Date: 14th March 2014 at 10:42pm
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A second-half Kris Commons hat-trick, his second of the season, gave runaway league leaders Celtic a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Commons struck twice just before the hour and then completed his treble late on as the visitors moved a massive twenty-four points clear at the top of the table.

Manager Neil Lennon earlier handed a first competitive start to teenager Liam Henderson, although it was Anthony Stokes immediately having a strike ruled out for offside.

Michael Gardyne drilled wide from distance at the other end before Leigh Griffiths and Commons both prompted saves from home goalkeeper Craig Samson.

Attacking full-back Adam Matthews almost produced an own-goal from Killie’s Lee Ashcroft ahead of the break, and Samson then denied Stefan Johansen straight after it while Efe Ambrose headed behind from the corner.

Celtic were duly rewarded when Griffiths released Commons on 57 minutes to find the far corner of the net. And a couple of minutes later the goalscorer exchanged passes with Matthews to add his second from close-range.

Stokes then curled a shot wide and Griffiths forced another stop from Samson before Commons turned in a cross from Emilio Izaguirre – but an assistant’s raised flag denied his hat-trick.

That still arrived during the closing few minutes courtesy of a firm low drive as Commons marked his 26th goal of a really prolific campaign.

Kilmarnock: Samson, Clohessy, Tesselaar, Slater, Ashcroft, Pascali, McKenzie (Muirhead 87), O’Hara, Boyd, Gardyne (Eremenko 62), Moberg-Karlsson (Johnston 66)

subs (unused): Nicholson, Gros, Reguero Chapinal, Maksimenko

Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Ambrose, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Brown, Henderson (Kayal 82), Johansen (Boerrigter 87), Commons, Stokes, Griffiths (Pukki 75)

subs (unused): Samaras, Balde, O’Connell, Zaluska

Goals: Commons (57, 59, 86)

Ref: W. Collum

Att: 7,495


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