LEIGH GRIFFITHS staked his claim for a return to Celtic first-team squad duty against Livingston at the weekend with a two-goal salvo in three minutes for Tommy McIntyre’s side in a 6-0 friendly win at Lennoxtown last night.

The 29-year-old striker, who has not been seen since August, played for just over an hour as he got a good work-out against Stenhousemuir.

Griffiths has scored only three goals in this campaign to follow up from the six he claimed last season which was cut short due to personal issues.

However, the 29-year-old frontman looked bright on this occasion as he opened the scoring in the 11th minute and quickly added a second only moments later.

Liam Burt followed the example of his more experienced team-mate by hammering in a double before the break and he completed his hat-trick 10 minutes after the turnaround. Cameron Harper rounded off the scoring in the 64th minute.

Jonathan Afolabi, the Republic of Ireland teenage attacker who joined from Southampton in the summer, put in a good 45 minutes before he was replaced and young right-back Grant Savoury took the eye with a polished performance and came close to adding a seventh when his first-time drive slammed against the woodwork.

Griffiths was the focus of attention, though, as he battles to overcome a thigh injury and a virus problem.

On this showing, he is edging closer to Neil Lennon’s pool of players in time for a hectic nine-game schedule in 28 days in December.


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