Hamilton Academical 0-1 Celtic: Early Forrest strike edges out hosts
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From Martin Watt
Celtic toiled over Hamilton Academical that was obstinate into a slender win to maintain their beginning near the peak of the Premiership.
James Forrest transformed debutant Mohamed Elyounoussi’s cross in a first half dominated by the visitors.
Scotland winger Forrest crashed a shot off the crossbar after the break but Hamilton grew in belief and purpose.
Celtic held firm although they made life increasingly difficult for the winners and had a couple of half chances.
The fifth consecutive league victory for Neil Lennon’s unwanted leaves them six points clear of Rangers, that host Livingston afterwards on Saturday.
Sit with four points before the 3pm fixtures.
Accies manager Brian Rice expected for advantage from barricading his own backline with five defenders with George Oakley handed a shift up top on his own.
As the winners chiselled a means through, the endeavor to tribes lasted less than four minutes, though. A fantastic Odsonne Edouard lay-off place Elyounoussi down the left and his cross was expertly tucked home at the near post by Forrest for his seventh aim of a successful season up to now.
But what seemed like a landslide soon turned into a trickle as Polynesian neglected to cement their superiority.
Much like his own group, Elyounoussi – a 17m winger that has landed at Celtic on loan in Southampton – started impressively afterward lost his way.
Despite possession statistics of 73% in favor of the visitors, house keeper Owain Fon Williams’ gloves moved untouched until he made an excellent save on to the bottom of his bar and away to safety.
Mix drama and the passing from Lennon’s guys, who had been impressive in their Old Firm win at Ibrox before the break, was easy on the eye but relatively straightforward to repel Hamilton kept themselves in the game.
The hosts were at nosebleed territory when Blair Alston mustered their first shot at goal just shy of the mark, the midfielder push over his shoulder landing directly into Fraser Forster’s arms.
However, they improved markedly in the second half, fraying Celtic nerves using a series of raids. Alex Gogic nodded wastefully wide within the box when a free-kick was drifted on to his mind and Alston had been only a few metres too large with an attempt from the edge of the box following a run from Adrian Beck, on due to his introduction.
While a header snapped directly, marios Ogkmpoe also dragged wide from an angle.
Celtic were forced to sweat till 20 seconds at the end of added time, when Ogkmpoe failed to associate to the driven ball across goal of Scott McMann, but ultimately Accies’ spadework was all in vain.
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There was a queue of contenders at a first-half Celtic screen full of slick death. Forrest and Ryan Christie were the most prominent but they and their team-mates failed to keep the tempo and dominance.
That has been down to Accies imposing themselves on the match. The effect of Gogic in the holding role in midfield that was central caught they eye as did the youthful exuberance of Lewis Smith.
But dividing play being the pillow before the defenders and seeking to get Accies moving forwards, was sufficient for Gogic to get the nod.
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