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SOCCER

Celtic survives against St. Johnstone

Glasgow, Scotland (SportsNetwork.com) - Celtic survived a late scare from St. Johnstone to hold on for three points in a 2-1 victory at Parkhead on Saturday.

The Hoops jumped out to a comfortable lead inside the opening half-hour as Teemu Pukki opened the scoring in the 11th minute before Charlie Mulgrew doubled the advantage in the 26th.

Celtic maintained the two-goal edge until the 81st minute when Liam Caddis pulled one back for St. Johnstone, setting up a frantic close to the affair.

But Neil Lennon's side managed to stave off some late pressure from the visitors to secure a third straight league win and improve to 16 points on the season.

St. Johnstone has lost two on the bounce to remain stuck on eight points.

Ross County also enjoyed a thrilling affair in Scottish Premier League action on Saturday as the club netted two goals in the dying stages to come away with a 2-1 defeat of Hearts.

Callum Paterson got Hearts off the mark in the 24th minute, and the visitors held the lead until the 89th minute when Melvin de Leeuw equalized. Ross County went on to get the win just moments later when Richard Brittain broke through for the winner.

Also on Saturday, Partick Thistle played to a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock, Scott Vernon scored the lone goal to help Aberdeen knock off first-place Inverness in a 1-0 win for the Dons, and Hibernian won its second straight league match with a 2-0 defeat of St. Mirren.