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From Martin Watt
Celtic toiled to a slim win over Hamilton Academical that was obstinate to keep their start.
James Forrest transformed debutant Mohamed Elyounoussi’s cross in a first half dominated by the people.
Hamilton climbed in belief and purpose although a shot appeared off the crossbar.
Celtic held firm although they made life hard for the winners and had a few half chances.
The consecutive league victory for Neil Lennon’s side leaves these six points clear of Rangers, who sponsor Livingston.
Hamilton, who’ve lost the last ten meetings with Celtic, sit eighth with four points before their 3pm fixtures.
Accies director Brian Rice hoped for strength from barricading his backline with five defenders with George Oakley handed a shift up top on his own.
The effort to tribes lasted less than four minutes, though, since the winners chiselled a means through. A lovely Odsonne Edouard lay-off place Elyounoussi free down the left and his low cross was professionally remodeled house at the near post by Forrest for his seventh aim of a successful season up to now.
However, what looked like a landslide soon turned into a trickle as Celtic failed to cement their superiority.
Much like his own team, Elyounoussi – a #17m winger that has landed on loan – started impressively lost his way.
Despite possession statistics of 73 percent in favour of the people, home keeper Owain Fon Williams’ gloves went untouched until he made an excellent save to trick Forrest’s thudding left-foot drive away and on to the bottom of his bar to safety.
Hamilton kept themselves in the match the one-touch departure and mix drama from Lennon’s men, who were impressive in their Old Firm win at Ibrox was easy on the eye but relatively simple to repel.
The hosts have been in nosebleed territory when Blair Alston mustered their first shot at goal only shy of the 40-minute mark, the midfielder push along his shoulder landing in Fraser Forster’s arms.
But they improved fraying nerves with a set of raids. Alex Gogic nodded wide inside the box when the free-kick was caught on into his mind and Alston had been only a couple of metres high with the effort after a surging run from Adrian Beck, on due to his introduction.
While a header snapped in Fon Williams marios Ogkmpoe dragged wide from an angle.
Celtic were made to sweat until 20 seconds from the end of added time, when Ogkmpoe failed to connect to the pushed ball across goal of Scott McMann, but Accies’ spadework was in vain.
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There was a queue of contenders in a display full of slick passing. Forrest and Ryan Christie would be the very notable but they and their team-mates neglected to maintain dominance and the pace.
That has been down to Accies imposing themselves on the match. The influence of Gogic in the holding role in central midfield caught they eye, as did the exuberance of Lewis Smith.
However, being the cushion in front of his principal defenders, breaking up play and attempting for Accies moving forward, was enough for Gogic to get the nod.
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