Celtic v Raith Rovers Review
Tuesday night saw the 3rd round of the Scottish League Cup take place, for livesport.co.uk sponsored Raith Rovers, this meant a tie against the SPL Champions, Glasgow Celtic.
The hype leading up to the game was immense, Raith fans had sold out their 2500 ticket allocation and on a damp night faced the journey to Parkhead to watch their team hopefully put on a performance to remember.
Raith fans flocked into Celtic Park for the 7:45pm kick off and filled their allocated seats no problem at all. Less can be said for the hoops’ fans, they struggled to fill their stadium, only managing just over 12,000 fans.
Straight from kick off, the Raith fans were making themselves heard, as were the Green Brigade, the Celtic die-hards. Celtic began, as expected, on the front foot carving out chances and carving open the Raith defence. Newly signed Simon Mensing looked up for the challenge of marking the Celtic Number 88 Gary Hooper. However, Raith were torn apart in the 12th minute and allowed Hooper to pounce and it was 1-0 Celtic.
After being pegged back, Raith started to pass the ball well, neat, intricate passes were stretching the Celtic midfield and in the 28th minute after a nice interchange between Allan Walker and Brian Graham, Walker decided to shoot from 20 yards, the ball took a huge deflection and looped over the stranded Zaluska to nestle in the net after coming off the inside of the post. Delirium for the Raith fans, a real moment to remember as the captain celebrated the equaliser.
Rovers were pressing on and looking to take the lead and after a goal-line scramble saw a chance go begging. Minutes later, James Forrest tore past the Raith full back to deliver a wicked ball into the box which Hooper delightfully sidefooted home to make it 2-1 Celtic at the break.
Whatever Neil Lennon said to his team at half time worked, they came out a much improved side, sharp passing and movement led to Hooper losing his man and whilst running away from goal, he shot across the helpless David McGurn to extend their lead in the 58th minute.
Hopes of a remarkable comeback were dashed when 2 minutes later, a good save by McGurn rebounded into the six yard box and Hooper was the man with the best reactions, prodding him to make it 4-1.
From this point onwards the game calmed down a little, the Raith players realised all hope was gone and attempted to see the game out in possession of the ball. The Celtic fans were brought to their feet once again as a curling effort from young Forrest cannoned off the upright.
As the full time whistle sounded the Raith fans were still singing and making the most of their time in Celtic Park. The Green Brigade could finally rest after a great display saw them push their team to victory.
A performance to be proud of and a night to remember for fans of Raith, but the dancing was definitely not taking place on their streets tonight.
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