As expected both Adams and Craig were missing but their replacements grabbed the chance to impress. Craigan wore the captain’s armband and Corr started in goal.
The young keeper impressed early on when he charged out of the box to make a sliding tackle. He got the touch and didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the game.
We settled into the match early on and made good use of the ball. There was plenty of crisp passing and energy on show and it seemed as though we had an early reward just after the quarter hour when good work from Craigan and Clarkson set up McDonald for a tap in. The standside assistant stopped the celebrations short when he raised his flag for offside.
Another chance soon came our way when the effective partnership of McDonald and Clarkson fired a square ball to Burns on the edge of the six yard line. The chance disappeared with Toastie’s first touch.
The crowd was pleased with the effort shown in the first half but in the second session the game burst into life. The change was sparked by Celtic’s Miller soon after the restart. He had a sly kick at Fagan off the ball and with the East Stand baying for a red card, referee Rowbotham merely offered a free kick and not even a word of warning to the offender. He failed to take advantage of the favour and was booked a few minutes later for an illegal challenge on Corrigan.
All this (and a few other feuds) livened up proceedings no end. We pressed and harried, the crowed booed Pearson at every opportunity and we got the breakthough on the hour.
After a good spell of pressure Quinn sent a ball though for Burns. The defence seemed to hesitate, looking for the flag, but our man pressed forward and coolly squared to Clarkson to side foot home from close in. The celebrations took place in front of the Cooper Stand.
Fitzpatrick made his debut when Fagan seemed to pull up, possibly with a damaged hamstring. Later Wright replaced McDonald and Kevin MacDonald replaced Clarkson.
Celtic’s equalizer came from a corner which eluded of defence, Beattie finished.
It would be unfair to single out any of the team tonight. For long spells the defence stood up to spells under pressure, the midfield fought like tigers to recover the ball and the strikers covered miles. There were many excellent long and accurate balls over the top of the three man Celtic defence and Terry Butcher expressed his delight at the performance in his post match interviews.
The ritual, good natured, pitch invasion took place despite a heavy cordon of police and stewards. Any damage to the pitch will be of no consequence as there will be a new surface when the first team takes to it again.