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[P O'Donnell 52]
2 of 003 Willie Jamieson 89 L Premier H

Celtic hopes shot down by Jamieson's guided missile Bad bounce leads to one of the season's best strikes


27 Feb 1995

Hearts 1, Celtic 1

MAYBE it was just another example of Sod's Law, but one of the worst games of the year produced the goal of the season from the unlikeliest source.

Willie Jamieson, who has scored a few goals in his time but is better known as a staunch defender, delivered the finest 30-yard shot of his life.

The ball travelled like a guided missile all the way to the top right-hand corner of the net and gave a game of dreary mediocrity one of the year's finest moments.

The man himself seemed as astonished as everyone else at Tynecastle.

For a player approaching 32, who has been through most of the good and bad bits of the Scottish professional scene, it was a wonderful experience and he was suitably thrilled.

He did not, however, enter into a lengthy, egotistical description of how he deliberately took aim and sent in a glorious volley.

"I just decided to hit it," was his more prosaic summation.

He reckoned the Hearts supporters, when they saw who had been presented with the ball that far out, were shouting: 'Don't hit it," and also suggested that Celtic manager Tommy Burns probably shouted: "Hit it," safe in the knowledge that Jamieson had more chance of hitting Gorgie Road than the net.

"When the ball came to me I chested it down and would normally have lobbed it over their defence in the hope that one of our strikers could nip in at the back," added Jamieson, "but it bounced a bit near me so I just hit it."

His strike came one minute from the end, at a point when Hearts' forwards were about as threatening as a toothless terrier and Celtic, who had been the better side all the way, seemed assured of one of their rare three-point afternoons.

It should be emphasised that Celtic were not good, just better than Hearts.

They had scored a fine goal of their own, through Phil O'Donnell, but did very little else to worry a Hearts defence in which Craig Levein was sound.

In fact, Celtic's best players were also at the back, where Tony Mowbray played really well and Brian O'Neil, but for a couple of errors, was once again excellent.

O'Donnell had his best game for a while, but that was overdue.

The £1.7m midfielder has been pretty anonymous in recent weeks, and not just because he has not been scoring goals.

His last score before Saturday was in September, a long time ago for a player with his eye on goal, but he admitted he would have been more worried if he had not been in the right place to get chances.

"I have missed quite a few, but at least I have been getting into scoring positions," he said.

"However, I have been hitting the keeper with them.

My form has been up and down and I have been working hard to get a bit more consistent.

Niggling injuries have been the biggest problem."

He pointed out that all the Parkhead players are frustrated at the run of draws this season -- this was their sixteenth -- but still believes that second spot in the table is within their reach.

At the moment, Celtic lie in fourth place, five points behind second-top Motherwell, but O'Donnell, not surprisingly, reckons Celtic will get into a winning groove and have time enough to make up the ground.

O'Donnell's goal, early in the second half, was a well struck left-foot volley that gave Craig Nelson no chance, and nothing much happened from then until Willie Jamieson stepped in.

Celtic manager Tommy Burns said: "Somebody up there doesn't like us.

It is not the first time we have had a win snatched from us this season.

When I saw the ball go to big Willie I thought: no problem.

But then as good a goal as you could wish to see flies in."

Five players were booked, Levein and Scott Leitch of Hearts, as well as Celic's O'Donnell, O'Neil and Tosh McKinlay, who could have been fortunate not to get a red card for a blatant body-check on Thomas.

Maybe the absence of John Robertson and Jim Bett was too much for Hearts but, whatever the reason, they were a dreary disappointment after their win over Rangers earlier in the week.

Taken from the Herald

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