It was a pleasant and sunny day on Sunday 14th May, which saw Celtic Park hosting Football Aid games for the 17th straight year, and the action on the pitch didn’t disappoint again, with the Hoops players serving up an enthralling game for the watching fans in the stand. In the end the Away team won a close game 4-5, and it was undoubtedly a hard fought victory.
Date: Sunday 14th May 2017
Venue: Celtic Park
Celtic (Home) vs Celtic (Away)
Kick Off: 10:30 am
Legends & Managers: Danny McGrain & Joe Miller
Match Officials: Ross Hardie, Chris Rae, Kenneth Allen & Brian Christie
The 1st half began with both teams looking to get an early goal, though the first real chance of the match fell to Gordon Scally, whose finessed effort from outside the box looped agonizingly over the bar after a quick thinking pass from Scott McQueen.
The mounting pressure on the Home side was kept at bay by goalkeeper Steven Faulds, who reacted confidently to clear a dangerous corner and came to the rescue again after a rebounded shot almost fell directly to Gordon Scally.
The Home side then nearly scored on a quick counter attack after a pinpoint through ball from Darren McGhee saw his side 2-on-1, however Paul McManus’ pass to his teammate was read well by goalkeeper Adam Joyce.
A golden chance then fell to Home No 9 Paul Mcmanus, who found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but the striker saw his effort clip the outside of the post.
The Away side did have the ball in the net soon after, when legend Joe Miller’s chipped through ball found Declan McCuish, who proceeded to dink the ball over the goalkeeper. However, the goal was judged to be offside and didn’t count.
Another chance for the Away side, and another brilliant stop from Home keeper Steven Faulds, who made himself big when he found himself one-on-one with Scott McQueen, who he denied a certain goal. Almost straight after Faulds showed his prowess again to tip another looping shot from outside the box by David Harrison, over the bar.
The deadlock was finally broken by the Away skipper Craig McClymont, who did well to beat the offside trap and latch onto an inch-perfect pass from Gordon Scally, before slotting coolly home under the advancing keeper on the 26th min (0-1).
Shortly after, the Home side found themselves back on level terms, after a perfectly judged cross from Mike Burke was met by captain Stephen McKenna at the back post, who expertly headed the ball home. With just 28mins gone both captains were now on the scoresheet (1-1).
The goals were flowing now at both ends and the Away side restored their lead on 30mins after Anton Gallagher found Scott McQueen in the box, the No 67 controlled the ball well and clinically dispatched it into the bottom corner (1-2).
The Home side came roaring right back though and almost found their way back into the game straight after when Stephen McKenna’s curling, goal-bound effort was just reached by Adam Joyce who brilliantly tipped it over the bar.
Half time arrived soon afterwards and after producing some excellent attacking play both teams could count themselves a little unlucky not to have scored more goals after the amount of chances they had both created. The Away team’s lead was a narrow one and it was still all to play for in the 2nd half.
Half Time: Celtic (Home) 1 - 2 - Celtic (Away)
The 2nd half began, and the Home team looked to equalize as quickly as possible, showcasing their attacking intent from the start. However it was the Away side that had the first clear cut chance of the half, when substitute Christopher Malone whipped in a dangerous cross which was met on the half volley by Craig McClymont, however the No 9 was cruelly denied by the post.
The Home team were to get themselves back on level terms on 57 mins though. A blistering run from Paul McManus, which started just past the halfway line, allowed the striker to race clear on goal and the No 9 showed his striking instincts to poke the ball through the legs of the opposing goalie (2-2).
However, the equalizing goal was short lived, as Michael Mooney put through Craig McClymont who slotted the ball into the top corner on 59 mins, the Away No 9 scoring his 2nd goal of the game (2-3).
After a great bit of passing play from the Away side, Craig McClymont almost bagged a hat trick, but he was in an offside position, and his well taken goal was chalked off.
The Away side then squandered a chance to go two goals ahead when substitute Paul McGunnigle fired over the bar when well placed. Goalie Steven Faulds then pulled off yet another good save, after a low, drilled, shot by Declan McCuish looked to be heading in.
However the Away side weren’t to be denied for long and they got their 2 goal cushion on 70 mins. The goal came about after a well weighted ball over the top from James Barnsdall was controlled by Craig McClymont and the impressive striker rounded the keeper and guided the ball into an empty net to complete an excellent hat trick. (2-4).
As soon as this two goal cushion arrived, it disappeared! Home No 7 Thomas Kane whipped the ball across goal and with the net gaping Paul McManus made no mistake in taking his 2nd of the game in the 71st min and putting his side just one goal behind again (3-4).
However the Home side’s joy was to be short lived and a slick bit of footwork from Away No 11 Gordon Scally allowed him to find space in the box to fire the ball home past the keeper in the 77th min and restore his side’s two goal lead (3-5).
Shortly after his goal, Gordon Scally almost got his 2nd of the game after a great run down the line by Craig McClymont who squared the ball to Scally, however the striker fired over the bar.
Roared on by their enthusiastic fans The Hoops weren’t giving up though and a superb pass from Paul McManus with the outside of his boot almost led to a 4th goal for the Home side, however Stephen McKenna’s strike rattled off the bar and rebounded out of harm's way.
However, the Home side did get their 4th goal in the 89th min, after another lung-busting run from Paul McManus, who put the ball on a plate for Antony Shields to smash the ball into the vacant goal (4-5).
The goal was to be the final major action of the game though and the referee blew the whistle for full time seconds later. The match was a 9 goal thriller with plenty of chances for both teams, but ultimately the Celtic Away team just edged the game as victors, winning 4-5. However both teams put on a fantastic show for their fans in the stands and the Celtic Home team battled valiantly throughout the game.
Huge thanks again to all our players, club Legends Danny McGrain and Joe Miller and especially to Celtic FC and the Celtic FC Foundation, who were hosting their 17th straight year of Football Aid games.
Full Time: Celtic (Home) 4 - 5 Celtic (Away)
Man of the Match Home: No.9 Paul McManus
Man of the Match Away: No.9 Craig Mcclymont
Moment of the Match: No.23 Adam Joyce
Home Team: Steven Faulds, Darren McGhee, Christopher Hanlon, Martin McCaffrey, John Rowley, Thomas Kane, Stephen McKenna (C), Paul Mcmanus,
Mike Burke, Antony Shields, Ryan Benson, David Brown, Ian Carr, Barry McGrath
Home Manager: Danny McGrain
Home Mascot: Kerr McGrath, Daniel McKenna
Away Team: Adam Joyce, David Harrison, Joe Miller, James Doherty, Anton Gallagher, Christopher McPartlin, Declan Mccuish, Scott McQueen, Craig Mcclymont (C), James Barnsdall, Gordon Scally, Michael Mooney, Kev Wright, Christopher Malone, Sean McGunnigle
Away Mascot: Ethan Harrison, Teague Gallagher
The photographs used in this report were taken on staff mobile phones. A wider selection of fantastic Official Photographs are available from Matt Nuttall Photography. To order just visit www.footballaidphotos.com or contact Matt on T: 07793 818021 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you'd like to order a DVD of your game please contact – Chillpics' Shane Wilkinson, Freelance Cameraman & Photographer on E-mail: email@example.com
AFTER MATCH FEEDBACK
"Great to see you again on Sunday. Another great day sadly a loss but taking part on such a wonderful pitch makes up for it. Good luck in Portugal and hope to see you again."
Michael Burke - G1 Home Team No.10
Match Report written by Joshua Brimble.