Football: McStay makes a point for Celtic

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

Celtic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Aberdeen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

CELTIC collected their first point of the new year without producing the kind of form to brighten up a wet and dismal Glasgow night, the chief beneficiaries of this draw being the league leaders, Rangers, who visit Aberdeen on Saturday.

In keeping with the ambiance of the night a disappointingly low crowd of 19,083 braved the elements to witness an even contest between the teams many consider to be the main rivals to Rangers.

Celtic's Pat McGinlay placed a header against the bar in the early stages but it was to the dash and verve of John Collins that Celtic looked for their inspiration against the midfield industry of Lee Richardson and Brian Grant. On the half-hour Collins made a telling contribution when his cross from the left was finely judged for the head of Paul Byrne who directed his header down and away from Michael Watt into the bottom corner of the net.

However, the current side are not the Celtic of old and before they had time to settle on their lead they allowed Aberdeen back into the game with an equaliser which owed much to the wet conditions.

Brian Irvine made a firm connection from a corner but the ball was fumbled by Pat Bonner and crept over the line. However, the Celtic goalkeeper kept the scores level before half-time producing a fine leap to parry a Richardson shot.

Within four minutes of the restart Celtic were again collecting the ball from the back of the net. Stephen Wright travelled half the length of the field on the right side and his low cross to the near post was smuggled past Bonner by Eoin Jess.

Celtic replied 10 minutes later with a well-worked counter. A Byrne cross was headed down to Paul McStay, who swept a low shot past Watt from 20 yards.

Thereafter Watt produced a series of solid saves against a Celtic attack which was forced into shooting from a distance.

Celtic (4-4-2): Bonner; McNally, Gillespie (Galloway, 82), Mowbray, Martin; Byrne, McGinlay, McStay, Collins; Biggins (O'Neil, 65), Nicholas. Substitute not used: Muggleton (gk).

Aberdeen (4-4-2) Watt; Wright, Irvine, McLeish, McKimmie; Miller (Winnie, 71), Grant, Richardson, Kane; Jess (Booth, 82), Shearer. Substitute not used: Stillie (gk).

Referee: H F Williamson (Renfrew).