Hamilton 1-1 Celtic: League leaders held in an incident-packed match
By Charlie McFaulds
Last Updated: 27/02/16 7:48am
Celtic's 10 men moved seven points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership table after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Hamilton at New Douglas Park.
In a match not short of incident Leigh Griffiths scored and missed a penalty, either side of Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata's sending off, before Eamonn Brophy levelled for the Accies late in the second half.
After Celtic had dominated play in the early stages of the match, Hamilton had the first effort on target on 12 minutes when Michael Devlin got up to meet an Ali Crawford free-kick but his header lacked power and Logan Bailly made an easy save.
Three minutes later the home side had a far better opportunity when Scott Brown was caught in possession inside his own half and Carlton Morris slipped a weighted pass in front of Crawford, who clipped his shot past the advancing Bailly and over the bar.
Celtic were struggling to create any clear-cut chances but were gifted the opportunity to take the lead when a cross from Mikael Lustig broke to Scott Allan off the head of Griffiths, and when the midfielder laid the ball back from the goal-line Dougie Imrie lunged in to trip the striker.
Griffiths dusted himself down and tucked the ball to Michael McGovern's right with the Accies 'keeper diving in the opposite direction.
Accies almost responded within two minutes as Boyata misjudged a through ball and Gramoz Kurtaj raced into the box, but Bailly got across to block as the forward attempted a shot.
But Boyata was dismissed three minutes before the break as he slid across to challenge Morris, who appeared to run from an offside position, and while the Celtic defender seemed to take the ball before the man, referee Craig Thomson produced his red card immediately.
Crawford then created a yard of space just outside the penalty area and tested Bailly with a powerful swerving shot which the Celtic stopper pushed to safety.
Gary Mackay-Steven should have doubled Celtic's advantage on 50 minutes when he found himself clear on goal as the ball broke forward from a Kieran Tierney challenge but McGovern raced off his line and got down to block the shot from 18 yards.
Celtic were fairly composed despite the numerical disadvantage although Charlie Mulgrew had to nick the ball behind at the near post from a low Anton Kurakins delivery.
McGovern twice denied Griffiths within three minutes as the striker latched on to through balls from Allan and then Brown.
The Accies 'keeper then got across to his left to keep out a second spot-kick from Griffiths (66) after Ziggy Gordon had wrestled Lustig to the deck.
Hamilton levelled the match on 73 minutes as the ball broke to Brophy inside the penalty area at a corner and he rifled a shot into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
Darian MacKinnon was fortunate not to be given a red card 10 minutes from time for a studs-up challenge on Tierney, with referee Thomson settling for a yellow instead, and he later escaped a second card for a high challenge on Stefan Johansen.