An extremely tight and tense midweek game of football ended in an arguably fair 1-1 draw as neither team was able to manufacture enough goal scoring opportunities to take home the three points.
This match is always a hugely anticipated fixture for everyone involved. The fact that it would be a late Tuesday night kick off only added to the excitement and tension.
Mind games were evident from the start as the barbarians took an unusually long time to stretch their hamstrings in a successful effort to delay the 8 p.m kick off to allow reinforcements to arrive in time.
Under the flood lights (or lack of) visibility was quite poor. This led to slower player reactions to control the ball and faster barbarian reactions to fall to the ground as they must have seen themselves been kicked or shot due to the poor light.
Besides a few half chances here and there the deadlock wasn’t broken until just before half time. A beautiful cross field ball found the run of the barbarians’ striker inside the Celtics area and he was taken down by the back tracking defender just as the ball was plucked from the sky. A penalty was awarded and it was convincingly struck into the bottom left corner making it 1-0 at the break.
Into the second half and the intensity began to rise as insults and questionable tackles began to be exchanged. Barbarians looked the more dangerous of the two sides however failed to extend the lead despite a golden opportunity which hit the post from close range.
The Celtics needed some inspiration to get back into the contest and when Herman was fouled at the edge of the area after a tidy one-two everyone looked towards free kick specialist Demus George.
He confidently swaggered up to collect the ball, meticulously placed the ball on the turf devilishly locked eyes with the keeper, slowly visualized the ball dipping over the wall, and took a deep breath. The referee granted him permission to fire ahead with a blow of the whistle and BOOM!... one of the worst free kicks ever taken as he duffed the ball knee height straight into the wall.
As luck would have it the ball rebounded back to the Canadian and he rocketed the ball left footed on the half volley into the top right corner scoring one of the most amazing goals the Celtics have seen.
With 20 minutes left it was all to play for but neither team managed to steal the victory. The high paced match left both teams out on their feet however a 1-1 draw seemed like an arguably fair result.