Hamilton Academical 0-1 Celtic: Early Forrest strike edges out hosts
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By Martin Watt
Celtic toiled to a slim win over Hamilton Academical that was stubborn to keep their start at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
James Forrest transformed the cross of debutant Mohamed Elyounoussi in a first half.
Scotland winger Forrest appeared a shot off the crossbar after the break but Hamilton climbed in belief and intent.
Celtic held firm although they had a few half chances and made life increasingly tricky for the winners.
The fifth straight league victory for Neil Lennon’s unwanted leaves these six points clear from Rangers, who host Livingston afterwards on Saturday.
Sit with four points ahead of their fixtures that are 3pm.
Accies manager Brian Rice expected for advantage in numbers by barricading his backline with five defenders, shielded by a layer of four midfielders, with George Oakley given a change that was lonely up top by himself.
Since the champions chiselled a way through the effort to Celtic lasted less than four minutes, though. A fantastic Odsonne Edouard lay-off place Elyounoussi free down the left and his low cross was professionally remodeled house at the near post by Forrest for his seventh objective of a season so far.
However, what looked like a landslide soon turned into a trickle as Celtic neglected to cement their superiority.
Much like his own group, Elyounoussi – a 17m winger who has landed in Southampton on loan at Celtic – began impressively then lost his way.
Despite possession statistics of 73% in favour of the people, home keeper Owain Fon Williams’ gloves went untouched until he made a save to tip Forrest’s thudding drive on to the bottom of his bar and away to safety.
As Hamilton maintained themselves in the game the departure and combination play from Lennon’s men, who had been so remarkable in their Old Firm win at Ibrox was easy on the eye but comparatively straightforward to repel.
When Blair Alston mustered their first shot at goal shy of the 40-minute mark, the midfielder push over his shoulder landing directly from the arms of Fraser Forster the hosts were at nosebleed territory.
But they improved markedly in the second half, fraying nerves using a set of raids. Alex Gogic nodded wastefully in the box Alston was just a couple of metres with an attempt and after there was the free-kick caught on to his head from the edge of the box following a run from Adrian Beck, on due to his debut.
Marios Ogkmpoe dragged wide while a header flashed directly.
Celtic were forced to sweat at the end of time, even when Ogkmpoe simply failed to connect using Scott McMann ball across goal, but finally Accies’ spadework was in vain.
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There was a series of contenders at a Celtic display full of passing. Ryan and forrest Christie are the very notable but their team-mates neglected to keep dominance and the pace.
This down to Accies imposed themselves on the game. The effect of Gogic from the role in central midfield caught they eyeas did the exuberance of both Lewis Smith.
But breaking up play, being the pillow before the principal defenders and attempting for Accies moving ahead, was sufficient for Gogic to get the nod.
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