes, first Josh Magennis and then Scott Vernon, with Clark Robertson and Stephen Hughes the men replaced.
But after 73 minutes, all hell broke loose. Reynolds lifted an arm as he charged to block a McLean shot, with Beaton ruling it had been a deliberate handball.
The Dons man received a second yellow card, and the Saints had a free-kick just a yard or so outside the area, but ultimately McLean's shot was wasted.
The third Aberdeen sub, with no naturally defensive players left on the bench, saw Cammy Smith come on for Pawlett.
St Mirren's bookings also began to mount up, as Newton and Goodwin were both cautioned, but they had the best chance of the match as the game entered a frantic final five minutes.
McGowan worked the ball across the face of goal to the unmarked Goncalves, but Langfield was alert to the danger and spread himself to block as the striker tried to lift the ball over him.
Team Pl W D L F A Pts +/- 1 Celtic 25 17 4 4 55 18 55 37 2 Inverness CT 24 9 10 5 49 40 37 9 3 Motherwell 24 10 7 7 40 34 37 6 4 St Johnstone 25 9 9 7 32 31 36 1 5 Hibernian 26 9 7 10 33 34 34 -1 6 Dundee United 25 8 9 8 40 42 33 -2 7 Aberdeen 26 8 9 9 31 34 33 -3 8 Kilmarnock 25 8 8 9 37 34 32 3 9 Ross County 25 7 11 7 31 34 32 -3 10 Hearts 25 7 9 9 25 31 30 -6 11 St Mirren 25 7 8 10 33 43 29 -10 12 Dundee 25 3 5 17 14 45 14 -31
Source: Newcastle United Mad
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