Scottish Premiership
Celtic3Hamilton0

Celtic 3-0 Hamilton Academical: Ryan Fulton errors help champions extend lead

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Highlights: Celtic 3-0 Hamilton Accies

Celtic moved three points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, helped by two goalkeeping howlers from Hamilton Academical's Ryan Fulton.

The former Liverpool youth had denied the reigning champions with a series of first-half saves.

But Fulton allowed a Callum McGregor drive to slip through his legs.

Then, after the break, a McGregor cross bounced off his chest and Ryan Christie was on hand to tap home before Scott Sinclair headed a late third.

Hamilton had lost their last eight meetings with Celtic - and their previous six visits to the Scottish champions' home - and, despite some stubborn resistance, they at no point looked like ending that trend.

As Accies suffered their fifth consecutive away defeat, Brendan Rodgers' side notched up the same number of home wins since losing to RB Salzburg - their only Celtic Park reverse this season.

Mixed bag for goalkeeper Fulton

If third-bottom Hamilton were to have avoided an expected defeat, they would have needed a hero. It looked like it may have been Fulton.

He made half a dozen or so decent saves in the first half as Celtic peppered their opponents' goal with shot after shot.

The standout save came from Sinclair. The winger drove into the box and fired off a shot that Fulton brilliantly touched on to the crossbar.

But football can be a cruel game and, after all his good work, the keeper would be undone by his own bad mistake.

McGregor fired in a shot from long range that looked like it would be comfortably taken, but this time the man in the Accies goal fumbled and the ball trundled between his legs and into the net.

On the balance of chances, the goal was deserved for Celtic, albeit they never really hit top gear.

There was more agony for Hamilton as Tony Andreu poked his shot wide when handed a chance to equalise on the stroke of half-time.

Celtic's dominance would continue in the second half, but they were wasteful and they almost paid the price when Steven Boyd drove through the middle and his shot was diverted just wide by goalkeeper Scott Bain.

Another moment to forget for Fulton would decide the outcome when he spilled McGregor's cross and it fell kindly for Christie.

Sinclair put the icing on Rodgers' birthday cake - the manager today turned 46 - with a clinical header.

As you were at top and bottom - analysis

A group of Celtic fans unfurled a banner calling on the club board to back Rodgers or risk losing him.

But the manager - before the match - was keen to stress there was nothing in any speculation of a fallout between himself and the club hierarchy.

On Friday, he had also said he would be happy to go with the players he has got.

Nevertheless, as January draws to a close, attention will focus on what business - if any - Celtic do in the transfer market.

On the field, a double-header against St Johnstone is next on the agenda - at home on Wednesday then away on Sunday.

Next up for Hamilton is a cut-throat relegation battle next weekend at home to Dundee, who remain a point behind after their 1-0 defeat at home to Motherwell.

'It was important to win well'

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said: "I am very pleased [with the performance]. It was important for us to win, and to win well and again I thought it was another good game for us.

"The pitch is obviously a bit slower with the issues it has so that slows our game a fraction, but I thought a lot of our combination play and the structure of our game against this kind of team, was very pleasing."

Hamilton boss Martin Canning said of Ryan Fulton: "That's the life of a young goalkeeper. For a large part of that game he was brilliant, he made so many good saves. But unfortunately for him when you make mistakes as a goalkeeper it will usually cost a goal.

"He's got to make sure his mentality is right and he gets on with it because he showed for a large part of that game how good a goalkeeper he is."

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 29Bain
  • 23Lustig
  • 35Ajer
  • 32Benkovic
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 8Brown
  • 42McGregor
  • 73JohnstonSubstituted forForrestat 63'minutes
  • 17ChristieSubstituted forBittonat 78'minutes
  • 11Sinclair
  • 30WeahSubstituted forBurkeat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Gordon
  • 5Simunovic
  • 6Bitton
  • 15Hayes
  • 25Burke
  • 49Forrest
  • 52Henderson

Hamilton

  • 23Fulton
  • 2McGowan
  • 4Gordon
  • 6Kilgallon
  • 46SowahBooked at 31mins
  • 3McMann
  • 12TaiwoSubstituted forGogicat 11'minutes
  • 25MartinBooked at 45mins
  • 22AndreuSubstituted forKeatingsat 70'minutes
  • 7ImrieBooked at 82mins
  • 30BoydSubstituted forMimnaughat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Davies
  • 10Keatings
  • 13Gogic
  • 17Penny
  • 20Marsden
  • 21Want
  • 33Mimnaugh
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
58,264

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home25
Away3
Shots on Target
Home14
Away1
Corners
Home13
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 3, Hamilton Academical 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Hamilton Academical 0.

Attempt missed. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Delay in match Aaron McGowan (Hamilton Academical) because of an injury.

Foul by Callum McGregor (Celtic).

Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 3, Hamilton Academical 0. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mikael Lustig.

Attempt missed. Oliver Burke (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Booking

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Reegan Mimnaugh replaces Steven Boyd.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Nir Bitton replaces Ryan Christie.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 2, Hamilton Academical 0. Ryan Christie (Celtic) with an attempt from very close range to the centre of the goal.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Aaron McGowan.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Kristoffer Ajer.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Scott McMann.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ryan Fulton.

Attempt saved. Oliver Burke (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Oliver Burke (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. James Keatings replaces Tony Andreu.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ryan Fulton.

Attempt saved. Mikael Lustig (Celtic) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ziggy Gordon.

Attempt blocked. Oliver Burke (Celtic) right footed shot from very close range is blocked.

Attempt saved. Ryan Christie (Celtic) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Christie (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Oliver Burke (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Christie (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Kristoffer Ajer.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Oliver Burke replaces Timothy Weah.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. James Forrest replaces Michael Johnston.

Attempt saved. Filip Benkovic (Celtic) header from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ziggy Gordon.

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Michael Johnston (Celtic).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic22153453143948
2Kilmarnock23136434211345
3Aberdeen23134637241343
4Rangers22126444182642
5Hearts2312382928139
6St Johnstone2211472626037
7Livingston228682620630
8Hibernian227873023729
9Motherwell2383122233-1127
10Hamilton2342171449-3514
11Dundee2334161748-3113
12St Mirren2233161543-2812
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