Hearts 0 Celtic 2: Fraser Forster sets new clean sheet record as Celtic ease past Hearts

Leigh Griffiths scores his first goal for the club as Celtic continue winning streak and extend their lead at the top of the league to 24 points

Fraser Forster set a new Scottish top-flight clean sheet record as Celtic continued their winning streak with a 2-0 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle.

The England goalkeeper broke Bobby Clark's previous record of 1,155 minutes without conceding a league goal before Leigh Griffiths scored his first Celtic goal to seal a 15th consecutive Scottish Premiership triumph.

The former Hibernian striker and boyhood fan celebrated emphatically after finishing impressively on a 57th-minute counter-attack.

That goal proved enough although Teemu Pukki doubled the lead with the last kick of the ball.

Forster had already broken former Aberdeen goalkeeper Clark's record, which he set in the 1970-71 season, after keeping Hearts out 31 minutes into his 13th successive league shutout.

The 25-year-old did not have a shot to save in that spell, although he fumbled a 21st-minute cross from Jamie Hamill before gathering at the second attempt.

Hearts also had some pressure around the half-hour mark but Callum Paterson could not find Paul McCallum with a low cross following a promising break and the record was assured when Sam Nicholson sliced the ball behind for a goal kick after a short corner.

More surprisingly, Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald, who conceded seven goals when Celtic last visited Tynecastle, was not seriously tested either during the first half.

Brad McKay twice foiled Griffiths with crucial interventions while Anthony Stokes had a shot deflected wide from 16 yards and Scott Brown shot over from just further out on the only other first-half occasions that Celtic threatened to get in behind.

Virgil van Dijk was just off target with a 25-yard free-kick and also a header following a corner from Kris Commons, who came closest for Celtic before the break when he hit a rasping long-range strike that dipped just over.

Celtic survived a penalty appeal three minutes before the half-time whistle following Van Dijk's clumsy tackle on Paterson, referee Kevin Clancy waving appeals away.

Both goalkeepers made their first saves of the game in the opening two minutes of the second half, Forster from Ryan Stevenson's long-range strike and MacDonald from a driven free-kick by Commons.

MacDonald was forced into a more testing stop when he parried Stokes' header following a deep free-kick by Commons.

And he was soon beaten after his side were caught out on the break not long after their own corner.

Stokes won the ball in the right-back position and beat a man before sending a diagonal ball for Griffiths to chase. The January signing from Wolves shrugged off Nicholson and took the ball round Danny Wilson before firing a powerful left-footed strike across MacDonald and into the corner from 16 yards.

Griffiths, who had been taunted by the Hearts fans throughout, slid in front of a section of home fans to celebrate before sprinting towards the dugouts with his thumbs raised at another section of the home support, before embracing manager Neil Lennon.

Lennon ordered his player to calm down but Griffiths soon followed three home players in the book for a trip on Nicholson and was then replaced by Pukki with the 5-1 scoreline of Hibernian's 2012 Scottish Cup final defeat by Hearts ringing in his ears.

Hearts forward Dale Carrick, on for the injured McCallum, caused some problems for Celtic but the hosts could not threaten Forster's ongoing record and MacDonald tipped over substitute Derk Boerrigter's strike as the visitors pushed for a second.

Forster survived a scare in injury-time when he missed his punch as Dylan McGowan attacked a corner but the ball drifted across the face of goal.

And Celtic went straight up the park to kill off the contest. Amido Balde robbed Hamill on the left wing and set up Pukki to slide the ball home.

Celtic will now push for more records as they seek to finish a top-flight campaign unbeaten for the first time since the 19th century and aim for their own record of 25 consecutive league wins, which they set in 2000-01.

PA

News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
News
people
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Sport
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
tv
News
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor