Monday, March 24, 2008

Celtic Beat Hapless Gretna

Scottish Premier League
Sunday, March 23, 2008

Almondvale Stadium, Livingston



(McDonald 42, Vennegoor of Hesselink 70, Samaras 88)

GRETNA (4-4-2) Fleming; Naughton, Hall, Meynell, Skelton; McGill (Griffiths 82), Osman, Murray, Baldacchino; Wilkinson (Makinwa 73), Deverdics (Barr 66).
Subs: Krysiak, Hogg, Shultz-Eklund, Taylor.

CELTIC (4-4-2) Boruc; Hinkel, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor; Nakamura, Brown (Hartley 73), Robson (Sno 81), Nakamura; McDonald (Samaras 63), Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Subs: Brown, Riordan, O’Dea, Killen.

Celtic FC returned to winning ways on Easter Sunday, with strikes from Scott McDonald, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Georgios Samaras earning a 3-0 win over Gretna.

With the players fighting to keep up the pace in the SPL title race and next week’s meeting with leaders Rangers looming large on the horizon, nothing less than a win would do against the league’s bottom club.

And after McDonald settled the nerves just before half time, Vennegoor of Hesselink and Samaras wrapped up the points with their late finishes.

Almondvale Stadium provided the venue for this afternoon’s game, with Gretna embarking on a nomadic existence as they attempt to keep their heads above water.

With their recent financial crisis in mind, the ‘home’ side’s priority today was perhaps not the game in hand, but rather the number of supporters they could draw to West Lothian as they desperately scrape for funding.

As it transpired, Livingston’s ground was not even half full and was largely made up of Celtic supporters. Whether this disappointing turn out of 3151 will be enough to avert extinction remains to be seen, but having lost momentum in recent weeks in their no-score draw with Dundee United and defeat to Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup, Celtic could afford no room for sentiment.

The Bhoys needed this win going into the possibly season deciding tie versus Rangers this coming weekend. And as a side not, even in their loss, I hope Gretna finds the funds to continue.

'Mon The Hoops!


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