Five wins out of five for Celtic as Forrest's goal seals the points
Celtic secured their best start to a league season since 2010 thanks to a solitary James Forrest goal in their 1-0 win over Hamilton Accies on Saturday.
New bhoy Mohamed Elyounoussi, making his debut in the green and white hoops, tee’d up Forrest to score the only goal of the game just four minutes into the game with Accies’ ultra-defensive tactics and dodgy pitch curtailing any hope of a footballing contest breaking out.
Story of the match
On loan signing, Elyounoussi was making his debut for Neil Lennon’s side with Mikey Johnston out injured and Scott Sinclair still persona non grata this season.
And it was the former Molde and Basel winger that proved dangerous in the early exchanges having a shot blocked before turning provider to set up Forrest for the opening goal of the game.
Fresh from his scoring exploits with the French Under-21 side Odsonne Edouard played a perfect ball to Elyounoussi breaching the Accies defence before the Norwegian drove a cross from the left flank to Forrest who fired home from six yards out.
Despite the early goal and Celtic dominating proceedings in the first 45 minutes, they couldn’t breach Accies’ ultra-defensive setup.
Owain Fon Williams denied Forrest a second just minutes into the second half with a fingertip save to turn it off the underside of the bar and away.
And with the hour mark on the clock, a number of changes for the home side saw Accies get some form of foothold in the game without really having an end product to test Forster with.
The welcome sight of Tom Rogic replacing the impressive Elyounoussi buoyed the away support, but the Aussie making his first appearance of the season following a knee injury failed to muster a serious threat on the Accies goal - while Bayo replaced Edouard as Lennon went with the Ivory Coast striker once again over Leigh Griffiths, who looks like he is now third-choice striker at the club.
With the game nearing its conclusion, Christie and Bayo had chances missed and saved respectively, before Accies nearly grabbed an unlikely point at the death as Ogkmpoe was inches away from connecting with a Scott McMann cross.
It wasn’t a great advertisement for Scottish football or to show what Celtic were capable of, but what do you expect when they were playing on a surface that most would be ashamed to have in their back garden against a side that played every player behind the ball rather than trying to entertain their fans and you wonder why Accies’ attendances are so abysmal.
To be fair to Accies and Brian Rice - if they had tried to take the game to Celtic and open themselves up, Lennon’s side would have cut them to pieces so I guess every team has their levels.
Ultimately, Forrest’s goal was the only major incident in a dominant first 45 minutes for Celtic, and with their failure to turn their dominance into goals it gave the hosts faint hope that they would get something out of the game - despite never troubling Celtic keeper Fraser Forster - but a win is a win and another three points in the bag closer to nine in a row.
As for Accies and the SPFL, it is time that something is done about that pathetic excuse of a football pitch. There are clubs in Junior football who are more than capable of achieving a quality playing surface and would never dream of playing on astroturf - yet in the Scottish Premiership we have THREE teams utilising surfaces that help to make a mockery of our game.
Time for the SPFL to ban those shitty pitches for good.
CELTIC: Forster; Bolingoli, Jullien, Ajer, Elhamed; Brown, McGregor, Elyounoussi (Rogic 67), Forrest, Christie; Edouard (Bayo 77)
Subs: Gordon, Bauer, Hayes, Ntcham, Griffiths,
HAMILTON: Williams; McMann, Fjortoft (Beck 69), Collar, Oakley (Ogkmpoe 53), Alston, Gogic, Want (McKenna 77), Easton, Stubbs, Smith
Subs: Southwood, Cunningham, MacKinnon, Mayo