Hartson Hits A Hat-Trick

It’s 15 years to the day since Celtic demolished Livingston away from home. The match, on 13 April 2005, saw John Hartson bring an end to a mini-goal drought and served Celtic extremely well in the title race.

Celtic lined up with a very strong XI:

Marshall, Valgaeren, Balde (McGeady 88), Varga, McNamara, Petrov, Sutton (Henchoz 77), Lennon, Thompson, Bellamy, Hartson

The first half was very tight, only Craig Bellamy having any sort of opportunity when his incredible pace took him clear but the keeper stood up to his one on one opportunity. On 43 minutes, McNamara hoisted a ball into the box, which fell to Bellamy, who squared to his compatriot and Hartson crashed it home from close range.

Hartson’s second of the afternoon put the game beyond doubt. The Welshman thundered home a header from a great Alan Thompson cross. Hartson then tucked home an 86th minute penalty to complete his hat-trick and silence the doubters, before Stan Varga complete the rout in injury time.

Full time: Livingston 0-4 Celtic

Speaking to BBC Sport after the match, Martin O’Neill commented on Hartson’s performance. I’m pleased for him because he’s been trying to find the net and the rest of his game was suffering a bit,” the Celtic manager said. “I told him not to be too concerned but he sorted it out. His second goal was magnificent, but getting the first was vital. I thought the second one killed the game off.”

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About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.

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