Stokes spares Celtic's blushes

Anthony Stokes got Celtic out of jail as his late strike snatched a 2-1 victory over Ross County at Celtic Park.

Last Updated: 03/08/13 at 20:37 Post Comment

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes is congratulated by manager Neil Lennon after scor

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes is congratulated by manager Neil Lennon after scor

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

The Irishman cancelled out Darren Maatsen's third-minute stunner with a tap-in on the half hour, and he ensured maximum points when he drilled a low shot past Mark Brown with three minutes remaining.

Ross County formed a guard of honour for the reigning champions before kick-off but they were less charitable once the game kicked off and stunned the hosts on three minutes.

Maatsen was invited inside the area with the ball and he punished some slack defending by unleashing a rasping shot that flew past Fraser Forster.

Maatsen's strike woke the hosts from their slumber and they went on to dominate the remainder of the game, but they found Mark Brown in inspired form, the County goalkeeper producing smart saves to deny Derk Boerrigter and Kris Commons.

But Brown was let down by his defence on 28 minutes when they failed to properly clear Commons' corner. Mikael Lustig's scuffed effort came back off the post and Stokes was on hand to tap home the rebound.

Celtic lost debutant Boerrigter to an ankle injury but they remained on top, with Efe Ambrose blazing over and Brown denying Stokes to ensure the scores remained level at the break.

The game continued in a similar fashion after the interval, Stokes again going close with a volley and Commons crashing a shot off the crossbar as gaps began to appear in County's defence.

Former Celtic player Graham Carey went close with a free header but it was a rare foray forward by County, and Charlie Mulgrew saw a header come back off the post at the other end.

Celtic piled bodies forward late on and it paid off on 87 minutes when Commons found Stokes to the left of goal. He cut inside and fired a low shot past Brown to ensure Celtic got their title defence off to a winning start.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Saturday, 23 August 2014
15:00
Dundee Utd 2-1 Ross Co  
Kilmarnock 2-0 Motherwell  
Partick 1-2 Hamilton  
St J'stone 1-0 Aberdeen  
St Mirren 0-1 Dundee  
12:30
Inverness 1-0 Celtic Report
Saturday, 16 August 2014
15:00
Dundee 1-1 Partick Report
Hamilton 1-0 St J'stone Report
Motherwell 0-2 Inverness Report
Ross Co 1-2 Kilmarnock Report

Scottish Premiership

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Inverness 4 5 10
2 Hamilton 4 2 9
3 Dundee Utd 4 0 9
4 Kilmarnock 4 1 7
5 Celtic 3 7 6
6 Dundee 4 1 6
7 St J'stone 4 -2 6
8 Partick 3 3 4
9 Aberdeen 3 -2 3
10 Motherwell 4 -4 3
11 St Mirren 3 -4 0
12 Ross Co 4 -7 0

Updated Tue, 26 Aug 2014

Footer 365

Transfer news: Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock expecting busy few days

New manager Neil Warnock is braced for a few days of chaos as he tries to add to his squad at Crystal Palace.

Europa League: Tottenham face Besiktas; Everton up against Lille and Wolfsburg

Tottenham will face Arsenal's UEFA Champions League victims Besiktas in the group stage of the Europa League.

Premier League: Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp close to signing new deal

Harry Redknapp has revealed he is on the verge of signing a new contract with QPR.

Mail Box

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

Don't Forget Chelsea Also Need A Striker

With Diego Costa struggling for fitness, one Chelsea fan pipes up in the mailbox to remind us that the Blues also need a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney as captain...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property