Stokes helps Hoops top Motherwell

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Motherwell, Scotland (SportsNetwork.com) - A sixth-minute goal from Anthony Stokes was enough to hand Celtic its seventh straight win in the Scottish Premier League as the Hoops secured a 1-0 victory at Motherwell on Saturday.

The defending champions enjoyed large spells of dominance in the match but were left a bit frustrated by only managing to score one goal, while Motherwell's comeback efforts took a hit midway through the second half when the hosts were reduced to 10 men after Simon Ramsden's red card.

Celtic remains three points clear of second-place Inverness, which won 2-1 at Dundee thanks to second-half goals from Billy McKay and Ryan Christie.

John Guidetti squandered a great chance in the opening minutes of the match when he rolled a shot just wide of the Motherwell net after being played in on goal by Scott Brown.

But the hosts went behind shortly after as some confusion in defense between Fraser Kerr and Ramsden allowed Stefan Johansen to collect a loose ball and round goalkeeper Dan Twardzik before cutting it back for Stokes to fire home.

Twardzik kept his team in the game with a nice stop on Johansen's close-range effort, and he was tested even more when his side went down to 10 men in the 66th.

Good chances from Guidetti, Emilio Izaguirre and James Forrest were all kept out by the excellent Twardzik, and those saves were nearly rewarded in the closing minutes when Motherwell had a chance to snatch a point, only for Lee Erwin's header to go inches wide of the post from Lionel Ainsworth's cross.

Aberdeen rolled to a 3-0 win over Hamilton, Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock traded goals in the opening 20 minutes of a 1-1 draw, and St Johnstone edged St Mirren, 1-0, behind a seventh-minute goal from Michael O'Halloran.