Football: Celtic battle back to force draw

Adam Matthews rescued a point for Celtic as they came from behind to grab a 2-2 draw with Scottish Premiership leaders Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Parkhead.

The Highlanders continued their impressive start to the season as Aaron Doran's superb effort gave the visitors a 14th minute lead with Richie Foran heading his side further in front 20 minutes later.

Celtic, missing a host of key players due to injury, looked shell-shocked but managed to pull one back before the break through Charlie Mulgrew.

Time looked to be running out in a lacklustre second half but Matthews fired Celtic level in the 83rd minute to end Inverness' 100 per cent winning start to the new season.

Celtic, who moved up to second three points behind Inverness with a game in hand, face Shakhter Karagandy on Wednesday in the second leg of their crucial Champions League play-off.

They will need to show a vast improvement if they are to overturn a two goal deficit from their first leg defeat in Kazakhstan.

With one eye on the play-off Celtic manager Neil Lennon made six changes to the side that lost in Kazakhstan with Amido Balde, Tony Watt and Australian international Tom Rogic all handed rare starts.

"With the players we had out today we were always going to lack a bit of quality in the final third and that proved to be the case," Lennon said.

"I can maybe make an exception for the first goal cause it was a very good shot but the second goal was poor. For me that's a point gained because of the situation we were in today (Saturday)."

His Inverness counterpart Terry Butcher wasn't too despondent about throwing away a two goal lead.

"I did cheekily say to the players that it was two points dropped but when you look at it we are very delighted with 2-2," the former England international said.

"It's wonderful and it keeps us going. We came here top of the league and we are leaving here top of the league."

Inverness, the last Scottish team to win at Celtic Park back in November 2012, arrived in Glasgow in confident mood with maximum points from their opening three fixtures and, after Tony Watt fluffed an early chance for the hosts, took the lead after just 13 minutes through a superb curling effort from Doran.

Celtic were dealt another injury blow when Israeli Beram Kayal hobbled off midway through the half with Joe Ledley replacing him.

Celtic responded with Rogic blazing over the bar after a rampaging run before Efe Ambrose saw his header clip the top of the bar.

However, it was Inverness who doubled their lead in the 35th minute when Foran was the quickest to react as Billy McKay's miss-hit overhead kick bounced in the six-yard box.

The Inverness defence had kept three consecutive clean sheets but their goal was finally breached in the 42nd minute when Mulgrew pulled one back.

Rogic's through ball was cut out by Doran but Ledley won it back and fed Emilio Izaguirre whose low pass was toe-poked home by Mulgrew from 10 yards out.

The first real opportunity of the second-half fell to Balde who connected well with an Izaguirre cross but his looping header landed on the roof of the net.

With time running out Matthews came to Celtic's rescue. Captain Scott Brown played an excellent through ball to the Welshman who turned an Inverness defender before beating Brill at his near post with a low drive.