Bluebell United provided a memorable event on Saturday at Capco Park, hosting a star studded Celtic Legends side, to ignite fundraising efforts for development plans in 2020.
An impressive turnout witnessed the Bluebell XI take on a Hoops team, managed by John Hartson, featuring household names such as Tommy Johnson, Bobby Petta, Pierre van Hooijdonk & Brian McClaire.
The home line-up boasted some of their own club legends, along with senior players and a handful of avid supporters, as the bulk of their first team regulars were unavailable while successfully competing in the Crumlin Cup Final on the same day.
The Celtic legends battled from two goals down to claim a dramatic victory, courtesy of a Van Hooijdonk last gasp winner.
Despite the soaring temperatures there was no sign of fatigue in a goalless first half that provided plenty of chances and some classy touches, most notably from Frank McAvennie and Bobby Petta.
The second half sprung into life as Celtic pressure appeared to pay dividends, winning a penalty after Andy Noonans handball, however Adam Griffith was unable to convert with a scuffed effort rolling wide of the target.
That incident spurred the Bell on, with Gareth Cooney’s thirty yard rasper and a poachers finish from Wayne Christie propelling Bluebell into a two goal lead.
However the Bhoys were not done yet, clawing their way back into proceedings when Liam Richardson popped up with two opportunistic finishes.
The real drama was yet to unfold, after a contentious penalty decision gave Celtic the opportunity to complete an improbable turnaround. The infamous Pierre Van Hooidjonk took centre stage, as his emphatic strike into the bottom corner ensured that Celtic took the spoils.
Ultimately, surrendering the two goal lead will do little to dampen Bluebell spirits, after providing an enthralling spectacle and a remarkable occasion. It truly highlights the growth in local support and enthusiasm for this prosperous Club.
John Hartson was also pleased with the outcome adding “I feel great. I’ve got a 100% record, one game as the Celtic manager and one win!”