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SPL Round-up: Celtic beat Hamilton
Published : 02 Oct 2010 17:31:43
Shaun Maloney celebrated his return to the Scotland squad with a double as Celtic came from behind to beat Hamilton 3-1 at Parkhead and go top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Mark McLaughlin scored a shock opener for the visitors after three minutes and in fact it was only Hoops keeper Fraser Forster who prevented the home side falling further behind with some impressive saves as the home side struggled to get going.
But in the 25th minute Maloney, back in Craig Levein's squad for the forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifying double-header against the Czech Republic and Spain, levelled with a header. The former Aston Villa player put the Hoops ahead with a wonderful free-kick after the break before Gary Hooper sealed the win that takes them above Old Firm rivals Rangers on goal difference.
The visitors took the lead through McLaughlin. Dougie Imrie's searching corner from the right was headed back across goal by the unmarked Martin Canning and his fellow defender bundled in from six yards out.
Moments later, with the home defence in disarray, Forster had to move quickly from his goal to make a fine save from Accies striker Nigel Hasselbaink, who had raced clear.
Forster was soon forced in to another two saves in quick succession, pushing Imrie's drive past the far post for a corner and then, from the set-piece, tipping Simon Mensing's header over the bar.
Celtic had rid themselves of most of their early nerves to take control of the game and in the 25th minute Maloney grabbed the almost inevitable equaliser. Ki Sung-Yueng's arching corner from the right was met by Parkhead stopper Daniel Majstorovic, who headed towards the packed six-yard box where the former Hoops youth player reacted first to head in.
There were again some signs of uncertainty in the Celtic defence at the start of the second half, which gave Hamilton some encouragement. However, in the 50th minute, Hoops defender Glenn Loovens had a decent chance from Ki's corner but headed high over the bar, moments before Maloney had a drive from the edge of the box saved by Tomas Cerny.
Maloney then fired the Hoops ahead with a wonderful free-kick in the 64th minute. Skipper Scott Brown had been bundled off the ball by James Goodwin and after some delay to allow Stokes to replace Efrain Juarez, the Scotland striker curled an unstoppable shot past Cerny and into the far corner.
In the 71st minute Hooper sealed the victory when he took advantage of slack play by Accies before rifling low past Cerny from the edge of the box.