It’s the season of giving – and Hamilton manager Brian Rice reckons Celtic were gifted a weekend penalty against his side.

Accies lost 3-0 to Celtic on Boxing Day, goals from Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths and David Turnbull in the second half sealing a Hoops win. But Edouard’s effort from the penalty spot has sparked debate.

Hamilton Academical v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Celtic beat Hamilton 3-0. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Aaron Martin collided with the Frenchman as he put the ball across the box, eventually bringing him down. It put Celtic ahead and Rice doesn’t think it was a spot-kick.

But he was pleased with the effort from his side, St Johnstone to come away from home on Wednesday: “My boys gave me everything they could out there. From what we’ve got available it was always going to be difficult.

“It was always going to be really tough for us and I think in the first half we were outstanding, defensively well organised and it’s the season for presents isn’t it, with the penalty kick.

“In my opinion, and only in my opinion, it was very soft, but hey ho, the ref gives it.  We got into half-time at 0-0 and I’m saying to them that 20-30 times in my career we’ve been 0-0 against Celtic and within 15 minutes the game is done, because you switch off.

Hamilton Academical v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

A soft spot-kick. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“I don’t think we switched off but I do think it was a soft decision, in my opinion. It was a soft decision, it changes the game, and Celtic have that goal lead, they can keep the ball a bit better and my lads that were out there found it difficult then, but they hung in.

“I can’t fault them, their effort was magnificent. I’m expecting some more players to choose from and a larger squad against St Johnstone. I’m expecting to go and get three points.”

NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.

Have something to tell us about this article?