Scottish Premiership
HamiltonHamilton Academical0CelticCeltic2

Hamilton Academical 0-2 Celtic

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland
  • Celtic win first game following winter break
  • Matthews and Henderson score for first time this season
  • Hamilton lose second game under interim boss Canning

Celtic returned to Premiership action following a winter retreat in Gran Canaria with victory over Hamilton.

Adam Matthews' rising shot beat Accies goalkeeper Michael McGovern at his near post to give the visitors the lead.

Earlier, Celtic stopper Craig Gordon prevented a Jason Denayer own goal and then denied Mickael Antoine-Curier in quick succession.

Liam Henderson's well-struck shot on the turn doubled Celtic's advantage in the second half.

Ronny Deila's side ended the day two points behind leaders Aberdeen, who drew with Dundee later on Saturday and have played two games more than Celtic.

Hamilton, who have set a deadline of Wednesday for applicants to replace Alex Neil as manager, remain fifth with Martin Canning continuing as interim player-coach.

On a weekend when several Scottish fixtures fell victim to the weather, the ground staff's pre-match efforts to clear the New Douglas Park pitch of snow were rewarded by the welcome sight of lunchtime sunshine in South Lanarkshire.

However, the opening to the match offered few thrills with Stephen Hendrie's whipped cross eluding Accies striker Antoine-Curier in the box.

Virgil van Dijk and Mickael Antoine-Curier
Celtic were not in competitive action last weekend

Bolton Wanderers target Kris Commons dug the ball out of his feet on the right to test Hamilton goalkeeper Michael McGovern.

Neither side looked particularly comfortable dealing with crosses and it was from a Hamilton corner that the first genuine chance was carved out.

Celtic defender Denayer attempted to head clear Canning's effort but sent the ball back towards goal, forcing Gordon to claw away and the keeper further impressed by getting his right hand to Antoine-Curier's close-range shot in the aftermath.

That seemed to spark Celtic into action and Leigh Griffiths, preferred in attack to Stefan Scepovic, combined with Commons to set up Matthews for the opening goal.

The attacking duo moved the ball from left to right and Welshman Matthews caught the ball well on the run to beat McGovern in his top left-hand corner.

Griffiths came close himself moments later, his inventive lob from inside the box dropping over.

Deila's men carried their momentum into the second period and Matthews turned provider for their second goal.

His cross was only partially cleared and Emilio Izaguirre nudged the ball down for Henderson to swivel and score from around 17 yards.

Liam Henderson scores for Celtic against Hamilton Academical
Henderson also got off the mark for the season

Hamilton, victors at Celtic Park in October, were eager to stem the flow of attacks towards their goal and drew another fine block from Gordon after Dougie Imrie had cut in from the right to shoot.

However, there was to be no recovery from the hosts and Griffiths battered a shot against the palms of McGovern as Celtic finished strongly.

And, after full-time, Commons gave his boots to a Celtic supporter and applauded the fans warmly, perhaps an indicator that his spell at the club is soon to end.



Formation 4-1-3-2

  • 1McGovern
  • 6GillespieBooked at 32mins
  • 5Canning
  • 4Devlin
  • 3HendrieBooked at 60mins
  • 18MacKinnonSubstituted forRedmondat 82'minutes
  • 11Crawford
  • 8RoutledgeSubstituted forLongridgeat 63'minutes
  • 7ImrieSubstituted forBrophyat 71'minutes
  • 22Andreu
  • 99Antoine-Curier


  • 16Watson
  • 17Longridge
  • 20Brophy
  • 21Docherty
  • 24Tena
  • 28Redmond
  • 29Hill


Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 26Gordon
  • 2Matthews
  • 5van Dijk
  • 22Denayer
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 53HendersonSubstituted forMcGregorat 66'minutes
  • 8BrownBooked at 90mins
  • 6Bitton
  • 25JohansenBooked at 61mins
  • 15CommonsSubstituted forScepovicat 80'minutes
  • 28Griffiths


  • 4Ambrose
  • 9Guidetti
  • 12Scepovic
  • 24Zaluska
  • 41Fisher
  • 42McGregor
  • 52Thomson
Steven McLean

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamCeltic
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Celtic 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Celtic 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tony Andreu (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

  4. Booking

    Scott Brown (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

    Mickael Antoine-Curier (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mickael Antoine-Curier (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stefan Scepovic (Celtic) header from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Daniel Redmond replaces Darian MacKinnon.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Eamonn Brophy (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Stefan Scepovic replaces Kris Commons.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Martin Canning.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

  17. Post update

    Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

  19. Post update

    Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Kris Commons.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Eamonn Brophy replaces Dougie Imrie.

As It Stood

3Dundee Utd21132642281441
4Inverness CT2113263021941
6St Johnstone2110291921-232
9Partick Thistle205692525021
11St Mirren2242161738-2114
12Ross County2125142043-2311
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