JUST when you thought Scott Brown couldn’t possibly do any more to endear himself to the Celtic supporters.

Neil Lennon’s out-of-sorts side looked to have squandered the chance to beat Hamilton and pull two points clear of Rangers at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership table at Parkhead last night when they conceded a last-minute equaliser to substitute Marios Ogkmpoe.

But there was to be one final twist in a quite remarkable match and it was that man Brown, who isn’t exactly renowned for his goalscoring prowess, who provided it.

The captain drove into the opposition penalty box in injury-time after his side had launched a desperate last-gasp attack and then steered a left-foot shot beyond goalkeeper Luke Southwood into the net from an acute angle.

He has not scored many more dramatic or important goals in his long and trophy-laden career.

Whenever a club wins a title they always look back on certain matches as being key to their achievement. If Celtic go on to prevail in the league for the ninth consecutive season they will unquestionably regard this result as crucial.

The result was harsh on Brian Rice’s players. They performed as well as any visitor to Celtic Park has this season and left the field feeling as if they had perhaps been denied a draw and a precious point, possibly even a famous victory, as a result of a refereeing decision.

Did the absence of goal-line technology from Scottish football play a part in the final outcome?

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster saved a header from Hamilton defender Sam Stubbs after a Mikel Miller free-kick in the 55th minute.

But the visiting substitutes, warming up just behind the goal at the time, were convinced the ball had crossed the line. They didn’t exactly offer an impartial opinion on the incident. It did, however, look as if they might have a point.

Without HawkEye to provide conclusive proof one way or another, referee Alan Muir had to rely on his own view and that of his assistant Calum Spence. Neither man was convinced it had gone in and the score remained 1-0.

Lennon’s side, who had taken the lead through Ryan Christie in the first-half, could certainly have won the game earlier and more convincingly than they did.

Lewis Morgan had a shot well saved, substitute Mikey Johnston was denied by the left post in the second-half and his fellow replacement Leigh Griffiths had an effort backheeled to safety from a couple of yards out by Scott McMann. But Hamilton gave as good as they got. A draw would by no means have flattered them.

This incredible victory extended the winning run that Celtic had been on to 11 games ahead of the Betfred Cup final against Rangers, who slipped into second in the Premiership after being held to a 2-2 draw by Aberdeen at Pittodrie, at Hampden on Sunday.

But they will know they will have to perform far better than this in order to win their 10th consecutive domestic trophy this weekend.

Lennon brought in Nir Bitton at centre half for Christopher Jullien, who suffered a head knock in the 4-1 win over Ross County in Dingwall on Sunday, and Moritz Bauer at right back for Jeremie Frimpong.

Bauer had a chance to stake a claim for a place in the final side. He is more experienced and defensively reliable than his teenage club mate Frimpong, who came on for James Forrest near the end, and his manager could be tempted to give him a nod due to those qualities.

The Green Brigade, locked out of the Europa League match with Rennes eight days earlier as punishment for the Glasgow club’s latest UEFA fine, were back in their usual spot in the safe-standing section. Their vocal presence was welcome by the home team given the reduced attendance.

There is always a danger in matches against lower league opposition that a more subdued support can result in a flat display. The disco lights were switched on before kick-off and helped to lift the atmosphere in a half-full stadium a bit. But the home side were never at their best and very nearly paid the price for that.

Christie has chosen the perfect time to rediscover his goalscoring form with Vakoun Bayo sidelined, Odsonne Edouard out with a minor knock and Griffiths still not considered fit enough to start.

His strike in the 13th minute last night was one of the simplest he has scored all term. Callum McGregor fed Morgan and the winger, playing up front by himself once again, tested Luke Southwood from a tight angle. The keeper palmed it to the feet of Christie who stole in front of Brian Easton and hooked into the net.

But that was, until the final seconds of the encounter, the only time that Celtic were on target.