ON a chilly March 4 evening Celtic prepared for a Premiership tussle on probably their least favourite ground in Scotland – Livingston’s tight and suffocating stadium in West Lothian.
Quite apart from it offering a dreaded plastic surface, there is hardly room ro breathe on a pitch whose dimensions must just meet the criteria set down by football’s rulers. Attempt to play football on these confines at your peril.
Ten-men Celts – with playmaker Ryan Christie banished in the 25th minute – lost 2-0 to Gary Holt’s side in October and were within a couple of minutes of suffering a second successive setback against Livi until substitute Tom Rogic rolled in the leveller. Callum McGregor had given the visitors an early lead with a whizzbang effort, but a rare slip from Fraser Forser allowed Jon Gutherie to equalise and worse was to follow a minute after the turnaround when Scott Robinson put the homesters into the lead.
Aussie international Rogic rescued a point on another night of frustration for the champions who, despite this interruption, were still heading for their ninth title on the trot.
CQN‘s ace snappers caught the off-guard moments before kick-off.
LAST-MINUTE INSTRUCTIONS…Fraser Forster listens to goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods.
GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS…Fraser Forster goes through his pre-match routine.
HAT-TRICK…Christopher Jullien keeps his eye on the ball.
THE EYES HAVE IT…Vakoun Issouf Bayo is wrapped up against the cold.
PEEK-A-BOO…Jeremie Frimpong battles the evening chill.
BALL-WATCHING…Tom Rogic goes through a light exercise.
READY FOR THE GREEN LIGHT…Odsonne Edouard goes through his paces.
WIDE BHOY…Damian Duff explains a strategy to Nir Bitton.
TALK-IN…skipper Scott Brown chats with Mohamed Elyounoussi.
KEEPING WARM…Scott Bain is dressed to thrill.
BALL BHOY…stand-by shotstopper Craig Gordon and his safe pair of hands.