How Celtic lose cups: red cards and penalties


I don’t know anyone who was confident Olivier Ntcham would score with his penalty against St Mirren earlier this month.  Our stats have been awful this season.  Ryan Christie scored his only attempt in a comfortable win over Hearts.  Moussa Dembele also scored his solitary attempt, against Alashkert, but Olivier and Scott Sinclair have each missed two, while Leigh Griffiths missed against Motherwell.  Seven out of 12 have been converted.

Those of you who are old enough to remember the last time Celtic did not win a domestic trophy will recall we went out of that particular Scottish Cup semi-final on penalties.

If you were Derek McInnes, you would have spent all week planning for this eventuality.  Hopefully, the point is not lost on Neil Lennon.  Celtic will take the game to Aberdeen, but if the tie is level in the latter stages of the initial 90 minute period, Aberdeen will sit every-deeper and play for penalties – which they will have a decent chance to win.

That reversal in the 2016 Scottish Cup semi-final aside, Celtic have only exited a cup tournament since Neil Lennon’s first tenure as manager after being reduced to 10 men.  Efe Ambrose conceded a penalty and was sent off in the 2016 League Cup semi-final against Ross County, and Craig Gordon was sent off in the 2016 Scottish Cup semi-final against Inverness.  The latter remains an infamous refereeing performance for the failure to award a penalty and red card Inverness’s Josh Meekings for punching a goal-bound header off the line.

Objectively, if Celtic are going to be stopped from collecting a treble treble, it is most likely to happen on Sunday, as a result of either a red card or a penalty kick competition.  We can plan for both.

Expect Aberdeen to wind up whomever they think is vulnerable to some referee attention – I’m looking at you, Scott.  The script has been written on this one.  Do not get drawn in, play the game on our terms, if anyone loses composure, let it be their daft full back (again).

None of us have confidence in our penalty takers, but practice helps (despite luddite beliefs).  Training will be light tomorrow.  It should consist exclusively of penalty kick practice.

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  1. WDH


    I am no Harry Potter, the family would need to be convinced. I had an Irish stew year ago and it was lovely chunks of lovely meat which I later discovered was mutton.

  2. jmccormick


    I know nothing of Harry Potter


    slow roasted leg 8hrs


    smell alone will convince them


    enjoy the game

  3. No Bobby Does It Petta on

    Big thanks to all the boys who replied to my question last night about how you learned of the score in the 60s.



    Got a few things to work from.




  4. the long wait is over on




    Thanks for the replies from earlier Re premier.




  5. SoT



    Watched that semi-final in Bavaria with a German family I had lodged with when working there in ’77. I remember that Italy really disrupted them, while avoiding cards, with lots of ‘kleine Fouls’.

  6. Pathetic crowd at Hamdump. No doubt the winners will request (& get) their full compliment of tickets for the final. SMSM will argue it’s their right. Aye right






  7. South Of Tunis on




    The ‘kleine Fouls ‘ are hardwired in the collective psyche . Mrs S of T who knows zilch re football and cares even less -once told me — of course ,it’s a game , presumably you want to win -otherwise what’s the point ?.



    Off oot !

  8. kikinthenakas on

    Hampden empty no atmosphere and a very poor game certainly doesn’t help that the grass seem overly long.


    Surely it would have made sense to have it at Easter Road and create s bit of atmosphere for players fans and viewers and I hope Celtic make sure the grass is cut for tomorrow


    Kikinthenakas ???x2

  9. Philbhoy,


    See my reply earler to ‘The Long Wait is Over’.


    Just signed up for a month on Premier, £9.99, and will cancel on Monday.

  10. Just catching up thanks for this SFTB




    Highlights from the reserves vs Ross County







    Very excited by the interplay between Dembele, Johnston, Okoflex and Henderson.







    Celtic score recently from a corner.

  11. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon from the Star Bar. Cultural centre of Govanhill and the Southside. ?

  12. I am always worried before a big game so I check the unemotional William Hill hoping for reassurance.


    To win in 90 minutes,Aberdeen are 11/2; Celtic 11/20 .


    To qualify, Aberdeen are 11/4; Celtic are 1/4.


    Reassured am I.


    Another snippet of reassurance is that Shinnie is not playing. I feel he is to the Dons what Broonie is to us.


    Having said that, I can see the argument for Broonie not playing thereby making Calmac more of an influence.




  13. Since it’s quiet, a wee Celtic tale:



    Brothers, Colours and a wee Tonic



    My first Celtic game was in 1975 but I frustratingly had to wait till 1984 to pop my ‘Old Firm’ cherry. That was a term you could use then and as an avid student of history I don’t mind using it here. I’d seen Celtic all over Scotland; I’d been to a few testimonials in England and I’d even managed to survive the crush at Nottingham Forest away in the UEFA cup. (I say survived but getting caught by TV cameras on the track did not make for triumphant homecoming as both my Chemistry teacher whose exam I’d missed and my mother who didn’t want me to travel south and who I would describe as being on the military wing of the Catholic church in terms of penance and retribution would be eagerly waiting my return.)



    These occasions were all great but the big one for me, a Lanarkshire Bhoy, was to see us play and hopefully defeat our historic rivals. The aforementioned Mother Superior however was having none of it and the trouble was she had contacts-loads of them. My normal mode of transport to matches was the ‘Gorman Bus’ from the Wayside/Black Bull in Airdrie. She knew the runners and riders on that bus and ensured that I was frustrated in my attempts to see the Bhoys play Rangers in Glasgow but trips to London, Manchester and more dangerously Tynecastle were allowed. Her friendly banter with the Gorman hierarchy pre 10.15 mass in St. Serf’s meant most games were allowed but Rangers and Buckfast were not allowed. As a Pioneer she had an unhealthy fascination with alcohol-as I had with beating Rangers-but I assured her she had nothing to worry about regarding the Tonic.



    Reverse psychology and guilt were my main weapons of persuasion. Her dad had brought me up on songs and stories about Celtic legends like Gallacher, McGrory and Thomson. Our long walks around the remnants of the mining villages around Airdrie were all about Celtic and more often than not triumphs over Rangers as well as European adventures and outstanding players but the derby match always featured. He’d taught me the history and I knew it. Her main point of opposition was safety and I hadn’t been helped by older male relatives filling her with tales of violence and thuggery. Not wanting her to ban other trips I didn’t tell her about some of my adventures in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. However she finally relented. Days after my 17th birthday we were playing Rangers at Celtic Park, a fixture rearranged from New Year. There was a cup final at Hampden on the 25th March but she wasn’t having that; I had to be patient one last time and I’m glad I was.



    April 7, 1984 it was then. A midweek match under the lights. Perfect.



    The bus parked on the Gallowgate but we’d approached Celtic park from a different route. Everything felt different. Three to a seat on the bus, singing all the way in and the young team-us-getting warned about banging the roof and the windows. I was with four mates from school and for two of us it was our first time. Dom was a big quiet lad and he was looking really tense. Too tense. We ran from the bus to Janefield Street, I don’t know why, we just did. We could. It must have been excitement. I couldn’t wait.



    It was the contrast of colours that struck me. The blue hue from the ‘Rangers end’ in historical contrast with the green and white all around us in the Jungle. It was real and live. I was as nervous as a faulty big screen in Manchester but this was happening. Then their ‘choir’ launched into their symphonies of shame; we claimed the moral high ground with YNWA but our halo would occasionally slip. Then the strangest thing happened, big Dom lost it. The quietest Bhoy in our year went mental, futile screaming in the direction of the opposition. I’ve seen this plenty over the years and it’s a reason I now dislike these games but then it was fascinating and funny to observe. We were 17. He didn’t calm down to around the 70th minute, I suspect he burned out.



    The game itself was memorable. Revenge on the recent League cup final defeat was delivered in style. The McStay brothers both scored: ‘The Maestro’ taking five defenders out with a drag back and run and finding the net with a deflected chip from an impossible angle sent the majority of the 64,369 crowd into raptures. Willie McStay’s low, powerful shot from around 25 yards in the second half found the corner of the lumbering McCloy’s net. What a day for the McStays. Davie Provan finished off a fine move on the right with a scuffed shot and with McCloy going down like a badly dynamited tower block, Davie was celebrating in front of the Jungle before big Peter hit the ground. Happy Days. A resounding 3-0 win and perfect for my first one. Well worth the wait.



    I was in ecstasy. Green and white heaven and the joy of seeing the blue end evaporate into the night was wonderful as we sang and danced. Sleekit McCoist had two late kicks at our players, that was about all the impact he had. They were well beaten. The 5 of us were high as kites and Dom’s explosive anger had turned to joy. I liked that better. As we made our way home, the old dear was in my mind though-nothing must spoil this. Airdrie could be a bit of a battle ground after these games but we returned unscathed and apart from the game I hardly saw an opposition fan all night. I had one last act of rebellion: a sugary, sweet, sickly, celebratory slug of the tonic wine. None of the grasses at the front of the bus spotted me. Bless me father…



    I returned to many games against Rangers until their demise in 2012 and I now have my own batch of stories for the kids but I’m not drinking that wine again.



    Hail Hail.

  14. Roy – re yer big pal Dom


    I’m a fair bit older than you but ‘I am Dom’ – blood pressure through the roof!

  15. Roy – a superb tale of yesteryear, and I think a lot of us could relate that to our own past, but you put it brilliantly. Thanks.



    D. :)

  16. ROY CROPPIE @ 4:04 PM,






    My “Airdrie” mum went to an old firm match in sixties, she was not impressed.



    Not only was I not allowed to go to an old firm match, I wasn’t allowed to support Celtic.



    Often wonder it wasn’t for uncompromising, uncommon sense of an Airdrie man what might have happened in Nottingham that evening.



    We should enjoy what Celtic are achieving today but what I’d have given to go and see the truly legendary Celts you saw, with little comparable succsess but brilliant Celtic men.



    Lanarkshire is Green & White… with, of coursr, an orange strip on the the right;)



    Hail Hail