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  • Celts held to a draw by Hamilton in hard fought league tie

    Celts held to a draw by Hamilton in hard fought league tie

    By: Tony Connelly on 08 Feb, 2018 22:32

  • SPFL Development League
    Celtic Training Centre, Lennoxtown
    Thursday, February 8, 2018

    (McInroy 50)

    (Tierney 49)

    KERR McInroy rescued a point for Celtic in a hard fought context against an older and more experienced Hamilton side in the SPFL Development League.

    The Hoops fell behind shortly after half-time when Ryan Tierney put the visitors ahead. However, Tommy McIntyre’s side responded well and Celtic midfielder McInroy levelled the scoring 60 seconds later.

    McIntyre made four changes to the side that defeated St Johnstone 3-0 in the Scottish FA Youth Cup on Monday (February 5) afternoon with Daniel Church, Stephen Welsh, Lewis Bell and Ciaran Diver coming in for Anthony Ralston, Calvin Miller, Mark Hill and Regan Hendry.

    Hamilton employed a high pressing game from the off as they looked to catch out the Celtic defence, however the Hoops remained composed and denied their opponents any real clear cut chances in the early stages.

    Ewan Henderson was behind Celtic’s first chance which came early on from a free-kick but he fired his shot narrowly over the crossbar.

    Both sides were quick on initiating an attack which opened up the game and led to chances at either end throughout the first half.

    Daniel Church made an impact down the left flank throughout the game as he constantly pushed forward from left-back and swung numerous threatening crosses into the Hamilton box but none of his team-mates were able to get on the end of them to convert.

    Diver was close to nodding home one such cross on the ten-minute mark but his flashing header at the near post was blocked. Later Aitchison watched as the ball zipped across the six-yard box just inches too far in front of him.

    Henderson came close later in the half when he cut inside from the left and tried to curl his effort into the far top corner, but his shot failed to hit the target.

    Hamilton had their fair share of opportunities as well. Midway through the half Ross Cunningham’s free-kick rattled the crossbar from 25-yards.

    Celtic were let off towards the end of the half when a lofted ball into the box was headed down and the resulting half volley from the penalty spot was sent flying high over the crossbar.

    Hamilton snatched the lead shortly after the restart when Ryan Tierney intercepted a back pass and rounded Ross Doohan before sliding the ball over the line.

    McIntyre’s side responded with aplomb though and grabbed an equaliser one minute later when McInroy latched on to an attempted clearance and fired a low powerful shot beyond the Hamilton keeper.

    As was typical of the game, the momentum then changed direction again and Hamilton pilled the pressure on the Celtic goalmouth for a short spell. Ross Doohan pulled off a brilliant diving save after a Hamilton player cut inside and let off a ferocious shot from inside the box.

    The resulting corner then saw the referee award a penalty for a handball and Doohan was tasked with making yet another spectacular save. The Hoops stopper did just that as he saved Cunningham’s spot-kick.

    The final stages of the game played out in a similar fashion to the first half with both teams determined to establish a lead, although there were fewer clear cut chances. Henderson came close with a half volley on the edge of the area and Aitchison showed great footwork to dribble his way beyond the Hamilton defence and into the box only to see his shot blocked.

    Welsh was solid in the Celtic defence and made some excellent well-timed tackles to shut out many of Hamilton’s attacks and Doohan made yet another great from close range to ensure Celtic ended the night with a point.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1): Doohan, Duffy, Church, Deas, Welsh; McInroy, Bell; Watson (Savoury 72), Henderson; Diver (Caffrey 45), Aitchison
    Not Used: Willison, Potter, Kennedy, Campbell


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