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Penalty prizes- ground level action from Easter Road

Penalty kicks have been something of a sore point for Celtic fans in recent seasons.

It is hard to recall anyone reliable to deliver from 12 yards, Josip Juranovic was good for a short spell, even dinking in a cheeky one away to Bayer Leverkusen but his stay at Celtic lasted less than 18 months.

Giorgos Giakoumakis and Luis Palma had varying techniques but after the initial elation of being awarded a penalty concern quickly set in with neither player able to convert regularly.

Palma’s double miss against Ross County is still fresh and raw, instead of a two goal lead midway through the first half the energy of the fans dropped noticeably with the tone and the tempo of the match reduced as the Honduran looked away in embarrassment.

Last week it would be fair to say that the reaction to the expected arrival of Adam Idah from Norwich varied from underwhelming to muted. Neither phrase will be used to reflect back on his first 90 plus minutes as a Celtic player.

Put into two high pressure situations, both accompanied by lengthy delays there seemed to be no doubt or hesitation as he calmly tucked away two penalties- with David Marshall diving the wrong way in each case.

Celtic TV’S Unique Angle has been operating of meagre rations in recent games, there isn’t much excitement to following the path of a deflected shot into the net.

Last night they provided a study in how to take penalty kicks. There were no gimmicks or superstitions from Idah, he knew the drill, what he was doing and how to execute it.

Neither of his penalties went in near the post but they were both cleanly struck and way out of reach for David Marshall.

Whether he looks out for movement from the goalkeeper isn’t known but after so much heartbreak from the penalty spot it was refreshing to watch a taker apparently in complete control complete the job with the minimum of fuss.

There was one incident in the build up to the second penalty that can’t go without being highlighted- the incredible slide tackle of Tony Ralston which turned a Hibs breakaway into a penalty winning opportunity for Celtic.

Alistair Johnston’s replacement never looked favourite for the ball as Hibs threatened a break on the left but once Ralston committed himself there was only one winner.

Not only did he end the chance of a breakaway he took the ball cleanly and quickly passed it to Matt O’Riley to weave his magic.

Football is a team game, Idah’s second penalty was the product of Ralston, O’Riley and Kyogo Furuhashi putting the team ahead of their own self interests with the outcome being the delivery of full points.

CLICK HERE for Sutton’s praise for Adam Idah.

CLICK HERE for SPFL text commentary on the match.


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