Celtic XI trailed 1-0 at Peebles Rovers before fightback

In front of around 400 spectators at Whitestone Park on Friday night, hosts Peebles Rovers took a sensational 14th minute lead against a Celtic XI in an eagerly anticipated pre-season friendly.

By Craig Goldthorp
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 2:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 2:49 pm
Peebles celebrate penalty opener (Pic courtesy of Peebles Rovers)
Peebles celebrate penalty opener (Pic courtesy of Peebles Rovers)

A foul on Ross Lamb earned a penalty, which Lamb converted himself to put the home team in dreamland. Although a slick Celtic team soon hit back to lead 4-1 by half-time and make it 8-1 in their favour by the end, Rovers boss Ger Rossi remained upbeat.

He told The Southern Reporter: “It was a great start but there was a long way to go against a Celtic team who had a lot of B team players in.

"When we scored I was absolutely delighted but when you have been involved in the game a long time you could see the quality Celtic brought with them.

“It’s the second time Ross has scored against Celtic – he also netted a spot kick in a 2-1 friendly defeat five years ago – so it would have been a great feeling for him as well. He does enjoy scoring against Celtic.

"There were loads of kids at the game so there was great excitement in that first 30 or 40 minutes.

"If it had been 1-0 just before half-time then you know you’ve got an easier team talk.

"For the first 30 minutes we did really well, the shape was really good. But once Celtic got into their rhythm you could see they just play like the first team with no stoppages in their game, they just move it quickly.

"There was height and experience in the Celtic side, we certainly weren’t playing against a youth team.

"We were up against it but the boys did exceptionally well in terms of their effort. I don’t think you could ask too much more.

"I think the scoreline was a bit of a sore one but it wasn’t really about that to be honest.”

Rovers – who have a 21-man squad – begin their 2022-23 East of Scotland second division campaign at Lochgelly Albert this Saturday with kick-off at 2.30pm.

"We are looking really good to be honest,” Rossi said.

"We’ve had a really tough pre-season. I wanted to kind of build it that way.

"We have played Gretna and Celtic within that and the boys have shown up really well, although the scoreline against Celtic is a bit of a dampener.

"But in terms of effort, fitness etcetera we are geared up quite well.

"It’s only really been four or five weeks but it’s been quite intense and we’ve asked quite a lot of them."