Kilmarnock 0-1 Celtic

Last updated : 30 January 2005 By Kevin Smith
A Chris Sutton penalty in the first half was enough to give Celtic the three points at Rugby Park today, securing our place once again at the top of the SPL table. It was a good win for The Champions, even if it was only by a single goal.

It was a bitterly cold day in Ayrshire, and there were very noticeable gaps in the Celtic end. Obviously, too many fans are getting wise to Kilmarnock's ridiculous £22 admission fee, but it would be interesting to see if the ones who weren't there today would be present if it were to be another potential title winning day.

Celtic lined up with Rab Douglas in goals, a defence of Balde, Varga, McNamara and Laursen. The midfield was made up of Alan Thompson, Neil Lennon, Aiden McGeady and Stan Petrov. John Hartson partnered Chris Sutton up front.

The talk in the stands before the game was would this be Bobo Balde's last game for the club? With Middlesbrough reported to be interested in taking the big man down south tomorrow, today could have been Bobo's last performance in a Celtic shirt.

Celtic were intent in getting an early goal, Stan Petrov came close with a shot in the opening few minutes. Bobo Balde came close minutes later when his shot clipped the crossbar and went over.

Chris Sutton has not been playing his best but has certainly been getting the goals for Celtic recently. He had two chances to open the scoring, one with a header from an Alan Thompson corner, the next a shot which unfortunatley failed to trouble the Killie goalkeeper.

Kilmarnock had the ball in the Celtic net but the goal was disallowed as the ball had went out of play prior to Stephen Naismith's finish.

Kilmarnock's chopped off goal seemed to encourage Celtic to get more into the game and Chris Sutton came close from a corner once again, before he got the game's opening goal. Danny Invincible's handball in the Killie box saw Celtic awarded a penalty, which Sutton cooly slotted home.

At half time, two Killie pies were the order of the day to warm the old hands up.

The second half of the game was a case of Killie trying for the equaliser and Celtic holding off. We played well enough to avoid losing a goal but could have and should have got a couple more ourselves.

John Hartson had a goal disallowed for a push which most other referees would have ignored. It is a man's game and if referees continue to cancel out goals for players being physical then we should all forget about enjoying football in the future. Hartson missed a sitter in the dying minutes of the game, which summed up a frustrating afternoon for the big man.

So today was another 1-0 win, I'm starting to get used to these one goal victories. Hopefully, after the chaotic transfer window closes tomorrow night we'll be able to settle ourselves down and start banging in a few more goals.
And hopefully we'll have another player or two to help us out.

Celtic: Douglas, Balde, Varga, Laursen, McNamara, Lennon, Thompson, Petrov, McGeady (Camara), Sutton, Hartson

Come On The Hoops Man Of The Match: Bobo Balde

Come On The Hoops Moment To Remember: The drive home, knowing that we are still top of the league.

Come On The Hoops Moment To Forget: The empty seats in the Celtic end.