Game 1 of a new seson and Accies web reporter Martin McConnell was at Celtic Park…

SPFL Premiership

Celtic Park, Glasgow

Sunday 2nd August 2020 at 4.30pm.

Celtic 5 Hamilton Academical 1

After a promising start, we succumbed to the Celtic goal machine and the clinical excellence o fOdsonne Edouard. The five goal performance ensured that Celtic sit top of the SPFL Premiership table after week one.

After the game Accies Head Coach Brian Rice said, “I thought that in the first half we created a few chances and caused Celtic some problems. If you come to Celtic Park you’ve got to defend and defend well. I thought that in parts we did. The two goals in the first half were disappointing to lose because it’s near enough two identical goals.

Ball into the centre of the box and in the second, young Ronan loses his man. But we created a few chances in the first half and I was quite happy to go in at 2-1.”

Accies were up against it on the opening day but fielded a fairly young starting line-up with an average age of just 22. Head Coach Brian Rice also gave two new signings a debut, with Ross Callachan starting in centre midfield and Hakeem Odoffin at right back.

Jullien opened proceedings with a decent header that Fulton did well to save. Accies then showed some intent when Lewis Smith intercepted a pass on the left, sent inside to Martin before Winter forced Bain into an athletic save for a corner kick. It almost got better when Moyo headed wide of the back post from a great Odoffin cross.

Forrest and Jullien went close before Edouard tapped the ball into the net from a good Taylor delivery for the champions first of the day. Just over ten minutes later, an almost exact copy of the opener was scored this time by Frimpong. The outcome looked ominous for Accies.

However, moments later we were awarded a free kick after Brown brought Moyo down out wide on the left. Hughes delivered deep and the ball was headed back into the fray. Celtic cleared their lines only as far as Martin. From twenty yards out, he struck first time and a deflection sent the ball past Bain to get Accies right back in the game.

Right from the start of the second half, Moyo whipped a speculative attempt wide of the back post. Unfortunately for Accies that was the high point of the next forty or so minutes as Celtic rapidly progressed up the right hand side, Forrest put in a great first time ball for Edouard to knock home.

Edouard’s third came from another Forrest ball into a decent position, Christie had an attempt but Fulton saved before Odsonne slipped the loose ball into the net. The fifth came on the stroke of ninety minutes when Jullien struck a perfectly weighted pass from the half way line into the corner of the box for an off balance Klimala to place low in at the back post.

Celtic: Bain, Jullien, Taylor, Brown, Christie, Edouard, Elyounoussi, Frimpong, Ajer, McGregor, Forrest. Subs : Barkas, Bitton,  Klimala, Soro, Rogic, Ntcham, Bolingoli, Elhamed, Karamoko.

Goals:Edouard 18, 49, 53, Frimpong 31, Klimala 89.

Cautions: Taylor.

Accies: Fulton, Odoffin (McKenna 70), McMann (c), Hamilton, Martin, L Smith, Want, Hughes (Ogkmpoe  40), Winter, Moyo, Callachan (Trafford 70) . Subs Unused: Gourlay, Fjortoft, Mimnaugh, Munro, C Smith, Owolabi.

Goals: Martin 34.

Cautions: Martin, Callachan, Ogkmpoe.

Referee: William Collum. Assistants: David McGeachie & Drew Kirkland. 4th Official: Alan Muir.

Attendance: 100.