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Celtic Game 1 2019

It was a fine bright Thursday morning in Glasgow as Football Aid arrived at Celtic Park for the first of its double header day of Celtic games. The first of those lived up to its billing, finishing 5-2 to the Away side after an impressive comeback by the team in White. The Home team started strongly and took an early lead, before the Away side coached by Danny McGrain and with the influence of Joe Miller, turned the game on its head in the second period to come out 5-2 victors.  

Date: Thursday 9th May 2019
Venue: Celtic Park
Celtic (Home) vs Celtic (Away)
Game 1
Kick Off: 10:30 am
Legends: Joe Miller & Danny McGrain
Match Officials: Jemma Creamer, Karen Gilmartin & Anna McLaughlin

It was an early morning start for the two Football Aid teams, but that didn’t dampen their enthusiasm as they took to the hallowed turf. Donning the famous green and white hoops the Home side challenged an Away side sporting plain white shirts and green shorts.  

It was the Away side who started the quickest with a free kick being headed wide by Patrick McGarvey. The Whites continued to apply early pressure and No 9 Jonathan O'Halloran fired just wide after a delightful through ball from his fullback Simon Etheridge.

However, against the run of play, it was the Home side who took the lead. An indirect free kick led to a shooting opportunity and the effort from James Brennan was too powerful for the goalkeeper Thomas Sloan to keep out. The 1st goal of the game coming with just 15 mins on the clock. (1-0)

The Home team enjoyed a quick momentum swing, with the Hoops hitting the side netting on a counterattack after the Away side looked for a quick reply. McGarvey was again causing danger up front as he saw an effort cannon off the crossbar. The rebound was deflected wide before the resulting corner kick came to nothing.

The sides were very evenly matched, and the following period of play was very even, however with 37 mins on the clock, the Home team extended their lead after a piece of magic from their No 7. The ball was whipped in from the right and Greg Brennan produced a fantastic deft backheel flick across goal and into the net to double the Hoops’ advantage. (2-0)

The Away side were still very much in the tie though and less than 2 mins later they were able to reduce the deficit when their No 10 Stephen Queen slotted the ball home. (2-1)

The comeback was complete on the stroke of half time when Patrick McGarvey put his name on the Celtic Park scoreboard. The No 11 producing an exquisite long range chip which caught the Home goalkeeper off guard. (2-2)

As half time arrived, the two sides could not be separated, setting up for an intense affair for the 2nd period.

Half-Time: Celtic (Home) 2 - 2 Celtic (Away)

After the all-important half-time team-talks, it was the Away side again who came out of the blocks the faster of the two sides, with an early free kick being sent over just over the bar. The Whites maintained their pressure and they took the lead for the 1st time in the 54th min. Centre Forward, Jonathan O’Halloran reacting quickly to fire home a low, hard driven effort. (2-3)

Less than 2mins later the Away side extended their lead, with Patrick McGarvey notching his 2nd goal of the game. The Home team were caught out, trying to play out from the back and the Away striker nipped in to steal the ball, before keeping his composure to finish in style, before wheeling away in celebration. (2-4)

The floodgates were well and truly open now and the tiring Home team were under pressure from the resurgent Whites and on 69 mins, the ‘visitors’ had a 5th. Half Time substitute Callan Ashcroft was left unmarked and with the help of a deflection the No 17 saw his effort divert past a stranded goalkeeper. (2-5)

It was bordering on one way traffic now and the Away side looked to have netted again soon after, however a volleyed chance could only find the side netting after a scramble in the box.

The Home team did have the ball in the back of the net soon after only for No 8 Kevin Donaghy to see his effort ruled out for offside. A one-on-one breakaway caught out the opposition defence but also caught the unwanted attention of the linesman.

There was just time for a final chance for the Away team, however a great save from Matthew McGrath denied a powerful effort and the deficit remained at three.

A hard fought battle in Glasgow came to an end on the sound of the referee’s whistle, with the Away side netting a 5-2 victory. It was a superb 2nd half display from the ‘visitors’, however the Home team had pushed them all the way and both teams received a rousing reception as they left the field from their adoring fans.

Full-Time: Celtic (Home) 2 - 5 Celtic (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Graeme French
Man of the Match Away: Sean Brennan
Moment of the Match: Greg Brennan

Home Team: Matthew McGrath, Paul Kopec, Joe Miller (1st half), Graeme French, Paul Stevenson, Norrie Duncan, Greg Brennan, Kevin Donaghy, James Brennan, Joseph Pillai, Tony Cahill, Umair Iqbal, Gregor Goodwin, Vincent McKenna, Garry Sloan
Home Manager: Danny McGrain

Away Team: Thomas Sloan, Simon Etheridge, Joe Miller (2nd half), Sean Brennan, Andrew Clayton, Dean Cairns, Gordon Buckley (C), John Mackay, Jonathan O'Halloran, Stephen Queen, Patrick Mcgarvey, Connor Devlin, Paul Kennedy, Roberto Cifuentes, Callan Ashcroft
Away Manager: Danny McGrain
Away Mascot: Shea Sloan

Match Report written by Ben Waite

Official photographs are available to order from Matt Nuttall’s website here >> www.footballaidphotos.com. You can also contact Matt on Tel: 07793 818021 or Email: info@mattnuttallphotography.co.uk

If you'd like to order a DVD of the match please contact – Chillpics' Shane Wilkinson, Freelance Cameraman & Photographer on Tel: 07306 789002 or E-mail: swchillpics@gmail.com 

“Just wanted to say thank you for yesterday. Managed to get a goal (to maintain my 100% record :) and set one up for my brother on his debut. It was a great day so extend our thanks to all involved. With best wishes”.  
James Brennan

“Still on a high from yesterday! @FootballAid and @CelticFC That's actually me (picture), standing next to Danny McGrain, standing in the middle of Paradise as part of a Celtic squad that included Joe Miller! It doesn't get any better. This is indeed how it feels to be Celtic !#CelticFC”.
Matthew McGrath

“Please take my greatest praise for the day I had on Thursday (9th May) ay Celtic park. All your staff on hand during the day were exceptional and I could not fault a single thing! I’d say the day ranked up there along with the birth of my children and wedding day as one of the best days of my life!! All my family and friends that attended pass on their thanks also as your staff who made their experience lovely also. If my legs and body are still capable I will definitely be there again next year if I can secure a spot. Thanks again”.
Gordon Buckley

“Great experience officiating at Celtic Park for @FootballAid! ⚽”
Anna McLaughlin

Celtic 2019 G1 Presentations