The 2013 Football Aid Game 2 at Celtic Park took place midway through May in the early afternoon and the game itself was filled with goals, especially for the Away side who notched up 13 in total! However, despite the one sided nature of the game, it still proved a great spectacle for the watching Celtic fans and a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all the proud Bhoys who represented their boyhood favourites at Paradise.
Date: Sunday 12th May
Venue: Celtic Park
Celtic Home vs Celtic Away
Kick Off: 2:30pm
Legends: Danny McGrain, Paul Byrne and George McCluskey
Match officials: Chris Gentles, Gary Gentles, Ross Hardie and Alan Brown
The Away team got the game underway, wearing the Yellow and Black hooped Away kit, while the Home team wore the famous Green and White hoops. The game was a slow starter with neither team really having any clear cut chances until the 6th min when two slip-ups by the Away team’s midfield allowed the Home team’s No 10 Michael Diamond to scamper towards goal before putting his eventual effort just wide of the post.
Although having a slow start, the Away team found the net through their No 11 Gian Marco Mannocci on 10 mins. A hopeful ball forward from their own box found Gary Blackwood on the right wing who managed to make it to the by-line where he cut it back for Mannocci, who took a first shot that was blocked by the keeper but then had a 2nd effort which deflected off the Home side’s right back and into the net. A fortunate goal but nevertheless it was enough for the Away side to gain the lead (0-1).
Just a min later and the Away team doubled their lead. A simple ball from the centre half found its way through the heart of the Home team’s defence and straight to the feet of the Away team’s No 9 Daniel Lennon. Lennon took it in his stride and finished sweetly, curling the ball round the Goalie and into the bottom corner. Questions might have been asked of the Home team’s defence but the Away team take advantage well (0-2).
Unfortunately for the Home team they were caught out again shortly afterwards, a simple ball played over the halfway line saw Daniel Lennon in on goal again and the centre forward showed great confidence to round the keeper and score his 2nd of the day (0-3).
The rampant Daniel Lennon then had an opportunity to get his hat-trick, only to see the ball roll narrowly past the far post after a vital touch by the Home team’s Goalie diverted it wide.
After 20 mins the Home team finally had something to shout about. After a corner was headed clear it was whipped back in and met by a powerful, well placed header from the No 10 Michael Diamond which gave his team a way back into the game (3-1).
Just mins later another goal was scored by the Away side. After a good ball was played into Mannocci at the edge of the box, he turned and cut it back to Daniel Lennon who took it past the goalie before laying it off for teammate John Adderley. The Away team Captain thumped the ball home with his left foot, restoring his side's 3 goal lead with 20 mins of the half left to play (1-4).
Five mins later and they were at it again, this time it was Striker Gian Marco Mannocci who grabbed his deserved 2nd goal. Unfortunately for the Home side their defence was once again split open by a long pass that found the feet of the No 11. His first effort was well saved by goalkeeper Ryan Diamond, however it fell straight to the feet of Mannocci who was never going to miss from a couple of yards out (1-5).
The Home team’s day just kept getting worse. After a low shot that Keeper Ryan Diamond could only parry out, he quickly jumped up to run after the rebound only to be beaten in a race to the ball by Mannocci, who went down under the challenge from the Goalkeeper. Much to the despair of the Home side the referee pointed to the spot! The impressive Italian Mannocci stepped up and ‘Pirlo’d’ it down the middle of the goal for his hat-trick, beating Diamond who guessed wrong and dived to his left. (1-6).
The Away team decided to end the half with a bit of flair. The No 6 John Adderley played a smart ball into Mannocci who lifted the ball sweetly over the Home Keeper Diamond and into the back of the net, bagging his 4th goal of the game and his side's 7th on the stroke of half-time (1-7).
As the teams headed in for their half-time orange segments and lucozade, the phrase ‘The defence are already on the beach’ might have been suitable for this occasion, as the Home team looked like being well in control.
Half Time: Celtic Home 1 - 7 Celtic Away
The start of the 2nd half was much the same as the start of the first half, slow to get going but once it did the Home team’s defence were under pressure again. A hopeful ball forward by the centre half saw the Away team’s No 9 Daniel Lennon in behind the defence again. Once he had escaped the defence's hopeful challenge he slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the goal for his hat-trick. The Away team's strike-force were on fire at this stage (1-8)!
With 55 mins on the clock Daniel Lennon was played in again and he composed himself before taking it round the keeper to tap it into the net for his 4th of the day (1-9).
The Away team continued to press and Daniel Lennon showcased his skills with an attempted overhead kick, this time it failed to find the target though. Moments later the Home side were through on goal; however after a neat pass across goal the Home striker Krys Kujawa couldn't captalise, with his shot going high and wide!
The game went reasonably quiet for five or ten mins, before the 70th min when the ball was rolled to the Away team from the Home team’s Goalie. A resulting low ball across the box was met by Daniel Lennon, who was taken out and the referee awarded his team their 2nd penalty of the day. The Away team’s No 10 Eric Lennon stepped up, hoping to add his name to the score-sheet, but he only managed to smack the bar with his effort and couldn't make it double figures for his team.
Finally, the Away side did manage to get to double figures, and who should score the goal, but Eric Lennon! Moments after hitting the bar with his penalty he was on hand to latch onto a pass across goal from Mannocci, and he was able to slot it into an empty net and make it double figures for his team (1-10).
With 10 mins left on the clock, the Home side had understandably reached the stage where everyone was piling forward in the hope of getting a consolation goal or two. Unfortunately that left just one man back to protect Ryan Diamond in goals and Jonathan Heaney did well to exploit the space. The No 4 picked up the ball on the half-way line and played a nice ball into Daniel Lennon on the edge of the box. The No 9 kept up the momentum of the attack before picking his head up and finding Graham Dunn charging up on the left, and the No 17 made no mistake, finishing well past Keeper Diamond, who scrambled across goal to try to get to the effort in vain (1-11).
Much of the rest of the game was filled with laughter and the players seemed to be having a bit of a joke, with both teams attempting attacks that mainly ended in the offside flag being raised. However, this only lasted until 3 mins from the end when the Away side were caught napping at the back and the ball was picked up by Michael McCready who played it across to Gerard Diamond who in turn finished neatly to close the gap (2-11).
However, just a min later the Away team were to restore their 10 goal gap. A good passage of play led to Jonathan Heaney sneaking in behind, and the Centre Half showed he has great striking skills as well, by finishing well for his side's 12th goal of the game (2-12). The only Away team member not celebrating though was the teammate left lying on the floor suffering from cramp!
Amazingly the Away team still had time to fit in another goal though! The Home team initially did well at a corner, but the clearance fell straight to the prolific Daniel Lennon, who side-stepped the goalie and put it into the net for his 5th of the game (2-13).
Much to the Home team’s relief the referee blew his whistle shortly after to end a hugely exciting game. Yes the Away team dominated possession and scored 13 goals but the Home team showed great spirit and had a great laugh while playing as well. In the end though the Away team’s impressive attacking threat of Daniel Lennon and Gian Marco Mannocci, proved to be too much for the Home team’s defence to handle.
Full Time: Celtic Home 2 - 13 Celtic Away
Man of the Match Home: Jamie Forman
Man of the Match Away: Jonathan Heaney
Moment of the Match: Gerard Diamond
Home Team: Ryan Diamond, Jamie Forman, Paul Byrne, John Bennett, David Harper, Gerard Diamond, Paolo Mazzoncini, Michael McCready (C), Thomas Buskie, Michael Diamond, Krys Kujawa, Jim Ridge, Robert Tait, Craig Owens, Michael McCready
Home Manager: Danny McGrain
Home Mascot: Neave Bennett
Away Team: Graham McLean, Ryan James O'Rourke, George McCluskey, Jonathan Heaney, James Flynn, John Adderley (C), Gary Blackwood, Steven Peacock, Daniel Lennon, Eric Lennon, Gian Marco Mannocci, Colin Bruce, John Francis Clark, Keiran Michael Byrne, Graham Dunn
Away Manager: Danny McGrain
Away Mascot: Amber Wilson