“To score in the final seconds, you’ve got to take it. You take a point over nothing,” Caitlin Hayes

Catlin Hayes scored a dramatic 99th minute equaliser for Celtic FC Women last night as the Hoops grabbed a dramatic share of the spoils in a Glasgow Derby somewhat overshadowed by post-match violence involving a member of theRangers coaching staff.

It was Hayes third Glasgow Derby strike of the season having scored a brace in a 3-0 win for Fran Alonso’s side in February and proves the Celtic defender is very much developing into something of a ‘skelper extraordinaire.

Hayes goal came with the last kick of the ball after theRangers ‘keeper Jenna Fife left her goal but failed to clear her lines and instead deflected the ball behind her via her own player, whereby Hayes’ determination and hunger exceeded that of the remaining defenders to reach the ball first and force the it into the net, setting off extraordinary post-match scenes at Broadwood Stadium.

Hayes was naturally delighted with the goal, and whilst accepting Celtic were not up to their usual high standards in a first half where they simply couldn’t get into a rhythm, the goalscorer, speaking to Celtic TV after the eventful match, pinpointed the ‘belief’ and ‘mentality’ within Fran Alonso’s squad as the reason they kept going right to the wire.

“I think in the first half we weren’t good enough, and we will all take accountability for that, we hold our hands up. We came out in the second half, and after a few changes it was a performance that we can proud of. There was no lack of belief until the final second as you seen.

“We use the word belief a lot. It’s alright to use it, but you have got to believe in it wholeheartedly. When the going gets tough, the tough get going and I like to think that we have that mentality, whether that be in training or games. Just every day, having that mentality and then when you get to moments like tonight, you show up and that is the most important thing.”

Hayes’ goal keeps Celtic’s title hopes afloat, but they face a big task in overcoming an eight-point advantage held by SWPL1 league leaders Glasgow City. But after what Hayes describes as a ‘wasted’ 45 minutes the defender, who moved to a makeshift striker’s role late in the game, was more than happy to gain a point when the alternative prospect was leaving Broadwood empty handed.

“I don’t care who it is that scores, just as long as someone scores in the green and white strip. I am thankful that I can offer that to the team tonight, but at the end of the day, as long as the points are on the board then I don’t mind.”

“It helps build momentum. When you cross that white line, you want to leave with three points. But under those circumstances I think it’s important to look and reflect. We wasted 45 minutes, and didn’t do enough. So to score in the final seconds, you’ve got to take it. You take a point over nothing. It’s not three, but it’s one and we’ll take it.”

Hayes late, late show certainly felt like a winning goal last night and the feeling from that is something that will surely spur she and her Celtic teammates on for the remaining nine games of the post-split season. Eight points of course seems a big obstacle to overcome and it is certainly the case the outcome of the destination of the title now remains out of Celtic’s hands, for the time being at least.

However Celtic have still to play Glasgow City twice and with the top six teams in Scotland all facing each other over the remainder of the season there remains optimism that City too will also drop points between now and the end of the season. And with the Ibrox club chasing one of the two Champions League spots they will be competitive in their upcoming match against Glasgow City.

As and when they do Celtic will need to take advantage. And when you have someone with the will to win Caitlin Hayes evidenced in last night’s Glasgow Derby in the Celtic changing room, you just know nothing will be given up as lost until the final whistle sounds on the last day of the SWPL1 campaign.

Strap in folks, it’s going to be some ride!

Niall J

About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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