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the celtic team, today welcomed a new face, ex-liverpool defender, stefan henchoz was drafted in to help out the defence for the trip to fife, but other new signing craig bellamy was left out due to martin o'neill not wanting to risk the welshman apparently because he didn't like the idea of him playing on the plastic pitch with his history of injuries, but he would have struggled to get into the attack if he knew how well chris sutton and john hartson would play today.

this was a cup game and the celtic players weren't risking their cup run against a premier league team like dunfermline, who have given celtic some well fought matches in the past.

in the first 5 minutes the pars were on top, but were hit on the break by a 7th minute john hartson goal provided by sutton.

2 minutes later, hartson was causing havock again by unluckily hitting the crossbar, for player of the month, chris sutton to easily rebound in with a header.

about 30 minutes into the game, dunfermline goalkeeper, derek stillie was on hand to save a well hit alan thompson free kick.

dunfermline then had another a little spell, forcing 7 corners, but not causing any distruption to the celtic team.

a few minutes before half time, a mix up in the dunfermline defence gifted john hartson for him to side foot his 21st goal of the season.

celtic had done all the hard work in the first half and knew that there wasn't as much work to do in the 2nd half and it showed when they kept possession for most of the second half.

believe it or not after forcing aroung 8 corners through the match , dunfermline hit their first shot 53 minutes into the game, but it was too far away to cause the celtic goalkeeper, rab douglas any trouble.

on the 70th minute mark, dunfermline's andus skerla's powerful header was well saved by douglas.

towards the end of the game, noel hunt's well headed shot beat rab douglas but hit off the bar to be cleared to safety.

DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC 0-3 CELTIC...
there were ridiculously massive gaps in the away stand today, too many fans are either bored of seeing the same week in, week out (getting a goal and holding on), or the celtic fans would rather pay for setanta than be charged a ridiculous fee of around £20- £25 just to get into an average size spl team's ground.

it was a freezing, bitterly cold day today at ayrshire, and celtic knew a win against 'the killie boys' would send them top after rangers were on top on goal difference, and had played a game more than celtic.

the celtic fans wanted to win the game (obviously), but were just as worried about the controversy surrounding defender, dianbobo balde's future at the scottish champions, who put in a typical champion performance today.

celtic were lined up in a 442 formation today, with the normal players, yet again including ulrik laursen, who looks to be improving game by game after putting in terrific performances since the rangers game at the start of the month.

celtic started brightly, with central midfielder, stilian petrov narrowly missing as early as the 3rd minute, and bobo balde hitting the bar 5 minutes into the game.

chris sutton was playing at his best, and was committed to getting a goal early on. the englishman was unlucky, narrowly failing to head in a thompson corner, and hitting a shot from another thompson cross, which barely troubled the killie keeper, alan combe on the 20 minute mark.

kilmarnock's supporters thought their luck was in when they scored a goal by steven naismith, only to be ruled out by the linesman.

petrov was unlucky to score moments later, when his well struck shot went inches wide of the target.

kilmarnock fans must have thought they were going to take something from the hoops today, as sutton headed wide of the goal yet again.

However Sutton's big chance came when a floated ball from thompson's free-kick struck killie midfielder, danny invincible's hand for the referee to blow for a penalty to celtic. upstepped...
MATCH REPORT by A man at the bottom of a bottle; hiccup :poster_oo



Rab Douglas- Still flapping around like a turkey in the run up to xmas

Jackie- Good display from baby face flintstone as usual.

Bobo- Goodbye Bobo. More a liability now than he ever was since the African Nations Cup. What the fuck Boro are signing him for I dont know.

Varga- Stan the Man with another 'good enough' performance. Settled display.

Laursen- Getting more confident with every game under his belt. Has improved his step ups from defence.

Neil Lennon- Another really good performance from Lennon. Reads the game very well. Booking was a farce.

McGeady- Off the boil. Played mince. Gave the ball away. Pulled out of tackles.

Thomo- Has peaked. Well past his best now. Another non performance from someone who should be delivering much more.

Petrov- Average game. The highlights of his game were his highlights. Must have got them done at the City barbers on West Nile St.

Sutty- Best Player for us today. Did everything right. Great penalty which was gifted to us by Kili.

Hartson.- Utter bollocks. Contributed heehaw again. At this pace he couldnae score in West Campbell St with a ton in his back bin.

Camara(sub)- Was 200% more effective than Hartson.

Team effort- If we have to rely on Kili to gift us a penalty in a relatively non threatening position, then we need to beware. Doesnt help when our main source of goals is firing blanks.
celtic needed to win today to keep a safe gap at the top of the league with rangers due to play against aberdeen the next day. it was a chilly day and there wasn't too much to warm the fans up and it wasn't as if celtic had to put much effort in against a poor motherwell side.

apart from a rebounded hartson shot which hoops striker, chris sutton should have scored from, there wasn't much to shout about until the half hour mark when bulgarian captain, stilian petrov powerfully struck past 'well keeper, gordon marshall after some smart work by sutton.

young talent, aiden mcgeady skilfully skipped past the lanarkshire side's steven hammell, but marshall just managed to parry his effort.

the bhoys looked eager to finish the match as they started the second half, with a few half chances going begging.

there was some more smart play by mcgeady when a flashy back heel from found sutton, for sutton to find hartson, only for the linesman to stop for offside.

just below the hour, hoops striker, chris sutton scored after there was a mix up with aussie striker, scott mcdonald which had left the motherwell players stranded for alan thompson to superbly cross for sutton to cooly finish off.

celtic manager, martin o'neill then sent on brazillian, juninho paulista and on-loan henri camara, but the points were already wrapped up and there wasn't much for them to do.

you couldn't pick a man of the match because players like chris sutton, stilian petrov, alan thompson and john hartson were all stand outs, but the whole team looked calm through the match.


CELTIC.....2-0 MOTHERWELL
Petrov 32,
Sutton 58

saturday 22nd january 2005

wrote on 29th.
attendance:58,438
celtic were under pressure today, because a win against west lothian club, livingston would sent them three points ahead in their first match of the new year.

apart from the pre match huddle roars, the celtic atmosphere was disappointing, and my last game against aberdeen in october, which i though was a bad atmosphere, was good compared to this game. the livi lions aren't the biggest support and only brought around 400 fans, if that, but they managed to make a noise similar to the hoops fans , and the livi supporters would have been disappointed, and would have expected more from the celtic supporters.

to the match and the celtic players knew a win would send the three points ahead after their bitter rivals and had the same line up that beat hearts, 2-0 last week. rangers had only managed a last minute draw, and knew the livi lions wouldn't be pushovers under their latest manager, richard gough.

young prospect, aiden mcgeady, from a corner, crossed into the box for sutton to touch for slovakian defender, stanislav varga to narrowly head over the bar.
not much else happened up until the 15 minute mark after livi defender, oscar rubio pulled down john hartson. geordie, alan thompson's crossed free-kick was met by, spl top scorer, john hartson to make the score 1-0 to celtic.

celtic missed a few half chances, and were giving the ball away for livingston to miss a few chances and to be parried away by celtic goalkeeper, robert douglas

celtic were stunned shortly before the half time interval, when ex-dundee united striker, jim hamilton netted from close range after a burton o'brien corner.

after the interval, and celtic were pushing the livi lions defence for a goal mainly through set pieces.

celtic had a few penalty claims involving sutton which weren't given by referee, thomson.
from a sutton cross, hartson had time to chest the ball down and shoot, which somehow colin meldrum, the livi lions keeper, managed to tip over the bar.
the...