posted on Jan, 2 2005 @ 07:19 PM
Chris Sutton's second-half penalty killed off Richard Gough's gutsy Livingston and sent Celtic three points clear of Rangers at the top of the SPL
But Martin O'Neill's reigning champions were made to fight all the way for a nerve-jangling 2-1 victory at Parkhead. Celtic looked like they were
getting back to their best following their impressive win at Hearts as John Hartson, who is set to sign a new contract within the coming week, headed
his 18th goal of the season to give his team-mates an early lead.
But the SPL strugglers grabbed a goal completely against the run of play from Jim Hamilton before the break and some stunning saves from Colin Meldrum
threatened to frustrate them.
Sutton though did beat him from the spot after Hamilton was penalised for handball and the points were secured to pile the pressure on Rangers, who
had dropped points at Dundee United on Saturday.
Hearts came from behind to grab a share of the spoils against sloppy Hibs in a pulsating 1-1 Edinburgh derby draw at Easter Road. A Derek Riordan
strike after 24 minutes had given the Leith side a deserved 1-0 half-time lead but after the interval the visitors rallied, equalising in the 55th
minute through Paul Hartley who knocked a Graham Weir pass in from close range. However, in a typically hard-fought derby match which swung from end
to end, the home side finished the stronger, missing several sitters but just could not find the winning goal.