Sunday, 9 May 2010

Heart of Midlothian v Glasgow Celtic - Scottish Premier League

Sunday 9th May 2010. Scottish Premier League.
At Tynecastle Stadium.

Heart of Midlothian (1) 1 (Zaliukas 36)
Glasgow Celtic (1) 2 (Keane 23, Zhi 61)

Admission various prices, my seat was £28. Programme £3. Attendance 14839
Media coverage of the last SPL game of 2009-10 at Tynecastle can be found by clicking on the following link:
"Not tonight Darling!" Topical political satire arrives on THE66POW

Click below to see what my pal Mike Smith, author of one of my all time favourite books 'Follow The Hearts' (FTH), had to say about this afternoon's game.

Attempts on target, Hearts 7 Celtic 3
Attempts off target, Hearts 6 Celtic 3
An open and flowing game between two sides who will win no silverware between them whatsoever this season and who's final league positions had been decided already in midweek, so fair play to both sides for making a game of it.
Corner kicks, Hearts 6 Celtic 1
Alas, the only statistic that counts in the end; Goals scored Hearts 1 Celtic 2
"Do you think we should do anything about all those sectarian flags and
terrorist songs Sarge?" "Nah, just ignore it like we always do"

You could tell Celtic were in town, it was just like when Rangers visit, except the Buckfast and Vodka swilling hordes blocking the pavements outside the local off licences, swilling litres of spirits from bottles in full view of the police are wearing different colours.
And inside the ground the flags of sectarian shame and songs of hate are pro Irish Republic Army instead of anti.
Both Old Firm clubs claim it is only a minority of their fans that still indulge in these dinosaur antics.
Both Old Firm clubs perpetuate this filth, it is their life blood and if they really believe the whole away end standing in unison brandishing Tricolours and singing 'Hey, hey, up the 'RA!' this afternoon truly represents a minority voicing their opinions, then their world-view is obviously obscured by blind hatred.
Of course, they could possibly be telling lies too, because paying lip service to condoning such behaviour would open up an whole different can of words than merely pretending not to see and hear what is blatantly going on.
Both sides of the divide are as bad as each other, including the smaller numbers who partake in this blinkered stupidity amongst the Hearts and Hibs support.
"And if you know your history" boom out the Celtic fans ... well, if they know theirs ... Hibernian (as their name suggests) was the club formed by Irish footballers who had migrated to Scotland, Glasgow Celtic copied the idea when they formed and nicked all Hibs best players at a later date, like they still do on a regular basis, Derek Riordan being an exception to that rule ;-)
But the majority of Hibs fans don't go for all this 'rebel talk' and claim it is their 'traditional' birthright to buy into the same bile hook line and sinker. Though it pains me to say it, that is because the Easter Road faithful obviously aren't as stupid as a large proportion of Celtic and Rangers fans are. And as slights on the Glaswegians go, coming from me, that is a fairly low shot.
The stupidest ones of all, are the copy cat idiots who just go along with all the happy clapper sectarianism by numbers crap and don't actually having a clue what it is genuinely all about.
"Oh happiness, happiness, the greatest thing that I possess"

Oh, there was a football match too, a very good one actually.
Aiden McGeady sent a slide rule pass through for Roy Keane to open the scoring, Marius Zaliukas put out a foot to block the pass, but inadvertently only helped the ball into the path of the on loan Tottenham squad player who wasn't going to miss from there.
It's a shame about Aiden McGeady, he's obviously got an above average quota of skill, but he kept falling over and hitting the deck every time he came near a Hearts player.
Maybe it is a medical condition, possibly one of those wannabe UVF snipers in Section N really was taking things to the next level instead of just playing at it for a change, or most likely young Aiden knows Celtic (and Rangers) get the rub of the green (and blue) with referees whenever they play non Old Firm opposition and he was merely playing the tried and tested percentages game.
ESPN employ Transformers to cover their featured matches

This afternoon though, the referee booked three Celtic players but only two from Hearts.
A conspiracy theorist on the bus back into town (with a green and white scarf tucked inside his pocket) pointed out that the referee had the same name as one of the Hearts players and "that's way he gave the Hertz everything today" ... Yeah, the referee and Hearts man of the match were obviously both the same Craig Thomson weren't they!?
See what I meant about even Hibs fans not matching this lot for sheer stupidity!?
For the record the match official never "gave Hertz everything" today at all.
David Obua almost equalised but Zaluska in the Celtic goal tipped over his header at full stretch.
But on 36 minutes Zaliukas atoned for his earlier misdirected clearance and powered home a shot after being set up by Craig Thomson (the player not the referee).
Half time 1-1.
The 'lonely Hearts' column of seats

Both sides pushed forward a lot and the game continued at an almost frantic pace right up until the end.
Edson Braafhied, smashed the ball home direct from a free kick and his team, management and supporters all celebrated, demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of the rules of football ... One of which is, you can't score a goal directly from an indirect free kick.
Regardless, Neil Lennon, Celtic's gobby little manager still had an OTT rant at the referee.
Celtic's winner came from a moment of sublime skill and execution when Zheng Zhi volleyed home on the turn ... it was a goal worthy of winning any game (ouch!) and try as they may ... and they really did ... Hearts never came back from that hammer blow.
Must do better, but be written in big red letters across the top of Hearts end of season report. The signs of recovery under Jim Jefferies are already there, albeit in a slightly hit and miss kind of way at the moment.
So roll on 2010-11!
More detailed coverage of the match can be viewed by via the BBC at the following web address