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FRIDAY NIGHT FITBA

What a fixture! Plus a wee flashback.

Friday night fitba returns for Celtic tonight as they travel to the home of John 'not that one' Reid to face Partick Thistle in the SPFL.

Just over three years ago, almost to the day, Neil Lennon's Celtic team were off to Lanarkshire to take on Motherwell in what would turn out to be the start of Celtic supporters love affair with Friday night fitba.

Yes I remember the game clearly and how I missed the first 20 minutes thanks to the good lads at ScotRail who had helpfully cancelled a number of trains due to slippery rails. What a clumpany! While this may have been the night that Celtic and the rest of our supporters look back as the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Celtic and Friday night, it was also the beginning of my hateful relationship with those who run the trains in this country.

Anyway, having eventually got to Motherwell train station at 8pm for the 7:45pm kick-off, I jumped in a taxi to Fir Park and was just thankful that the Hoops hadn't yet opened the scoring. But there would be no need to worry about that over the next 70 minutes of the match as Celtic rammed five past a Motherwell side who proved to be our closest challengers in what was probably the easiest League campaign in living memory.....well until this season, of course.

Kris Commons, who had the season of his life that year scoring over 30 goals, opened the scoring on 44 minutes to give us a 1-0 lead to take into half time. *Periodic reminder that Kris Commons has been a talismanic figure for Celtic and contributed massively over the years.* 

The second half is where it really heated up for the Bhoys and not just because the Green Brigade let off a lot of pyro at half time. Celtic went on to cruise to victory as Commons grabbed a brace which was added to by goals from Efe 'backflip' Ambrose, Anthony Stokes and BAHRUDIN ATAJIC! That's right, the young Swedish striker came of the bench for Celtic, scored on his debut and then was never seen again as Neil Lennon chased an unbeaten season/clean sheet record/record goals scored in the league/100 points in what turned out to be a truly turgid season.

Although Atajic didn't feature again, there was another youngster who climbed off the bench that evening in the form of Liam Henderson who has had significantly more of a chance than Bahrudin 'you can stay at mine PTT' Atajic. Even the lesser spotted Derk Boerrigter came off the bench for Celtic that night!

The main takeaway from the match though was the brilliant atmosphere the Celtic fans made that night and how great the first sampling of Friday night fitba was. And ever since that night it's become a great way to kick off the weekend. If we had our way every game would be on a Friday night.

Hopefully Celtic fans going to tonight's game enjoy it every bit as much as I did on that snowy night at the home of the steelmen (barring the train issues, though ScotRail gave me a £20 voucher so who's the real winner here?) 

That said, if Reidzo decides he's going to the game in his backyard then the collective groan from the Jackie Husband stand will likely be able to be heard from as far afield as Motherwell.

Photo Credit : Vagelis Georgariou (@vagelisgeo)

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