“I was appalled to hear the BBC pundits disputing Celtic’s penalty,” David Potter

Not in truth one of Celtic’s better performances of the season, but certainly a game that kept us on our toes and which was enlivened at the end by two excellent goals from Oh and Hakšabanović after some rather unproductive forward play in the rest of the game. It was also a game that was full of incident, so much so that it was even worth watching BBC Scotland at 7.30 pm to see some of them all over again!

Leo Hatate centre leaves the pitch injured during the cinch Premiership match against Hibs at Celtic Park, on Saturday March 18, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

Celtic, this season, I have felt, are a superb team but there is always a bad performance waiting to happen. Let’s hope that this was the bad performance and that we have now got over it! The main fault was getting the ball into the penalty box, but not finding the man. Jota in particular was quite infuriating some times for he could beat anyone he wanted at any time, waltzing past then with ease, but then his cross or final ball was nowhere, being easily gobbled up by someone in that packed Hibs defence.

 Referee Steven McLean in action during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, on Saturday March 18, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

In this respect the sending off of the Hibs player Youan ( Mr McLean was a trifle harsh on both yellow card occasions, I felt, but then again Mr Youan was a fool to foul twice) did Celtic no favours because it killed what little chance there ever was of Hibs coming out to attack and therefore leave any gaps.

Celtic aren’t always at their best when trying to break down a packed defence, and what is really needed is the unusual, the outstanding. Fortunately, this happened twice, and was much appreciated by the large crowd, the goal from Oh in particular being greeted with great acclamation by the crowd, some of whom possibly hearing ghostly voices from their fathers and grandfathers to the effect that “That’s the way McGrory scored them”.

 Hyeongyu Oh scores our side second goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match against Hibs at Celtic Park, on Saturday March 18, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

And so to VAR and the penalties. Didn’t we just know that VAR was going to be allowed to steal the show once again? Hibs’ penalty was justified if you had plenty of time to look for it – and of course VAR has just that! – but Celtic’s penalty was more clear cut, and I was appalled to hear the BBC pundits Neil McCann and Richard Foster disputing Celtic’s penalty – but then again, maybe with these two I should have known just what to expect!

All in all, not one of Scottish refereeing’s better days, and in some of the other games, even more dreadful decisions were given. What about that penalty in the Dundee United v St Mirren game, for example?

Hyeongyu Oh left celebrates scoring our second goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match against Hibs at Celtic Park on Saturday March 18, 2023.Photo Steve Welsh

But in spite of all this, Celtic prevailed and maintained the nine point differential. It was a triumph of grit rather than flair, although the two pieces of flair that produced the goals were good ones. And it was good entertainment on a grim, rainy Parkhead day.

Did someone say that spring had arrived?

David Potter


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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.


  1. When did scottish sportsscene become rangers t.v on Saturday night as the 3 panellists were all ex rangers players who obviously are going to be biased , Neil McCann couldn’t tell a penalty from an obvious push by Hanlon on c.c.v

  2. Good to see BBC Sportscene maintaining their impartiality stance with an all ex-Rangers lineup of ‘pundits ‘ !
    Apart from their jaundiced view of Celtic’s penalty , they were dismissive of Starfelt’s injury when clattered by Hibs’ Yuoan . According to Foster he , Starfelt , stayed down until his he was sure his opponent was booked . You will , I am sure , never see any other player in Scottish football injured in the same way and react like that .

    Next time there is a disputed theRangers’ penalty I expect they will apply the same forensic scrutiny – or perhaps Sportscene may have an ex-Celtic lineup of pundits to give their views ! No, didn’t think so !