RYAN CHRISTIE was more frustrated than elated after scoring his ELEVENTH goal of the season in the 1-1 draw with Hibs at Easter Road yesterday.
The midfielder netted with the the sort of header Henrik Larsson would have been proud to claim as he nullified the slack own goal from Kristoffer Ajer in the seventh minute that presented the Edinburgh men with early encouragement.
Unfortunately, Christie could not inspire the champions to a second goal as they dropped two points and lost their 100 per cent Premiership record at the eighth outing.
However, the Scotland international playmaker was fuming after blundering referee Kevin Clancy denied the Hoops a STONEWALL penalty-kick when the Highlander was clearly fouled by Lewis Stevenson.
There was another valid claim when Moritz Bauer was cleaned out by Daryl Horgan shortly afterwards. Again, the match official bizarrely thought the wayward challenge was perfectly legal.
Looking at his own situation, Christie, speaking to the club website, said: “It was a stonewall penalty and it was frustrating because at that stage in the match we were very much on top.
“But I think because I ended up getting a cross away, that’s probably why the referee didn’t give it – they just seemed to try and play on.
“But, for me, it was a definite penalty and everyone could see that. It reminded me of one that we got given against us at Pittodrie last season, when Emilio Izaguirre slid in on Niall McGinn. It was very similar and it was given then.
ELEVEN SENT…Ryan Christie rises to score Celtic’s equaliser.
“You just have to realise that it was a late challenge and I can tell you for sure that if that was outside the box it would definitely be given as a free-kick. So, it was frustrating not to get either of them.”
Astonishingly, Celtic have not won a league game at Easter Road since January 2014 On that occasion, the visitors triumphed 4-0 with goals from Kiris Commons (2), Virgil Van Dijk and Teemu Pukki.
Christie added: “We were aware of the stat going into the game and we were desperate to put it right.
“We were a better team than Hibs by far. They got a slice of luck with the first goal and, to be fair, I don’t think we started well. But, after their goal, we dominated and it was just maybe a lack of composure or conviction in the final third.
“That’s down to me and some of the others – and maybe the finishing was just a little bit off.
“The manager said to us after the game that he didn’t necessarily think we played badly, but we just need to take our chances, and even if it’s 2-1 in the last 10 minutes, we’ll take the three points.
“So we’re frustrated, but we’re still unbeaten and it’s not like our heads are down. We’ve got a big game on Thursday that we’re now all looking forward to.”