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  • Captain is Celtic's star in green and white with last-gasp winner

    Captain is Celtic's star in green and white with last-gasp winner

    By: Tony Connelly on 04 Dec, 2019 21:38

  • Scottish Premiership
    Wednesday, December 4, 2019
    Celtic Park, Glasgow

    (Christie 13, Brown 90+2)

    (Ogkmpoe 90)

    CELTIC extended their lead at the top of the Premiership in dramatic fashion with a last-gasp goal from Scott Brown securing a 2-1 win for the champions. Neil Lennon's side made it 11 consecutive wins in all competitions and now sit two points clear at the top of the league.

    Ryan Christie put Celtic ahead early in the first half with his 16th goal of the season. Hamilton snatched an equaliser in the final minute through Marios Ogkmpoe, but the Hoops skipper fired home a dramatic winner in injury-time.

    Celtic had to be patient in possession in the early stages as they searched for an opening in the Hamilton defence, and that patience paid off after 13 minutes when they scored with their first real chance of the game.

    McGregor was the architect behind the attack as he fed the ball in for Lewis Morgan to run on to. Luke Southwood had the angle covered and did well to get down and make the save, but Christie read the play brilliantly and darted in to smash home from close-range.

    Hamilton tried to force their way back into the game with hopeful breaks on the counter-attack but the Hoops defence handled the pressure. Teenager Lewis Smith was a standout for the South Lanarkshire side on the right wing and used his pace and footwork to good effect as he fought to create opportunities for his side in front of goal.

    In searching for an equaliser, Hamilton pushed up the pitch, leaving space for Neil Lennon's side to work with. From there, Celtic’s goalscoring opportunities came with more frequency and they were unfortunate not to increase their advantage.

    James Forrest once again showed his positional versatility with his work out on the left flank. The winger linked up well with Greg Taylor and came close to scoring his 14th goal of the season with a curling right-footed effort towards the far corner. And Christie passed up a chance to score a second after doing so well to control a pass played in to him inside the box.

    Ntcham similarly came close to smashing in a chance after the ball fell to him during an attempt by the visitors to clear the danger. Forrest had the fans on the edge of their seats as he skipped past three Hamilton players 18 yards from goal before pulling the trigger, but his effort deflected off Christie.

    Celtic picked up from where they left off when the second half commenced. McGregor eluded the Hamilton defence with some neat footwork and drilled a shot towards goal which Aaron McGowan slid in to block.

    With only a goal in it, Hamilton’s desire to draw level remained intact and the visitors showed a willingness to surge forward in attack. Smith, as he had been in the first half, was a key figure in that, and the teenager threatened with a shot across goal that was narrowly wide of the post.

    Celtic played with a high tempo in the early stages of the second half as they urgently pressed for the comfort of a second goal.

    There was no shortage of chances either. Morgan was in the right position when Christie rolled the ball through to him inside the box but he was off balance and couldn’t generate enough power to trouble the goalkeeper.

    Christie moved into a number 10 role with the introduction of Mikey Johnston as Forrest took up his more familiar role on the right wing. That allowed Christie to torment Hamilton further and his hunger in front of goal looked likely to yield his fifth goal in three games.

    His determination was clear when he wrestled off two challenges and took aim for the top corner, but his shot was narrowly over the crossbar. Johnston nearly made another excellent impact from the bench when his effort came back off the post.

    As the final whistle approached, Celtic continued to forge chances and Leigh Griffiths was the creator on more than one occasion. The 28-year-old linked up well with his team-mates in and around the box as he worked to increase Celtic’s lead.

    However, Hamilton drew level on 90 minutes when Ogkmpoe held off a challenge inside the box, turned and fire beyond Fraser Forster.

    With the final whistle seconds away Celtic looked like they had passed up the opportunity to increase their lead at the top of the table, but captain Scott Brown restored parity at the death as he scored the winner in injury-time and sent Paradise in raptures.

    CELTIC: Forster; Bauer, Bitton, Ajer, Taylor; Brown, McGregor, Ntcham (Johnston 59), Forrest (Frimpong 86), Christie, Morgan (Griffiths 67)
    Subs: Gordon, Jullien, Sinclair, Rogic

    HAMILTON: Southwood, McGowan, McMann, Collar (Oakley 83), Miller, Gogic, Moyo (Ogkmpoe 76), Easton, Martin, Stubbs, Smith (Beck 84)
    Subs: Williams, Hunt, Cunningham, Hamilton

    Website Man of the Match: Scott Brown


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