By Dermot Clarke
The one-of-those-days scenario crossed the mind of the Celtic supporter early on in this comedy of errors when Henrik Larsson missed with a gaping goal beckoning. Celtic would not have been flattered by a three-goal lead at the interval, yet they managed, somehow, to go in a goal behind, when Mark Perry’s speculative volley from 25 yards dipped wickedly into the top right-hand corner.
The Celtic faithful had every right to remain optimistic at the resumption, though, such was their domination in the first half. And the confidence seemed en route for justification when Regi Blinker’s effort was handled, but Simon Donnelly’s resultant spot kick struck the post, with the veteran Jim Leighton well beaten. Six minutes later, Blinker went back to help out in defense, but only succeeded in doubling the opposition’s advantage when he headed past Jonathon Gould from a long Gary Smith free kick. Three minutes later and you would have thought Celtic were dead and buried when a telling pass from Eoin Jess found Craig Hignett, who skipped past Gould before rifling home Aberdeen’s third.
Larsson gave Celtic some hope when he headed home on 69 minutes and when a second penalty was awarded, you could sense a comeback was on the cards. But Burley’s poor effort from the spot was saved by Leighton.
Darren Jackson left his side with 10 men when he was sent to the showers for a second bookable offense, but the overly fair Aberdeen evened things up when David Rowson followed Jackson down the tunnel for an overzealous challenge on Jackie McNamara. The referee seemed determined to see Celtic score a penalty and they duly obliged when Larsson slotted home the third awarded, but with four minutes gone in injury time, it was a case of too little, too late and Celtic went under by 3-2.
€ Last week’s Boomer’s Sports Bar ad had it as the home of the Manhattan Celtic Supporters Club. Rocky Sullivan’s is, in fact, the Manhattan Supporters Clubhouse, whereas Boomers house the New York Supporters Club. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
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