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The Press and Journal (North-East) - - CLASSIFIED -

Celtic man­ager Bren­dan Rodgers hinted that some play­ers had failed to seize their chance af­ter his much-changed side con­ceded a late equaliser against Mother­well.

The cham­pi­ons were head­ing back to the top of the Premiership un­til Danny John­son struck from a dif­fi­cult an­gle in the 88th minute to earn Mother­well a 1-1 draw.

Celtic opened the scor­ing in the 13th minute when Ryan Christie took ad­van­tage of Mother­well tem­po­rar­ily be­ing down to 10 men, with Liam Don­nelly fol­low­ing Peter Hart­ley in limp­ing off.

Filip Benkovic had a goal ruled out by Kevin Clancy for an in­fringe­ment and Leigh Grif­fiths saw a penalty saved by Mark Gille­spie as Celtic failed to make their dom­i­nance in pos­ses­sion count.

John­son’s late strike en­sured Kilmarnock re­placed Rangers at the top of the ta­ble and leaves some Celtic play­ers won­der­ing when their next chance will come.

Rodgers made seven changes, with the likes of Cris­tian Gam­boa com­ing in and the man­ager praised Jonny Hayes for his per­for­mance, but Olivier Ntcham was hauled off at half-time.

The Celtic boss said: “Not a very good per­for­mance. A game that we didn’t play well in - in par­tic­u­lar the first-half.

“We scored a good goal and then didn’t take the chance with the penalty and also had a good goal ruled out from Filip Benkovic.

“But still at that stage I wasn’t so happy with our po­si­tion­ing and level of our game.

“In the sec­ond half our con­trol of the game and po­si­tion­ing was bet­ter but we were still too loose.

“Then of course if you don’t take chances you are vul­ner­a­ble at the end of the game. But from our per­spec­tive it’s a poor goal to lose.

“We didn’t win the first ball, the sec­ond, the third and he scores from a very nar­row an­gle. It’s def­i­nitely two points dropped.”

When asked if his play­ers took the points for granted, he said: “I don’t think they took it for granted, it was down to con­cen­tra­tion.

“And we also had a good goal dis­al­lowed and a chance from a penalty. We just made too many mis­takes.

“It’s good for a man­ager to see - be­cause play­ers will knock and ask about why they are not play­ing and it’s good for me to see a game like that.”

Mother­well man­ager Stephen Robin­son praised his side’s or­gan­i­sa­tion and dis­ci­pline.

He said: “We lost our cap­tain to a dead leg in the first cou­ple of min­utes and when you lose an­other player and then they score when you are down to 10 men, you think it’s go­ing to be one of those nights.

“But credit to the boys. Mark’s save keeps us in the game, and give the ball to Danny in the box and he scores goals.” Dundee boss Jim McIn­tyre hailed Kenny Miller af­ter the veteran skip­per scored a “fan­tas­tic” hat­trick in the 4-0 Premiership win over Hamil­ton at Dens Park.

The 38-year-old for­ward scored from close range in the 21st minute to give the home side the in­ter­val lead then grabbed a brace of fine strikes in the sec­ond half.

Miller scored either side of Jesse Cur­ran’s de­flected drive to se­cure the match ball and give McIn­tyre his first win as Dark Blues boss at the sev­enth at­tempt and Dundee their first home league win of the sea­son.

Miller has now scored five goals in three games and McIn­tyre said: “Ev­ery­one goes on about how fit a guy he is and it is im­por­tant that we make sure that we give him ser­vice.

“We need to get the ball in the right ar­eas, more risky passes. I am de­lighted for him.”

Dundee moved to within five points of 10th­placed Ac­cies but with St Mir­ren draw­ing with Hiber­nian, McIn­tyre’s side re­main one point be­hind Saints at the bot­tom with a game in hand over both their rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals.

St Mir­ren for­ward Adam Ham­mill scored a stun­ning goal from in­side his own half in the 2-2 Premiership draw at Hiber­nian.

Ham­mill caught out Hibs goal­keeper Adam Bog­dan with an in­cred­i­ble strike from 50 yards af­ter just six min­utes but Saints still had to set­tle for a share of the spoils.

Oli Shaw lev­elled for the hosts in the sec­ond half be­fore Stephen McGinn’s header re­stored Saints’ nar­row lead.

But the Pais­ley out­fit’s hopes of pick­ing up only their third league win of the sea­son were dashed when Hibees de­fender Ryan Por­te­ous headed in Ste­vie Mal­lan’s free-kick in the 72nd minute.

NERVES OF STEEL: Mother­well’s Danny John­son, right, cel­e­brates his equaliser against Celtic

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