Kilmarnock 0-1 Celtic. Rugby Park 17th February 2019
Brown (90+1). Kick off 4pm
Away days at Rugby Park can come with a big incentive attached some times and today was one of those occasions. For the men in Hoops it was a cup tie feel whilst Kilmarnock knew it was up to them to contribute to putting a spanner into Celtic’s works. With recent ties and under manager Stevie Clarke the fixture has proved difficult for Celtic to overcome. A 4pm kick off time that was unusual for the support on a bright crispy cold Ayrshire evening. Just perfect for a game of football, some cheerleaders and Brother Madden as ringmaster.
Kilmarnock took to the pitch in their home shirt of blue and white horizontals and the Celts in the day-glo strip that has been a bit of an omen this season but still easy to spot a colleague for a pass. And as usual it was the East end Bhoys who started with fire in their bellies and eager to settle this encounter. It was in the opening stages with an attack Edourd received the ball and with a feeble shot hit the side netting. It was from here Celtic should have set the pace and build. Possession domestically is never a problem for Celtic as we always hold the lions share but in the final third and trying to break down stodgy packed defences it can prove problematic.
The first thirty minutes of Celtic dominance you could see Killie trying to settle into some sort of game plan and a breakaway attack that was thwarted by a Bain save which Madden called offside. It was the start of the Rugby Park men to show intentions of turning up for the game. And the last 15 minutes of the half would be mostly Kilmarnock pinning back the hoops and denying the space or time for Celtic to play that bit forward that we have become used to. Bain certainly wasn’t leaving his area as much as he has in most games he has started. Not much to cover in the topic of goal threats but although some nice passes it was mostly scrappy and stray balls.
29 mins: Forrest collects the ball and passes a Killie player and full back Taylor who with his forearm pushed down on Forrest’s back with his whole weight just outside the box. Madden gave the foul but it brought me to think about the offence. It was the same foul that came from Valencia on Forrest in the box first ten minutes on Thursday. Man leaning full weight with forearm, free kick outside box but inside it’s a dive. You do tend to be awarded for offences outside on the pitch but enter the oppositions goal area it is different rules??? Consistency is all we ask as the paying customer.
30 Mins: Chris Burke for Killie was coming into a game and was pivotal in a few build ups. He took a pop at the Celtic goal and Dedryk Boyota rose to make the block.
33 mins: At the other end about 35 yards out McGregor played a lovely 1-2 pass with Edourd with McGregor getting the ball back in a shooting position but with Taylor closing down, Callum’s shot was tame and smothered by Bachman in Goals.
34 mins: Another Killie venture forward with Burke involved again and Eammon Brophy pushing on, Boyata with another block.
37 mins: 50/50 ball contested but Brown sliding in with studs up and taking out the Killie number 3. Yellow card and it was no argument from Scott.
42 mins: With last 10 minutes being mostly about the Rugby Park side it was another last gasp block by Johnny Hayes in centre of the Celtic box from a shot by Englishman Connor McAleny. Hayes was looking rather industrious going forward and did trouble the opposition but with him trying to play his new role he can be guilty of lapses and being caught and that’s where Kilmarnock were getting beneficial advantage.
The first 45 minutes as mentioned was at time a scrappy affair with play swinging back and forward among a lot of lost possession and throws. There were plus points but more for Kilmarnock than the bhoys. Celtic looked hungover from Thursday nights European Tussle. Add the illumination strip (which is a welcome sight on winter nights) and the ever impressive management from Stevie Clarke all mixed together was proving a slog on the Ayrshire pitch. Celtic can take heart from the centre pairing of Boyata and Ajer who stood up to the attacks when Celtic were pinned back. They fought hard and of course their is slips in concentration but domestically we tend to ride the storm. Boyata for his faults has been a mainstay in the sides that have been so stingey in conceding goals from the turn of the year.
51 mins: A sliding pass through for Sinclair saw him advance and caught offside by a yard but Bachman made the save regardless.
60 Mins: On the hour mark Connor McAleny who was seeing so much of Killie’s play had the ball in the Celtic net. Bobby Madden correctly chopped the goal for handball by Kilmarnock’s forward. This seemed to buck up the ideas of the men in bright yellow.
67 mins: Brendan Rodgers urging his team forward for the win took off the ineffective Edourd. He had looked so dangerous in the first 15 minutes but faded away. On came the prolific Oliver Burke.
74 mins: Celtic after the sub reverted back to the play we have become accustomed to. Pushing forward and now Kilmarnock were pinned right back with 8/9 players behind the ball. Goalkeeper Bachman was also solid without any flair. Broadfoot seen red for violent conduct when he led with high studs and brought it blatantly down on Broony’s ankle. Straight red from Madden who was having one of his less divisive games. Credit where it’s due. 10 men Kilmarnock.
76 mins: Double substitution with Killmarnock replacing Brophy with Bruce in a tactical switch. Celtic called Forrest in with Timo Weah coming on. His mum, the First Lady of Liberia was in attendance and seemed relaxed in the luxurious surroundings of Rugby Park.
80 mins: Christie header glanced wide from Johnny Hayes cross. Hayes was putting in a serious amount of crosses now. Two Kilmarnock subs introduced soon after.
85 mins: Oliver Burke put clean through with a splitting pass. Unfortunately the ball was a bit heavy with the keeper getting there first in a one on one.
The Celtic attacks were coming thick and fast with desperate defending and last gasps keeping the bhoys out. Boyata and Weah both missing out on putting the ball in the net.
90+1 mins: When it arrived it was glorious. Two goals in two games for Celtic’s Prolific goal scoring captain, the one and only Scott Brown. From a Callum McGregor corner big Boyata got up to head the ball down into Broony’s path at the edge of Kilmarnock box. Brown drilled it and it took flight hitting off Bruce’s hand and deflected into the upper end of the net. Cue euphoric celebration by players and fans.
Broony for his passion and instinct received yellow for a second time for over celebrating. Such a completely daft rule that needs to be gone. In the sea as @MagnificentSeven would declare. The excitement brought all the fans pushing forward and the ones down front came over the hoardings. Soon to be joined by over 100 fans from both ends of the pitch. Frowned upon by the authorities and it is a safety issue. But this was spontaneous and not a Firhill celebration. This win leaves us 8 points clear over The Charlatans in second. A position they will fight to retain but we know second in Glasgow means last. The fans created electricity throughout which helped push the team until the last second. They knew there was a goal coming and kept patience until it arrived.
FT: Kilmarnock 0-1 Celtic
Hail, hail. YNWA.
- 5BroadfootBooked at 75mins
- 29BurkeSubstituted forMcKenzieat 84'minutes
- 15McAlenySubstituted forMillarat 82'minutes
- 25BrophySubstituted forBruceat 77'minutes
- 8BrownBooked at 90mins
- 49ForrestSubstituted forWeahat 77'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 17ChristieSubstituted forBayoat 89'minutes
- 22EdouardSubstituted forBurkeat 69'minutes