Hibee History: Skipper Stewart sees off Celtic

George Stewart
George Stewart
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HIBS skipper George Stewart picked a good day to open his goalscoring account for the season with a second-minute goal against Celtic.

The home side made a glorious start as Ralph Callachan sent over a perfect corner from the right and centre-half Stewart rose above them all to head home a magnificent goal, the ball evading Peter Latchford high to his left.

It was Stewart’s first league goal of the campaign and only his third in all.

That quick breakthrough was almost followed by another goal for Gordon Rae who was just wide with a header from a Jackie McNamara cross. Hibs were in rampant mood on a pitch which still showed signs of its recent drenching and Latchford dropped a free-kick off from Ally Brazil close to the feet of Colin Campbell who could just not make contact.

Danny McGrain was prominent for Celtic with his splendid use of the ball but there was no room for the Parkhead forwards to make headway against a quick-tackling defence.

Stewart took an ankle knock in clearing from Davie Provan out on the left but he limped back into the fray before Hibs increased their lead.

It was a terrible mistake by Latchford which presented Hibs with an absolute gift in 15 minutes. An Ally MacLeod lob looked to be entirely harmless but the keeper fumbled it and Rae was left to hit the ball straight past him and into the net.

A ridiculous decision by the referee in awarding a foul to Celtic when young James Brown was actually brought down gave Ronnie Glavin the opportunity to shoot wide before Mike Conroy was spoken to for dangerous play against MacLeod.

Referee Renton was frequently inconsistent with his interpretation of the rules and he might have taken a tougher line with Tommy Burns after half-time when the Celtic man followed through against Stewart to commit an intentional foul.

Brown, Callachan, Campbell and Brazil combined in a splendid move which ended with the right-back over-running the ball just enough for Latchford to grab it.

With seven minutes remaining Celtic were awarded a penalty for an Arthur Duncan tackle on Johnny Doyle and Glavin scored from the spot. But it proved to be only a consolation effort.

Hibs: McArthur, Brazil, Duncan, Bremner, Stewart, McNamara, Rae, MacLeod, Campbell, Callachan, Brown. Subs: Kingour, Lambie.

Celtic: Latchford, McGrain, Fillipi, Aitken, Edvaldsson, Conroy, Provan, Glavin, Davidson, Burns, Doyle. Subs: McCluskey, Lennox.

Referee: J R Renton (Cowdenbeath).

Att: 16,071.