SANDMAN’S DEFINITIVE RATINGS: CELTIC @ DELIVERANCE
“They’re all lumberjacks and they’re not okay,
They’ll batter you about and kick you all day…”
Ross County club song.
THE WALL – 6/10
They set the traps for him. They gazed on in awed silence from the home end when he took up position in the goalmouth. Was this really the son of Hercules the Bear? No chance with the goal, good handling when few anxious moments required. By the final whistle he’d so little to do that carvings had been made in the stadium wooden totems and word had spread locally to the extent they’re unveiling new paintings in the caves tonight. Of ‘Man Grizzly’.
PINGPONG – 7/10
‘You sure are lookin’ purty in them paynts…’ cried the locals as they caught sight of our exotic wunderkind. Our most involved player first-half. Which was wrong. You don’t ask a kid to carry the can in redneck country. Took a booking for being caught wrong side and they scored form the free-kick. Yet you get boundless commitment form young Pingpong and he was at them in spite of things not running his way. Once he got the requisite support with Corpus sitting closer, and we switched play more, there was less drama.
AJER – 7.5/10
His kind of contest – a battle with brawny, sinewy Heelan’ men. A test any viking would relish. Ironside bossed it, was sharp to counter his teammates lapses. A good solid showing.
JULLIEN CLARY – 6.5/10
The lack of sophistication in his surroundings meant he played the game with an expression of Gallic disgust, as if the place smelled like Mordor. Slack with a few passes, lackadaisical at times controlling the line. A clash of heads had him enraged and only the final whistle drew any faint smile, replaced with a contemptuous, ‘PAH!’ as he strode off.
GREGGS – 6.5/10
Their best product to date, bringing fast food to the backwoods, and fast he is – well impressed by his supporting runs and eagerness to get on the end of Pingpong breaks down the right.Nothing fell for him but he continued to play his given role like one of those top sausage rolls – meaty enough with a delicate touch to the pastry that raises it a class above the everyday.
David Potter reckons he’s the best left back at the club, quite a claim, read all about it here.
BROON – 7.5/10
Combat is it? On the first day of advent? A time of peace and love. A time of blood and snotters for the skipper as he repelled and bludgeoned the raw cluggers set up to intimidate our playmakers. Thudded with an elbow which may have ben a pen, the frustration only spurs him on and he dominated the spaces in the game where they could capitalise by winning everything and tidying up the scraps.
CALMAC – 6.5/10
Going about his tidy business with plenty in reserve. Stepped up the pace a little second-half until we tied it up – cracked the post with a rare effort then actually got a rest for the last quarter-hour; his Christmas bonus.
CORPUS CHRISTIE – 8/10 MOTM
When in Teuchterland send in a Teuchter to do the Teuchters. For even more effect, send in an Inverness bhoy on a Mingwall mission. The sight of an arch enemy of these warring teuchter tribes had some of the locals scrunching their cardboard latte cups in mild fits of pique. The atmosphere turned ugly. So Corpus threw them an olive-branch penalty kick in the spirit of Christmas. Then smacked in the rebound in the spirit of mischeviousness. But it is the Season of the Saviour and Corpus is ours. Beautiful timed run to drift through and plant the second with consummate aplomb. Once again he was the catalyst of victory. Well done, Ronny Deila.
ROGIC – 6/10
Just as things were kind of languid and flicks and touches not quite refined, up pops Oz to stroke in the third like a bush-backpacker serial killer. You can’t quell class for too long and he continues to ramp up his match-fitness and match-effectiveness.
FORREST – 5.5/10
Pretty disappointed he went so far north and didn’t see Santa, Jamesy was in a sulk for 90 minutes before some weaving magic and a near-thing in injury time.Thankfully, his match-winning influence wasn’t relied upon this lunchtime.
MORGAN FREEMAN JR. – 6.5/10
A tougher shift than his dad experienced in Shawshank. Looked lost amid the defensive legion. Then his class flickered into life at a crucial time – surrounded deep amid the dark blue trees with his arse on the line, the take, turn, run and cut sealed the day as Oz got on the end of it.
MIKEY J – 8/10
He was a perfect replacement to enthuse the locals who just got into the New Romantic scene. Scored in the 73rd minute Thursday, scored a peach with his first involvement today. Also took a booking from small Bear whistling nyaff with no concept of momentum of how close the crowd is to the pitch in Mingwall – I mean, the pie stall is practically in the flaming goalmouth. Thereafter, Mikey tortured them and deserved another.
Had a major chance soon after arrival but it required morphing into the great Larsson a la Mordor 2001.
BITTON – N/A
A stretch for the big guy’s legs for the last ten.
LENNONY – 7/10
A gamble, with trust in his picks. Jamesy out left again was a fail – exposed Pingpong to their double-team, meaning forward bursts were corralled with space left behind him for counters. Sorted it second-half and we were far more balanced to see them off. No recurrence of his historical Highland woes; he’ll be happy to have this done with goals to spare.
OVERALL – 7.5/10
As Ross County ran out to Duelling Banjos, memories of Highland struggles returned. Would their duo management team of Phineas and Ferb pose problems for Lennony with a cunning plan? Might have seemed like that for a brief shaky spell after their soft equaliser but eventually the Hoops quality came to the fore and we avoided getting involved in a costly scrap. It was no less than we deserved, with some goals to spare, and also no less than expected. But after the Livingston anomaly in the Matrix it’s going to be tenterhooks for away games until the NINE is in the bag. So we opened the first advent calendar window to a Celtic win. Well, mine simply said, a sweary word and a reference to the Rangers and dispensed a chocolate shamrock. But it’s the thought that counts.
Go Away Now.