Hamilton performed well against Celtic but they could not prevent a Hoops win as they went down 4-1 with ten men.
The game had its first flashpoint 15 minutes in. Leigh Griffiths appeared to stamp on Sam Woods before shoving Alex Gogic directly afterwards. Referee Nick Walsh only awarded a yellow to Griffiths, before booking Gogic too.
Marios Ogkmpoe had a brilliant chance just after the 20 minute mark. Kristoffer Ajer’s clearance was only sent to the forward’s boot, but the volley was well saved by Fraser Forster.
Ogkmpoe made amends with a header from a Blair Alston, arrowing the effort past Forster. Credit must go to Scott McMann too, who excellently beat James Forrest to help win the corner in the build-up.
Jamie Hamilton was then shown a red card after Griffiths went down as he made his way through on goal. Odsonne Edouard scored from the resulting free kick, a painful two minutes for the home side after such a good start.
After that the second half was always going to be difficult. Griffiths missed a golden opportunity at the beginning of it, firing high and wide after finding acres of space in the box.
A handball appeal was then waved away by Walsh after Celtic players claimed Aaron McGowan handled the ball in the box. Hamilton were keeping Celtic chapping at the door with heroic defending and battling. New signing David Templeton was even fielded as they looked to cause damage themselves. There was heartbreak to be had though.
Christopher Julien broke free in the box and converted past Luke Southwood before Edouard’s second finished it and Forrest added insult to injury, handing Neill Lennon’s side a huge win in the title race. For Accies though, they remain bottom on goal difference. Here are three things we learned.
Beuzelin and Cairns take the reigns
In the build-up to this game, Brian Rice was handed a 10-game touchline ban, with five suspended. It meant that long-serving Academy Director George Cairns and assistant boss Guillaume Beuzelin took charge for Accies against Celtic.
The game plan was keeping things tight whilst looking to strike when a glimpse of attacking daylight arrived. Ogkmpoe’s volley was one big chance and Accies had to capitalise on these moments when they cropped up.
Accies managed to do just that in the first half with Ogkmpoe’s header. After the red card though and Celtic’s equaliser, Hamilton were up always going to be up against it, and eventually they were shot down.
Ogkmpoe lights it up
The Accies forward had one of his best afternoons in red and white against Celtic. Throughout the game he relished physical battles, chasing down every loose ball.
Ogkmpoe was unlucky not to score from a volley in the first 45 but made sure he didn’t miss with his free header minutes later. It was the least he deserved after a tireless display.
Even when he had to hold the frontline down himself, Ogkmpoe did what he could admirably.
Finding first half performance consistently
Again Accies showed the level they can reach when on top form. Wins against Motherwell and Hearts showed Hamilton at their best and performances at home to Rangers and away to Celtic displayed their potential.
A brilliant first half display was turned in against Celtic. Even with ten men they fought and scrapped for everything, doing all they could to earn precious points. Eventually the man advantage showed.
It’s a big week ahead for Hamilton as they take on St Mirren away then Rangers at home in the Scottish Cup. Performing like they did in the first 45 against Celtic will give them every chance of success.