Livingston Reserves 2 Celtic 2 – When can we waken up out of this nightmare?

Celtic have the look of death about them these days, do they not? After playing themselves into a winning position, they proceeded to throw it all away again, and really were very lucky not to lose at the end. Scott Brown, after so many years of being a Celtic hero, let himself down very badly when he didn’t really need to, and it did look to me like a penalty by Patryk Klimala. And all that after conceding a preventable goal to allow Livingston back in.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

To an extent, you can blame the snow, but only to an extent. I was half expecting the game to be abandoned – it wouldn’t have been the greatest surprise in the world if it had been – but the pitch was never totally dangerous, I did expect Willie Collum to call for a different coloured ball because I was finding it difficult to pick up on my telly, but no, you can’t really blame the conditions. Good players can play in any conditions.

Celtic really have to get out of this habit of conceding free kicks and then failing to deal with them. That first goal for example had stupidity written all over it – a soft free kick which immediately gave Livi an advantage when they were miles away from the goal then a free header, and static goalkeeping.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And then we fought back with Elyounoussi’s goal which was a great example of how to score. First time! Late in the game, Klimala had a similar opportunity but decided to “take a touch” and immediately lost the initiative! Bitton was, I suppose marginally offside when he got the ball for the second goal, but he certainly took his goal well.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

For a long time Celtic were well on top, but that was the time when we needed to score again. One of the commentators said that they were passing the ball about nicely – but lacked penetration. That more or less summed it up for me. Some of the movement was impressive, and it was all played with speed and flair. But we needed to score again when we were on top. The goal never came.

Some of our players have shaded badly. Christie no longer dominates the way that he once did, Turnbull and Soro had a good December but were off the boil tonight. Greg Taylor did quite well, but we really have to give Scott Bain another chance in the goal.

And Stephen Welsh is worth another go in the centre of the defence, It is really awful to see the way that the team are playing these days. We are mediocre, and lack “game management skills”. At the very end, we won a throw in on the far side of the field. We were well into added on time, and the situation was crying out for a long throw into the box. What did we do? We plastered around with the ball and eventually lost it!

Photo: Andrew Milligan

A major effort is now required if we are going to win the Scottish Cup again. It is maybe just as well that we won’t be playing in that competition for some time. No-one knows when, and it is maybe as well that we have time to sort things out.. As for the Scottish League games which I am tempted to call “friendlies”, we still have pride. Playing for Celtic is still an honour and privilege. We cannot give up. There is still the green and white jersey to be proud of, and oh, how I hated seeing that rubbishy black strip tonight.

Never mind, it is soon going to be daylight, and I can waken up out of this nightmare!

David Potter

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 Comment

  1. Why is the penalty Celtic should have had early on being completely ignored. I haven’t seen one comment on it yet. A corner came across, Elyanoussi, Duffy and McCrorie all went up for the ball. Elyanoussi headed over but without contacting the ball McCrorie came all the way through and crashed into Duffy, injuring him in the face! Not a word said by anyone. Mystifying!