Friday, 26 September 2014

120 years ago tomorrow: Celtic 2 Sunderland 3 match report

27th   September  1894                                                                             Friendly Match 

               GLASGOW CELTIC   2                                   SUNDERLAND   3                           
                      (McMahon (2))                                (Campbell 5,Wilson10,Hannah 14)

Referee Mr Dicken of Wishaw                                                               Attendance 15,000 

Celtic:- McArthur, Reynolds, Dunbar, Maltby, Curran, McEleney, Madden, Blessington, Cassidy, McMahon, Divers.

Sunderland:-- Doig, Meehan, McNeill, Dunlop, Auld, Wilson,  Goodchild, Harvie, Campbell, Hannah(D), Scott.

Sunderland visited Glasgow as the guests of Celtic Football Club and with it being a public holiday in the City a crowd of 15,000 assembled at Parkhead. The weather was splendid with scarcely a breath of wind. The home side did not field a strong team and Sunderland themselves fielded 5 reserves. Sunderland won the toss and Celtic kicked off to rush down and force a corner in the first half minute. The home side remained in Sunderland territory for a few minutes but then Scott dashed away and Reynolds was forced to kick into touch.

Sunderland continued to press and a mistake by Curran let in Campbell to shoot them ahead in the 5th minute. Encouraged by their success Sunderland forced the pace and Wilson worked an opening to get in a long shot that completely baffled McArthur to put Sunderland two up after 10 minutes. Celtic were having a bad time of it with their weak defence having a gruelling time from the sharp Sunderland forwards. Hannah scored a 3rd goal for the visitors before the quarter hour had elapsed. 

At 3-0 down things were looking bad for the home side who were sorely missing Doyle. Good forward play from the Celts enabled them to get close to the Sunderland goal where Doig saved a hard shot at the expense of a corner. McMahon reduced the home side’s arrears from the flag kick. Play became more even and occasionally Celtic managed to test Doig with McMahon almost scoring again. Blessington on the home right wing was troubling the Sunderland full backs and repeatedly excited the crowd with some fine runs.

Celtic pressed hard and after an exciting passage of play Meehan was forced to kick away hurriedly. Doig then made a splendid save to keep his goal intact. The game was now very interesting and Celtic were busy round the Sunderland goal when halftime arrived. Sunderland were first to show in the 2nd half and McArthur was given several stinging shots to save and he dealt with them splendidly. Sunderland forced a corner that was cleared by the home defence. Celtic retaliated and for some minutes the Sunderland defence were given an anxious time.

The game quietened down considerably with the play mainly in the midfield. Hannah, Campbell and Harvie were playing well together for Sunderland and troubled the Celtic keeper no end. A quick rush from Goodchild caused great anxiety to the home defence but Reynolds got the ball away. A spell of long kicking was indulged in between the backs with Wilson very prominent. Celtic were being held quite easily by the visiting defence and rarely caused Doig any trouble who was virtually a spectator at this stage.

Celtic had a look in following a free kick but McMahons final attempt was too high. The home side came back again and Doig was twice called into action to clear shots. Eventually Celtic were rewarded for their endeavours when McMahon beat Doig with a low shot from the left. This goal brought Celtic to life and with the deficit now only 1 goal Sunderland were kept busy defending. Doig was tested to the full and not found wanting as the home side swarmed around the Sunderland goal.

There was a dash about the home side which was totally lacking in the 1st half but with both defences standing firm the game ended with a win for Sunderland   

                                                                                                                    (Ncl Dly Chron)

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