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1889-10-03: Celtic 1-0 Blackburn Rovers, Friendly
|Match Pictures | Matches: 1889 - 1890 | 1887-1900|
- Played at Celtic Park, Parkhead.
- Kick-Off: 4 o'clock.
ReviewThe famous Blackburn Rovers, who are looked upon this year as one of the best organisations in England, met the Celtic on Celtic park, Parkhead. As is well known, the Rovers have this season been strengthened by the inclusion of several first-class Scotch players, such as Tom Brandon, late of St Mirren; Dewar, Dumbarton; and harry Campbell, Renton, and are altogether a very powerful lot. The match created a good deal of interest in the East End, and, as the kick-off was fixed for four o'clock, the spectators at another match held earlier in the day were enabled to be at Celtic park in good time. Altogether there must have been 12,000 spectators present shortly before the game commenced.
McLaughlin, McKeown, Reynolds, Kelly, Gallagher, Dowds, Cunningham, Dunbar, Groves, Coleman, Madden.
Arthur, Brandon, Forbes, Forrest, Almond, Douglas, Lofthouse, H Campbell, Southworth, Walton, Townley.
- Match Report (See Below)
- Official Site
- Match Pictures
From newspaper report from the time
Report 1It is admitted on all hands that the Blackburn Rovers, as presently constituted, is one of the best teams that has visited Scotland for several years. Their play against the Celtic was magnificent, and the match throughout recalled to many the days when such games were the rule, and not, as now, the exception.
The interest never flagged, and the play at times reached a pitch of sublimity that threw the multitude of onlookers into a state of great enthusiasm.
The Rovers played the real English game – wide passing, speedy running, and strong kicking; and in opposition to this the Celtic dribbled even closer than they usually do, and it was in this diversity of play that the great charm of the match lay.
The Celts won by a goal to nothing, Willie Groves, who played a marvellous game throughout, scoring the point.
The goalkeeping powers of Arthur, the old International player, are well known in Glasgow, but of all the good exhibitions he has given in club and representative matches here, he never gave such an effective and finished show as on Thursday. But for Brandon and Forbes the Celtic would have had a more decisive victory.
Report 2The Celtic kicked off, and in a beautiful bit of passing by Coleman and Madden brought the ball to the other end, but nothing resulted. Southworth then began a likely run for the Rovers, but he was tackled by Reynolds, and the ball being transferred to the other end Cunningham shot for goal, but the ball went wide.
The Rovers were in grand form, but they seemed fairly taken aback at the magnificent passing of the Celts, who, however, were being slightly assisted by the wind. The rovers had a shot for goal, but McLaughlin had abundance of time to save his charge.
The form shown by both teams gave evidence of a really first-class display of football. About 15 minutes from the start groves had a splendid chance to score, but he tripped as he was about to shoot. The two Rovers' backs, Brandon and Forbes, especially the former, were in the pink of condition, and time after time repulsed the smart attacks of the Celts forwards.
The Rovers' front division were also playing a very fast game and a shot was sent in which McLaughlin saved in brilliant style. After being hemmed in for a few minutes the Celts' forwards came away beautifully, and Coleman passed the ball to Cunningham, who was about to shoot when he twisted his leg, and had to retire, leaving the Celtic with ten men only. The Celts being thus handicapped, the Rovers for a time held the upper hand, and but for the good defence of Reynolds, McKeown and Kelly, they would have scored. Cunningham came on to the field again, but still suffering. The Celts were conceded a corner, but Dunbar sent the ball behind. All through the game was most exciting, and the play, generally speaking, was of a high order, whether one admitted the beautiful passing of the Celts or the fine defence of Brandon and Forbes.
The Rovers were also passing beautifully, and from a combined attack Walton sent in a low, swift shot, which just went past. The Celts recovered themselves, and Groves had a clear goal at his mercy, but did not avail himself of the opportunity. Shortly afterwards Cunningham sent in a beautiful shot, but Arthur saved magnificently, and a corner was given, but it came to nothing.
The Celts were now playing as well as their opponents, and had fully as much of the play, which, up to this point, was very evenly contested. From a foul given in mid-field, McKeown sent the ball through, but it did not touch anyone, and therefore did not count.
Both goals were visited in turn, and each side had hard luck in not scoring. The Rovers showed that they are a grand team, and it must be a brilliant combination that can lower the colours. Just about the call of time one of the Rovers' forwards collided with one of the Celts', and he shot past the post, and at half-time neither side had scored.
In the second half the Rovers besieged the Celtic goal, but the backs relieved. Groves then gave Cunningham a possible chance, but being still lame he was unable to get on the ball in time. A grand kick by Brandon transferred the ball to the other end, when three corners fell to the Rovers in succession, but nothing came of them.
McLaughlin saving brilliantly.
All round a better team than the Rovers has seldom, if ever, been seen in Glasgow. They perhaps had not the methodical passing of North End in their best days, but their play was fast and vigorous, and they have a pair of backs who cannot be excelled. At length the Celtic relieved the pressure, when Cunningham sent in a stunning shot, and Madden almost scored. Both teams were slow in front of goals, Madden for a pass by Groves had the goal at his mercy, but the ball struck the cross-bar and went behind, to the intense disgust of the Celts' supporters.
Groves was loudly cheered for a brilliant run, in the course of which he passed the backs with the ball at his feet, and gave a chance to score, but it was not accepted for the Celtic. The Rovers made determined efforts to score but all to no avail, and a very fast and exciting game ended in favour of the Celtic by one goal to nil.
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