27-10-2012 Celtic (A) SPL

Killie End 57 Year Parkhead Hoodo !

Celtic 0 Kilmarnock 2

SPL Match 11 , Parkhead, Oct 27th 2012

Cillian Sheridan and Liam Kelly were on target as Kilmarnock won at Celtic Park for the first time since 1955.

Celtic were a shadow of the side that impressed against Barcelona and fell behind as Sheridan capitalised on a defensive lapse late in the first half.

Emilio Izaguirre felled Rory McKenzie and Kelly smashed the resultant penalty past Fraser Forster.

While the home side were poor, Kilmarnock were well worth their historic victory.

The visitors were a little quicker out the blocks than their hosts, with James Dayton looking lively, though Forster remained untroubled.

Similarly, Cammy Bell was seeing little action, though he would have been grateful for the intervention of Ryan O'Leary who, after 16 minutes, stuck out a leg to deny Miku the opportunity to head in Izaguirre's cross from close range.

Ten minutes later, Celtic should undoubtedly have gone in front. Kris Commons swung in a cross from deep, Miku headed it invitingly into the path of Joe Ledley, but the Welshman - from just a few yards out - nudged it wide of Bell's left-hand post.

Killie created a presentable chance of their own just after the half-hour mark when Dayton swung the ball in from the left towards the front post where Sheridan was lurking, but Forster was alive to the danger and knocked it away.

The first time Bell was called upon to make a save was five minutes before the break, as he beat away a Charlie Mulgrew free kick but the opening goal came at the other end.

Adam Matthews was closed down by Dayton and played a wayward pass to Ambrose who, caught unawares, succeeded only in playing the ball off Sheridan.

The former Celtic striker was aided by a bit of backspin on the ball, which convinced Forster he wouldn't get to it first, and Sheridan calmly went round the keeper before virtually walking the ball over the line.

Gary Hooper was introduced for Beram Kayal at the start of the second half and he almost drew his side level within seven minutes.

Ledley fed Forrest on the right and his low ball was clipped just wide by the striker.

Almost immediately, Dayton raced towards the edge of the Celtic box before unleashing a fierce drive, which was brilliantly turned behind by the diving Forster.

Bell dealt with another Mulgrew free kick moments before Kilmarnock increased their lead.

Rory McKenzie showed great skill on the edge of the Celtic penalty area before being clipped from behind by Izaguirre.

Crawford Allan pointed to the spot and Liam Kelly (right) blasted the ball past Forster to put Kilmarnock within touching distance of a momentous victory.

Izaguirre thought he had made amends with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, but he was ruled to have been offside as he slotted past Bell.

Then substitute Tony Watt hammered the ball over the bar from six yards after Forrest's cutback fell kindly for him.

Watt's next effort was more threatening, but his powerful drive from inside the box was well parried by Bell.

Celtic Park emptied long before full-time as the home fans registered their displeasure. The opposite was true of the small band of visiting fans, who celebrated the end of one of Scottish football's longest-standing hoodoos.

Killie: 1 Cameron Bell, 5 Ryan O'Leary, 29 Manuel Pascali, 33 Mark O'Hara, 18 Lee Johnson, 8 Liam Kelly, 6 Michael Nelson, 23 Rory McKeown, 10 James Dayton, (91 mins for Tesselaar),  24 Rory McKenzie, (85 mins for Gros), 12    Cillian Sheridan, (68 mins for Heffernan)    
Subs Not Used:  Annsi Jaakkola, Gary Harkins, Borja Perez, Mahamadou Sissoko
Attendance: 47,971 

Kenny Shiels Post Match Comments...."It was befitting that Liam Kelly scored the second goal. It was a very emotional time for Liam and the club back in March, The person I'm most pleased for is Liam Kelly,  We never really got a chance to celebrate the last victory against Celtic at Hampden and it was a really euphoric occasion. I just said to the boys, let's have a really good night and celebrate for Liam Kelly. There's no such thing as perfection, but that was pretty close to it in how we organised and how we set up, The best way to sum it up is the nullification of a quality team - Celtic, we have to remember, have just come off the back of playing Barcelona and a fantastic performance. They were fresh and fit, we were still hungover from the St Johnstone game, when we lost James Fowler.  I really want to say this because there's two generations of supporters who haven't witnessed that and the ones who came along today, I was really pleased for them," said Shiels, picking out teenagers Mark O'Hara and Rory McKenzie for praise. What can you say? The boys were exceptional. A young 16-year-old made his debut at right-back, with an 18-year-old just in front of him and they were unbelievable. We were as good this week as we were bad last week," added Shiels. "I was so angry with myself all week. We had a good game plan and I think it worked very well for us."

AT least there will be no difficulty finding the correct words for the performance which replaced embarrassment with pride for Kilmarnock: they are fresh in the memory, having been used last week to describe Celtic. 
In broad terms Kilmarnock did the same number on Celtic at Parkhead that the champions themselves almost managed against Barcelona in Camp Nou. Kilmarnock's annual turn-over of £7m is less than one-seventh of Celtic's £52m, and their average home crowds of about 5000 are dwarfed by the 50,000 who show up at Parkhead, yet the familiarity of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League scene means such facts tend not to be highlighted when Celtic (and until this season Rangers) receive a bloody nose. 

Scottish clubs routinely face much the same disadvantages against Celtic that they themselves faced in Camp Nou, so it is admirable when they overcome them. If Celtic were justifiably praised for running Barcelona so close last week, Kilmarnock deserve just as much applause for delivering an entirely unexpected result for the supporters who had the guts to follow them to a venue where they have been relentlessly battered. The result replaced embarrassment with pride because it had been disgraceful that a club with Kilmarnock's history had, until Saturday, failed to record a single win at Parkhead since 1955. They did it this time with a starting team containing three teen-agers, including a cool 16-year-old right-back, Mark O'Hara, whose only previous appearance had been as a substitute against Stenhousemuir. The victory was especially enjoyable for Liam Kelly, their midfielder. 

Kilmarnock's Scottish Communities League Cup final defeat of Celtic in March had been entirely over- shadowed by the death of his father, Jack, at the match. His side's heads were messed up: the urge to celebrate conflicting with an equal urge to fall silent, in shock. On Saturday, their pleasure was unbridled. "I don't want to go into too much detail about it but obviously it was nice to get this result," said Liam Kelly. "Last time we obviously couldn't celebrate as much as we'd have liked. I think it makes up for it a little bit. It was a great day for the boys – I thought they performed excellently. I just thought it was meant to be." Cillian Sheridan opened the scoring after Celtic's defence – ironically so sound in Barcelona – messed up to let him through in the 44th minute. Then Kelly himself added the second from a penalty after Emilio Izaguirre fouled Rory McKenzie. Kelly pointed his fingers to the heavens during the celebration: the goal was for his father. "That's always in my mind every time I play football and it was just a great relief. It was nice to score that goal, a nice memory." 

Kilmarnock had shown their class in the way Kelly's desperate situation was handled: " All the players, the team, the manager and the staff have been fantastic and I couldn't thank them more." Kilmarnock had worked on the shape and organisation of their side for days before Parkhead, doing double training sessions in order to be fully prepared. O'Hara and Rory McKeown, two teenage full-backs, held their nerve, centre-halves Ryan O'Leary and Michael Nelson were solid and they were expertly protected by a tireless midfield five. "We were very hard to break down," said Kelly


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