Shades of May ’79 as 4-2 win gives Celtic that title winning feeling

I’m old enough to remember that very special Monday night in May 1979 when Celtic achieved the impossible, having come from a mid-table position in the Premier League to become Champions on our last game of the season against title favourites Rangers – who thought that they were on course for a Treble – when Ten Men Won The League.

It was a dramatic game, one that Celtic had to win if we were to be Champions and a draw suited the Ibrox side who incidentally had a huge away support inside Celtic Park on that lovely spring evening.

When Johnny Doyle got send off early in the second half we were already a goal down and many thought that was that. But guys like Roy Aitken and George McCluskey had other ideas. Unbelievably it was soon 2-1 to Celtic and in the Jungle, I can assure you, we were going absolutely mental. It was short lived as Rangers got a corner and Bobby Russell found the back of the net at the Rangers end and the celebrations moved to behind their goal as the Celtic Fans were momentarily silenced.


What happened next was special – Big Colin Jackson tried to head away the danger but succeeded only in giving Celtic a 3-2 lead and with Rangers pushing hard for another equaliser Murdo MacLeod put one in the postage stamp corner of Peter McCloy’s goal to give Celtic a 4-2 victory and the title – we were the Champions of Scotland yet again and few title wins have meant quite as much as that one for those of us who were there.

That 4-2 scoreline from a Celtic side chasing their main rivals with what seemed to be a slim chance of winning the title that would effectively be over with anything less that a win happened again yesterday in what was another remarkable game of football at Petershill Park, in Glasgow’s Northside.

That’s where Glasgow City play their home games and before yesterday they were unbeaten in the SWPL1. Celtic’s title challenge looked like ending over at Broadwood in Cumbernauld at the end of March when the Celtic FC Women side trailed theRangers 1-0 in the 99th minute of the match as Celtic keep Pam Tajonar rushed to take a goal-kick.

She found the Celtic captain Kelly Clark, who wasted no time in launching the ball towards theRangers goals from midway inside the Celtic half. Her central defensive partner Caitlin Hayes had gone up front and unbelievably found herself winning the race to blast the ball into the Rangers net. They were broken, with one of their coaches taking the frustration out on Fran Alonso with a cowardly assault from behind.

Celtic’s title chances lived to fight another day but they had to beat Glasgow City yesterday.

And that brings us back to the 4-2 game in 1979 because in just as dramatic a match that was the score when the final whistle went, despite Celtic missing TWO penalty kicks. What a Celtic performance it was and Fran Alonso’s side are now five points behind Glasgow City having played both theRangers and City away from home in the post-split home and away fixtures.

Natalie Ross gave Celtic the lead against Glasgow City – Photo The Celtic Star 

And on Wednesday night Celtic are away to Hearts – who didn’t play at the weekend – while theRangers travel to play City in a match that is vital to them if they want to secure a Champions League spot. Celtic rattled City’s cage yesterday, big time and theRangers will be looking to benefit from that and that – believe it or not – is the perfect outcome for Fran Alonso’s side.

Celts in dreamland – it’s 2-0 to Celtic and this time it’s the Gaol Machine Tash Flint who scores

Celtic have never won the SWPL1 title. This morning we dare to dream. Hopefully results go our way on Wednesday night and then we’ll be singing ‘You really must believe us, you really must believe us…’

Here’s what happened in the match yesterday…

Celtic’s Title Charge – Watch the goals from Hoops 4-2 win over Glasgow City

The race for the SWPL1 title is back ON after a fabulous Celtic performance at Petershill Park that ended Glasgow City’s unbeaten run and had the away support doing the Huddle at the full-time whistle.

Fran Alonso knew that nothing less that a victory this afternoon would to all intents and purposes end the Hoops hopes of winning the SWPL title for the first time ever. City started brightly but after weathering a difficult first five minutes Celtic gained the upper hand in the match and deservedly ran out 4-2 winners.

Celtic celebrations after yesterday’s 4-2 win over Glasgow City – Photo The Celtic Star

It was a day of missed penalties for Celtic. Kyogo missed one earlier in the day in the 4-1 win at Kilmarnock but Fran Alonso’s side managed to win two spot kicks today and missed them both. The usually reliable Chloe Craig stepped up for the first but her effort to the right hand corner was well saved by City’s Scotland goalkeeper Lee Gibson. Then the ‘goal machine’ Natasha Flint stepped forward for spot kick number two, looking to score to complete her hat-trick. She tried her luck at the left hand side but frustrating Lee Gibson guessed correctly to deny Celtic a second time.

Natasha Ross gave Celtic the lead on 16 minutes after outstanding work from Jacynta before Flint doubled Celtic’s lead on 32 minutes with a clever lob over Gibson. It was no more than Celtic deserved as a determined Celtic side went off at the interval 2-0 to the good.

Priscila Chinchilla, so often a thorn in this Celtic team’s side, was at it again on, being in the right place to tap home and bring the league leaders back into the match with their first piece of good play in the second half. Moments later Chinchilla, who was already on a yellow, tripped Menglu inside the box to concede the first spot kick of the afternoon. The Costa Rican international was given the benefit of the doubt by the referee who really should have looked to his pocket for a second yellow.

Caitlin Hayes scores Celtic’s third – Photo The Celtic Star

Up stepped Chloe Craig but the chance to restore Celtic’s two goal lead was squandered. However the disappointment was short lived as a perfectly flighted former from the classy, hard-working Jacynta found the forehead of Caitlin Hayes two yards from the City goal line and there was only one place the ball was going to end up. That made it 3-1 to Celtic on 55 minutes.

Then on 63 minutes Celtic tried a short corner with Jacynta in the thick of it again, causing panic in the rattled City defence. The ball broke to dash Flint and with quick feet she found just enough space to blast the ball into the roof of the City net giving Gibson no chance. Fran Alonso’s side were in dreamland with a 4-1 lead.

City pulled one back through Lauder on 68 minutes in rather fortuitous circumstances, but they all count. At 4-2 there was always a chance that disaster could strike but in reality a combination of the cover use of the substitutions remaining and the confidence within the players meant that Celtic ran out convincing winners.

New signing Kit Loferski was one of the subs coming on and the American forward has incredible pace, and that’s what won Celtic our second penalty of the match and the third of the day. And just like Kyogo, then Chloe Craig, Tash Flint also failed to find the back of the net but it didn’t really matter.


You really must believe us, you really must believe us…

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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