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  • Commons gives Bhoys 1-0 win in Dingwall

    Commons gives Bhoys 1-0 win in Dingwall

    By: Martin Dalziel on 24 Jan, 2015 14:54

  • SPFL Premiership

    Global Energy Stadium

    Saturday, January 24, 2015

    ROSS COUNTY...0

    CELTIC...1

    (Commons 51)

    A KRIS Commons-inspired Celtic went three points clear at the top of the SPFL Premiership today (Saturday) after his goal gave the Bhoys a 1-0 win over Ross County in Dingwall.

    The attacker’s long-range deflected strike early in the second half was enough to give Ronny Deila’s side the three points but the Hoops were made to work for the win all afternoon.

    The Bhoys went into the game with the opportunity to cement their position at the top of the SPFL Premiership after Aberdeen were held to a 1-1 draw with St Johnstone on Friday night in Perth and set about doing that early on.

    The champions made two changes to the side that swept aside Motherwell 4-0 mid-week with Anthony Stokes and Stefan Johansen making way for Liam Henderson and John Guidetti.

    Ross County opened the game on the front foot, passing well and using the space left by Celtic’s marauding full-backs to test the Hoops down the flanks. Craig Curran had an early effort on goal when he robbed Nir Bitton in midfield and lashed a shot at Craig Gordon but the effort went wide of the keeper’s near post.

    Celtic stuck to their plan despite the early pressure, however, and soon began to find their rhythm.

    Adam Matthews and Emilio Izaguirre, both so influential on Wednesday night, began to test the County back line with a string of runs down the wing. The Honduran did well to send in a cross for Leigh Griffiths at the back post but the striker was off balance and his header went over Antonio Reguero’s cross bar.

    Commons then had a pop at goal after turning well on the edge of the area but his shot was off target.

    The Bhoys kept the Staggies pinned back as the half wore on and started to play more direct. Izaguirre continued to do well to find space down the left but his final ball couldn’t find a player in the box.

    County also sought to play the killer pass every time they got the ball but were careless with possession in Celtic’s half.

    Commons started to come more into proceedings and attempted to play in his team-mates from the edge of the area but the final pass was still lacking. He then won a free kick on the edge of the area for the Hoops but Guidetti’s strike from the set-piece curled over.

    For all Celtic’s possession County were still dangerous on the break. Graham Carey threatened down the left and did well to win a set of corners for the home side but they couldn’t make use of the set-pieces.

    The Hoops remained frustrated as half time approached with no real penetration having been won in the County box. Commons had another shot at goal from a free-kick on the edge of the area after he was fouled again but Reguero did well to get two strong hands to the shot and block the effort.

    The Staggies then swapped Tony Dingwall for Liam Boyce after he picked up a knock.

    The game restarted for the second half at lightening pace. Celtic had a penalty shout, a corner and a booking all within the opening minutes after good link up play with Guidetti and Griffiths led to a blocked shot before van Dijk was booked for jostling in the box.

    The frightening pace to the second half then stepped up another gear as Celtic broke the deadlock.

    Commons, who had threatened in the first half, picked up the ball around 25 yards out and shot at goal. His effort spun of off a Ross County defender’s back and looped over Reguero to nestle in the net and put the Bhoys one up and send the 2,000 travelling supporters ecstatic.

    The Staggies tried to rally in the wake of the goal but could only muster a weak shot from Carey from the left.

    Celtic, on the other hand, were buoyed by taking the lead and continued to push forward. The Bhoys had a strong shout for a penalty waved away after a one-two from Guidetti and Griffiths allowed the Swede to shoot and his effort was blocked in the box but the referee waved away the claims.

    Liam Henderson then rattled in a shot from the edge of the box after a Commons corner but Guidetti’s flick in the box took the effort wide.

    Commons and Guidetti linked up well again in the area but the dogged home defence somehow blocked the striker’s shot.  Callum McGregor then replaced Commons along with Stefan Scepovic, who came on for Griffiths as Ronny Deila chased a second goal.

    County continued to be profligate with their possession in midfield which allowed Celtic to work their way forward again. Scott Brown did well to win the ball in the middle of the pitch and strode forward confidently but his shot on the run sailed over Reguero’s bar.

    The game became scrappy as the match approached its conclusion and the manager moved to seal the points by replacing Guidetti with Efe Ambrose after County had brought on Darren Maatsen up front.

    The County striker went close to stealing a point at the death with a header from a corner but his shot sailed over Gordon’s bar ensuring the three points remained with Celtic, who went ahead at the top of the league by the same margin.

    CETLIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Matthews, Denayer, van Dijk, Izaguirre; Brown, Bitton; Commons (McGregor 75), Guidetti (Ambrose 85), Henderson; Griffiths (Scepovic 75)

    Not used: Zaluska, Lustig, Thomson, Lindsay

    ROSS COUNTY (4-5-1) Reguero; Kiss, Curran, Reckford, Woods (Jervis 80), Dingwall (Boyce 44), Boyd, Carey (Maatsen 74), Quinn, Fraser, Ross.

    Not used: Brown, Saunders, Tosney, Cardle

    Website man of the match: Kris Commons. 

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