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Celtic Game 2 2008

It was a poignant day for Football Aid and for Celtic Football Club, as tributes poured in for one of Scotland’s most treasured footballers, Tommy Burns, who had sadly passed away only a few days earlier. A fitting tribute was paid to the former Celtic and Scotland International, who had generously supported the Football Aid cause by playing in our 2001 game. Black arm bands were worn throughout the match and a minutes silence was observed by the players, including Danny McGrain on this special occasion.

Sunday 18th May 2008
Celtic Home Vs Celtic Away
Game 2
Celtic Park
KO: 15:00 pm
Legends: Danny McGrain and Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon’s home side eventually triumphed over the hard working away team after an eventful match at Celtic Park. Both sides had good chances to seal the victory and players on the away side may feel a little aggrieved not to have taken a more from the match.

The first half saw a great deal of action as both sides attempted to impose themselves in this even and well fought contest. Both sides showed their endeavour with early chances, but it was the away side who struck the first decisive blow. After a throw in on the left, Gallacher controlled well before turning to send a looping volley over the stranded Brown from a seemingly impossible angle.

The home side were quick to react with a string of saves being forced from the impressive Blake. As the game progressed the strength of the home midfield came to bear as they attempted to force an opening.

From early on, it was clear that the high line and delicate balance of the away offside trap was going to be an important factor in the outcome of the match. After an incisive move, Ian Croarkin was unlucky not to level after being called offside as the defence started well.

The equaliser came after good play out wide and a dangerous cross for the ever busy Stuart Murray to convert. After evading his marker, the striker produced an acrobatic diving header to beat Blake.

The home side then raced into the lead after a good interchange between McInnes and Murray. The pair exchanged a neat one two to release McInnes on goal who then produced an accurate strike into the far corner.

Half Time: Celtic Home 2-1 Celtic Away

The second half started as the first had ended as both sides continued with their patient, measured build up. The home team went close to doubling their lead through this method as man of the match Brady released Murray with a neat pass through the opposition defence.

As the half wore on, both sides were beginning to produce chances, with the substitutes proving particularly effective. Sked and Wilson were looking dangerous as the home side attempted to kill the game off and both goalkeepers were being kept busy with the match swinging from end to end.

A fantastic chance to equalise was handed to the away side as GK was adjudged to have taken down Byrne after a good through ball. However, Brown produced the moment of the match as he dived acrobatically to his left to push the attempt wide.

Another great chance was decided by the officials as Greenhorn thought he had equalised only to realise that he had been called offside by the linesman.

The game was becoming more stretched as the match wore on and this began to provide even more chances in this enthralling encounter. Pamplin broke clear of the away defence only to be denied by a great double save by the inspired Blake.

Play continued to flow from end to end with away forwards, Byrne and Gallacher linking well with some neat flicks and headers through keeping Lennon and Brady on their toes. Riley was also becoming a big influence on the match with several crucial interventions – particularly on the speedy Wilson.

Byrne had a great chance to level the game at two all after a great away move, but was finally pegged back after making a lung-bursting run from inside his own half.

The score was finally levelled after Dominic Greenhorn won the ball in midfield before driving past the defence and lashing past Brown.

With the scores level, the home side again began to force themselves on the match. They almost retook the lead straight from kick off, with only Riley coming to the rescue with a goal line clearance.

However, Lennon’s men were not to be denied and with only a short time remaining Cleary scored what would prove to be the decisive goal. A dangerous ball was played into the box which was only half cleared by the defence. Diamond leapt on the chance to slam the ball past Blake.

The goal sparked a desperate end to the game with chances at both ends, but the home side managed to cling on their lead and finish as winners of the second 2008 Celtic Football Aid match. Football Aid Ball

Full Time: Celtic Home 3 – 2 Celtic Away

Home Man of the Match: Declan Brady

Away Man of the Match: Tony Blake

Moment of the Match: Martin Brown

Home Team: Blake, Gobbo, McCready, Rowley, Abetini, L Greenhorn, Fusco, Gallacher, Robinson, Byrne Subs: D Greenhorn, Donnelly, Riley

Mascot: Clare Robinson

Away Team: Brown, Stewart Murray, Brady, Creighton, McInnes, Diamond, Cleary, Pamplin, Croarkin, Stuart Murray Subs: McGowan, Sked, O’Connor and Wilson

Mascot: Jamie Creighton

EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY AND DVD/FILMING DETAILS

There are a wide selection of fantastic action photos available from Matt Nuttall Photography for this match, please visit his www.mattnuttallphotography.co.uk website for full order details.

In addition there is a superb DVD available, it includes footage of the pre-match build up as well as full match action and can be ordered by contacting Shane Wilkinson on tel - 07976 509335, or by e-mail at - wilkie002@ntlworld.com

A percentage of all these sales will go towards Football Aid’s nominated charities.