Football: Dons deliver at last

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The Independent Online
Aberdeen found their form and their goal touch yesterday, beating Heart of Midlothian 4-0 at Pittodrie to restore some pride in the Granite City, after their midweek humiliation at home to the Lithuanians, Zalgiris Vilnius.

The Dons saw an early penalty by Billy Dodds saved by Gilles Rousset, Hearts' French goalkeeper, but Joe Miller calmed the home fans' nerves by scoring with a superb 25-yard shot from the left flank on the stroke of half-time.

As Hearts folded after the break, Dodds converted a cross from Tsanko Tsvetanov with a diving header, Dean Windass slammed in a long-range free- kick, and Stephen Glass completed the scoring by knocking home a cross from the Dons' other Bulgarian international, Ilian Kiriakov.

Paul Gascoigne ensured that Rangers had another winning weekend. In his first league match of the season, the Englishman struck late on against Dundee United despite looking less than match fit.

A scintillating half hour from Celtic's Italian import, Paolo Di Canio, ensured they remained two points behind their rivals. Di Canio, who is being hailed in some quarters as Celtic's answer to Gascoigne, came off the bench to inspire a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock, scoring Celtic's first goal and playing a part as Andreas Thom and Jorge Cadete supplied the other two finishes.

Newly promoted Dunfermline earned their first point of the season with a 0-0 draw against Hibernian at Easter Road, while Raith Rovers remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division after suffering a 3-0 reverse at home to Motherwell.

The league table, after just three games, has an ominous look about it, and is taking familiar shape with the Glasgow clubs towering over the rest.

Hibernian, who occupy fifth position, are already five points behind the leaders, Rangers, a gap they are unlikely to bridge in the coming months.

The First Division match of the day finished in fury and rancour as three players were shown red cards at Brockville, where Falkirk faced Partick Thistle. Police were called to intervene after an alleged incident in the tunnel as Gareth Evans and Albert Craig headed for an early bath. Tommy Turner, of Partick Thistle, was also shown the red card at the end of the game, which Falkirk, incidentally, won 1-0.