Bhoy wonder: Boruc keeps on stealing show

Celtic's Scott Brown in action during the 3-1 victory over St Mirren which maintains Celtic's lead at the top of the SPL. Georgios Samaras, Shunsuke Nakamura and Cillian Sheridan netted for the Bhoys
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The Independent Football

Celtic remain four points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League this morning after winning yesterday lunchtime in controversial circumstances at St Mirren, where their goalkeeper Artur Boruc again took centre stage for all the wrong reasons.

The Polish international was splashed all over the front pages of the tabloids earlier this week back in his homeland, where he was enjoying a few days' break on a date with an unidentified woman who was not his estranged wife.

What caused greater concern was that he was photographed drinking, smoking cigars and then falling asleep in a cinema. His manager, Gordon Strachan, said his player had broken no rules.

Boruc's return to action was, if anything, more eventful than his time off, and he might well have been sent off early on against St Mirren for rushing 10 yards out of his area and blatantly fouling Craig Dargo, who was bearing down on goal with the score at 0-0.

However, instead of dismissing Boruc, the referee Willie Collum merely booked the keeper. Celtic went on to win 3-1 with goals from Georgios Samaras, Shunsuke Nakamura and Cillian Sheridan, with Jim Hamilton scoring the late consolation for the hosts.

The win briefly took Celtic seven points clear at the top of the SPL table but Rangers then won 2-0 at Ibrox against Aberdeen to close the gap to four points again. Jean-Claude Darcheville and Kris Boyd scored for Rangers.

St Mirren's manager, Gus MacPherson, was furious that Boruc had not been sent off for his "crude" challenge on Dargo at a time when a goal for the hosts "and/or a dismissal for Celtic" would in all likelihood have altered the outcome.

"We are not complaining about goal-scoring opportunities or it being the last man, we are only talking about the challenge," MacPherson said.

"If a centre-back or outfield player makes a challenge as crude as that, I think there would only be one outcome – we would all be expecting a red card," he added. "Just because it's a goalkeeper, it shouldn't be any different."

Elsewhere in the SPL, Dundee United needed a late equaliser to avoid a shock home defeat to Hamilton. There were away wins for Inverness at Kilmarnock, 2-1, and for Hibernian at Motherwell, 3-1, while Hearts beat Falkirk 2-1.