Celtic/Murphy - 24h on
Our first outing of 2013 will be remembered more for the exit of Murphy rather than another in the long series of defeats in the east end of Glasgow.
It was an unusual game. Had Celtic taken some of their many chances in the first ten minutes the game would have been over. We were fortunate to survive that opening blitz and soon found that there were opportunities for Humphrey, Ojamaa, Francis-Angol and of course, Murphy, to relieve the pressure with a run to the other end of the park.
Our unusual back three formation (Hammell, Ramsden and Kerr) were exposed at times, especially on the right where Samaras tormented Kerr. Still, the fact that the Greek was moved infield in the second half suggested that our man performed well.
When we were eventually presented with a chance to beat Forster from 12 yards there was a feeling of unreality in the small away compound. The kick was at our end of the stadium; success would give us a real chance of winning the match, could we score? The deflation that followed was not just disappointment that we had failed to take the lead but with the home fans now in full voice we knew what was in the script. Sure enough, Hooper killed us off within minutes.Captain Murphy leads the team
That left the stage clear for the day's captain, Jamie Murphy to acknowledge the Motherwell fans who sang his name at the end. His fellow players stood back to give him a final bow. The manner of his long, drawn out departure and the sentiments he expressed in the many post-match interviews were all we would expect of the model professional. That he has an 11 year association with Fir Park and is yet only 23 years old indicates the extent that the club has had on his development. What a fine product of the club's youth development system.
Now that the paperwork is complete we must look to the future. The mini-break will give the players a chance to recharge their batteries but McCall and co. will not stray far from their phones. There may be a few more movements in and out before the transfer window closes.
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