Scottish Premiership
Hamilton0Celtic2

Hamilton Academical 0-2 Celtic

  • 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.

Line-ups

Hamilton

  • 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

Substitutes

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

Celtic

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

Substitutes

  • 4Ambrose
  • 9Guidetti
  • 12Scepovic
  • 24Zaluska
  • 41Fisher
  • 42McGregor
  • 52Thomson
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
6,007

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home12
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away7
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home11
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Celtic 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Celtic 2.

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.

Booking

Scott Brown (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

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

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

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

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

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

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

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Daniel Redmond replaces Darian MacKinnon.

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

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Stefan Scepovic replaces Kris Commons.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Martin Canning.

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

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

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

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Kris Commons.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Eamonn Brophy replaces Dougie Imrie.

Attempt missed. Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Callum McGregor replaces Liam Henderson because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

Stephen Hendrie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Louis Longridge replaces Jon Routledge.

Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Booking

Stefan Johansen (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Stefan Johansen (Celtic).

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Booking

Stephen Hendrie (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.

Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stephen Hendrie (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Craig Gordon.

Attempt saved. Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Aberdeen22152536201647
2Celtic20143338122645
3Dundee Utd21132642281441
4Inverness CT2113263021941
5Hamilton22123738241439
6St Johnstone2110291921-232
7Kilmarnock2183102127-627
8Dundee226883336-326
9Partick Thistle205692525021
10Motherwell2152141438-2417
11St Mirren2242161738-2114
12Ross County2125142043-2311
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories