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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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

Sunday, 24 May 2015
12:30
Aberdeen 0-1 St J'stone  
Celtic 5-0 Inverness Report
Dundee U 3-0 Dundee  
Saturday, 23 May 2015
15:00
Hamilton 1-0 St Mirren Report
Kilmarnock 1-2 Ross Co Report
Motherwell 0-0 Partick Report
Saturday, 16 May 2015
Dundee 1-1 Aberdeen Report
Inverness 3-0 Dundee U Report
Partick 1-4 Kilmarnock  
Ross Co 2-1 Hamilton  

Footer 365

FIFA face FBI criminal investigation as indictment alleges 'generations of bribery and corruption'

The FBI have outlined details of their damning 47-count indictment in their FIFA criminal investigation.

Mario Balotelli will remain at Liverpool, says Mino Raiola

Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola has revealed that the striker will not be leaving Anfield this summer.

UEFA call for FIFA's presidential election to be postponed

UEFA have called for Friday’s FIFA presidential election to be postponed amid FBI allegations of bribery and corruption.

Mail Box

Vidic Is Part Of United's 'Budget XI'

We have post-2000 budget XIs on behalf of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. Plus gaelic football, FIFA, more awards and the majesty of Il Fenomeno...

Europa League: Hardly The AIA Cup

A Spurs fan definitely isn't bothered his side aren't in the Europa League final tonight. Also, a warning about Michael Laudrup, and how to build a team with less than £20m.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company