Ten-man Celtic held by Hamilton
27 February 2016, 09:27
Glasgow-Leigh Griffiths scored one penalty but had another saved as 10-man Celtic were held to a 1-1 draw by Hamilton at New Douglas Park on Friday.
The Scottish Premiership leaders took a 35th minute lead when Griffiths slammed home from the spot after being felled by Dougie Imrie.
However, any hopes Celtic had of a repeat of the 8-1 thrashing they dished out the last time the sides met back in January were dealt a blow when the Glasgow giants were reduced to 10 men in the 42nd minute after Dedryck Boyata saw red for a lunge on Carlton Morris.
Michael McGovern was the hero for Hamilton as he saved a 66th minute penalty from Griffiths before substitute Eammon Brophy slammed home a 73rd minute equaliser.
The draw means Celtic open a seven-point gap at the top of the table over Aberdeen, who could reduce the deficit if they can defeat St Johnstone on Saturday.
There were a few surprises in the Celtic line-up with regular keeper Craig Gordon rested as Logan Bailly was given a rare start and Kris Commons made the starting 11 for the first time since mid-January.
Celtic dominated early possession but it was Hamilton who had a chance to open the scoring in the 16th minute.
Scott Brown lost the ball in midfield allowing Gramoz Kurtaj to slip Crawford through with just the keeper to beat but the midfielder chipped his shot over the bar.
Hamilton appeared to be comfortably containing Celtic until a moment of madness from Imrie saw the Hoops handed a penalty.
The Hamilton midfielder needlessly clattered into the back of Griffiths on the edge of the box and the striker picked himself up to expertly despatch his spot-kick past McGovern.
Hamilton's cause was given a boost when Boyata was shown a controversial straight red card.
A quick breakaway saw Morris race in on goal but the Hamilton striker's progress was halted just outside the box by a lunging challenge from Boyata, although the Belgian defender looked to have got something on the ball first.
Despite their numerical disadvantage it was Celtic who should have doubled their lead just after the break when the ball broke to Gary McKay-Steven following Kieran Tierney's interception, but the midfielder saw his weak effort blocked by the body of McGovern.
The Hoops were then awarded their second penalty when Ziggy Gordon wrestled Mikel Lustig to the ground as they contested a corner.
Yet this time McGovern saved the defender's blushes as he dived low to his left to push away Griffiths' spot-kick.
Hamilton then introduced Brophy and the substitute levelled the game four minutes later when he lashed a superb strike into the top corner after Celtic failed to clear from a corner.