TWO of Celtic’s 2019 League Cup-winning heroes suffered English Cup anguish last night.

Scott Brown, who captained the Hoops to their 1-0 success over Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side in a memorable Hampden encounter, saw his Fleetwood Town crash 1-0 to Burnley at Turf Moor.

Fraser Forster, who was the Parkhead side’s Man of the Match with an unbeatable display that included a penalty-kick save from Alfredo Morelos in December 2019, was helpless as Spurs headed for the exit with a 1-0 loss to Sheffield United.

Brown, who won 22 honours at Celtic before quitting in the summer of 2021 for an ill-fated stint at Aberdeen, led his League One outfit to the fifth round of the competition.

SMILES BETTER…Celtic captain Scott Brown with the 2019 League Cup.

MAN OF THE MATCH…Fraser Forster is a Hampden prize guy.

But the rookie boss’ hopes of a place in the quarter-final were shot down when Connor Roberts grabbed the only goal of the contest in the last minute when he stabbed home from close range.

Brown had seen teenager Cian Hayes red-carded in first-half stoppage-time to leave the visitors with an uphill struggle.

With extra-time looming, the team’s resistance was eventually broken to bring an end to Fleetwood’s best-ever run in the FA Cup.

Brown, in a report in the Daily Record, said: “I couldn’t be more proud of my players.

“I know they scored late on, but we managed to frustrate them as much as we can. Our plan was to try and catch them on the counter with our pace. “At the time, no complaints [with the ordering-off]. He’s a bit naive but he’ll learn from that.”

NO COMPLAINTS…Scott Brown accepted the last-gasp exit at Burnley.

At Bramall Lane, there was anguish, too, for towering netminder Forster, who is in the midst of a first-team run at Spurs due to the long-term injury of France’s World Cup keeper Hugo Lloris.

The former Hoops No.1 was helpless 11 minutes from time when Iliman Ndiaye weaved past a couple of defenders before beating the former Parkhead fans’ favourite with a low strike at the near post.

There was no sign of Stuart Armstrong or Mohamed Elyounoussi, who had two seasons on loan at Celtic, in the Southampton squad that flopped 2-1 at home to fourth-tier Grimsby Town in the biggest shock of the night.

Ironically, Joe Aribo, who played against Neil Lennon’s men in 2019, was as a 67th-minute substitute for the Saints, but couldn’t prevent the Premier League outfit from toppling out of the competition.


Manchester City v Burnley

Manchester United v Fulham

Brighton v Grimsby Town

Sheffield United v Blackburn Rovers

Ties due on weekend of March 18/19

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