Main at the double as Saints pick up a point at Celtic Park

Main at the double as Saints pick up a point at Celtic Park

St Mirren picked up what could prove to be a valuable point as a Curtis Main double saw us draw 2-2 at Celtic Park.

The striker's first-half double had us ahead at the break, but a late equaliser from Celtic captain Callum McGregor saw the Scottish Premiership Champions rescue a point. 

There were two changes to the side that drew with Hearts at The SMiSA Stadium last weekend. Thierry Small and Keanu Baccus came in for Scott Tanser and the injured Alex Greive. The manager elected for the same shape despite the absence of Greive and that saw Greg Kiltie pushed up alongside Main as the front two. 

Saints got off to the perfect start to silence the capacity crowd at Celtic Park. Anthony Ralston collided with Tomoki Iwata which allowed Main to run on to a long kick from Trevor Carson. The striker broke into the box and took a touch to cut inside of Ralston who was trying to recover before firing into the net to put us ahead on just four minutes.

Curtis Main put us ahead on just four minutes (Image: Allan Picken)

Celtic equalised 10 minutes after the opener though when Reo Hatate threaded a ball through for Kyogo Furuhashi who rifled high into the net to make it 1-1. 

Saints' reaction was good and the Buddies looked to restore the advantage almost immediately with Main firing over the bar from 20 yards. 

The home side were seeing more of the ball as you would expect and Carson was was forced into a smart stop on 19 minutes when he pushed away Matt O'Riley's low shot before Hatate sent a swerving effort over the bar from distance two minutes later.  

St Mirren - as they have done on many occasion this season - were making life difficult for the hosts and forced a couple of corners in quick succession just after the half-hour mark. Richard Taylor didn't get the connection he'd have hoped for after being first on to a Kiltie header which allowed Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart to gather. 

The hosts almost took the lead in fortuitous fashion on 35 minutes when O'Riley's effort deflected off Baccus and nearly sneaked in at the near post. Carson was down quickly to block. 

But it was Saints who would go back ahead when Main grabbed his second of the afternoon on 39 minutes. Celtic couldn't deal with the initial danger and Main was there to meet O'Hara's header back into the box. A lengthy VAR check for offside ensued, but the forward was played onside by McGregor. That goal came just a minute after Saints should have retaken the lead when Ryan Strain knocked wide from just a few yards after being first on to a parry from Hart. 

The Buddies took a lead into half-time and started the second-half quickly with Main agonisingly close to his hat-trick just a few minutes after the restart. He rose the highest to meet a Strain cross, but nodded inches wide of target. The striker then had another good opportunity for his - and Saints' - third just before the hour mark when he once again was first to a Strain ball from the right only to head over this time. 

Celtic almost levelled with 20 minutes of the game remaining when a deep cross from Ralston met Daizen Maeda at the back post. It looked like the Celtic forward was going to sweep into the net, but he miscued and stuck the effort wide. 

Saints again came so close to killing the match on 79 minutes when Main pounced on Iwata's mistake and drove into the box. The forward had a go from the angle and his effort cannoned off the far post. 

And how frustrating that would prove to be when Celtic equalised on 81 minutes. McGregor's strike from 20 yards found its way into the bottom left corner to restore parity and rescue a point for the hosts. 

Full-Time: Celtic 2-2 St Mirren

St Mirren: Carson, Fraser, Shaughnessy (c), R.Taylor, Strain (Gallagher 83), O'Hara, Gogic (Jamieson 90), Baccus, Small (Tanser 61), Kiltie, Main
Subs Not Used: Urminksy, Dunne, Kenny, Boyd-Munce, F.Taylor, Offord

Celtic: Hart, Ralston, Starfelt, Iwata, Taylor, McGregor (c), Hatate (Haksabanovic 72), O'Riley (Oh 72), Jota, Maeda (Abada 72) Kyogo
Subs Not Used: Bain, Bernabei, Kobayashi, Turnbull, Forrest, Summers

Referee: David Munro
Assistant Referee: Ross Macleod
Assistant Referee: David Doig
Fourth Official: Mike Roncone
VAR: Steven Kirkland
Assistant VAR: Andrew McWilliam

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