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Celtic surge on at top

Celtic
4 - 1
Kilmarnock

Celtic Park

Wed 30th Jan 7.45

Attendance: 43,652

Referee:

Celtic are now fifteen points clear at the top of the table after a 4-1 victory against Kilmarnock at Parkhead.

Substitute Joe Ledley opened their account just before the interval but Cillian Sheridan levelled early in the second-half.

However, Adam Matthews then scored twice either side of a first goal of the season for available-again substitute Anthony Stokes.

The hosts were looking to bounce back from their disappointing Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final defeat at the weekend and Kris Commons struck a free-kick against the crossbar inside the opening ten minutes.

Georgios Samaras drove into the side-netting from a tight angle and was then denied by the legs of goalkeeper Cammy Bell before Commons discovered the crossbar again from 25-yards.

The Hoops continued to force the issue with Charlie Mulgrew heading over from Emilio Izaguirre's delivery while Gary Hooper forced another stop from Bell.

But they were almost undone from Rory McKeown's cross as Ross Barbour believed his shot had crossed the line - although not an opinion shared by referee Calum Murray after looking across to his assistant.

Killie keeper Bell blocked from Hooper again and Samaras was unable to take advantage of the rebound before Commons allowed Ledley - now on for Izaguirre - to despatch a fierce dipping finish into the net for the opening goal.

Hooper narrowly cleared the target at the start of the second period but it was Sheridan immediately turning in William Gross' cross to equalise.

Celtic were back in front a couple of minutes later though as Matthews crashed firmly into the top corner.

Commons and Hooper were the next to threaten for the hosts until the duo linked well on the break for the former to slide an effort wide.

Jeroen Tesselar lifted over in reply for the visitors before Stokes collected Hooper's pass and went around the keeper to make it 3-1.

Goalscorer Stokes then turned provider for Matthews to add his second of the evening and there was still enough time remaining for Hooper to hit an upright.

Celtic: Zaluska, Matthews, Lustig, Wilson, Izaguirre (Ledley 36), Brown, Wanyama, Mulgrew, Commons (Stokes 74), Samaras (Watt 44), Hooper

subs (unused): Thomson, Rogne, Kayal, Lassad

Goals: Ledley (41), Matthews (50, 83), Stokes (78)

Kilmarnock: Bell, Tesselaar, Fowler, McKeown (O'Leary 72), Barbour, O'Hara, Sissoko, Dayton, Winchester (Racchi 61), Gross (Heffernan 86), Sheridan

subs (unused): Letheren, Hay, Pascali, Perez

Goals: Sheridan (48)

Ref: Murray

Att: 43,652

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Writer:stev
Date:Wednesday January 30 2013
Time: 11:49PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Celtic 38 26 8 4 86 62
2 Aberdeen 38 22 5 11 71 14
3 Hearts 38 18 11 9 65 19
4 St. Johnstone 38 16 8 14 56 3
5 Motherwell 38 15 5 18 50 -16
6 Ross County 38 14 6 18 48 -6
7 Inverness 38 14 10 14 52 6
8 Dundee 38 11 15 12 48 -4
9 Partick 38 12 10 16 46 -9
10 Hamilton 38 11 10 17 43 -21
11 Kilmarnock 38 9 9 20 36 -23
12 Dundee United 38 8 7 23 28 -25
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