The Scottish Cup
Clyde 2 Celtic 1, 2006
A chilly lunchtime kick-off in Cumbernauld isn’t the most auspicious spots for one of the greatest Scottish Cup shocks, but that’s exactly what the competition delivered in January 2006 as Celtic made the short hop along the motorway to Broadwood stadium to take on Clyde in a fourth-round tie.
Manchester United legend Roy Keane had arrived just under a month previous and strode out onto the field to make his debut for the club he’d supported as a child, but his dream swiftly turned to a nightmare as they struggled against their First Division hosts.
Clyde had begun the season in a degree of turmoil, having just missed out on promotion the previous season, all but two of the squad had been released, with the exception of Craig Bryson and Eddie Malone. The club had held open trials over the summer to build a squad almost entirely from scratch, and while their form was good considering the circumstances, few gave them hope against the run away Premier League leaders.
Right from the off, it was clear that the Bully Wee were up for the challenge. The management team of Graham Roberts and Joe Miller had built up their boys to not only think that they had a chance against Celtic, but that they were going to win the tie. Instilled with a spirit and an insistence that they had a point to prove, with a squad of players discarded by other clubs, they did so on a grand stage.
Under the cosh
Against a side filled with internationals, Artur Boruc, Stephen McManus, Shunsuke Nakamura, Neil Lennon and debutants Roy Keane and Chinese import Du Wei, Clyde started the game in frantic fashion.
The Bully Wee twice had the ball in the net early on, only for the officials to rule them out. Tom Brighton laid an early marker, outmuscling Du Wei and slotting under Boruc, only for referee to save the Shanghai Shenhua’s blushes by blowing up for a foul. Alex Williams was the next to test Celtic as he found the net after a stramash only for the linesman to raise his flag and once again save Celtic.
The tide was inevitable, however, and Malone and Bryson combined to open the scoring. Full-back Malone whipped a cross in from the left, which was missed by everyone, except Craig Bryson, who dipped his head low to give the home side the lead, sending the fans wild in the stands.
Du Wei continued his nightmare debut minutes later, as a long ball over the top found Brighton again, and he was hauled down by the Chinese centre-half for a penalty. Artur Boruc went some way to redeeming his earlier error at the opener to get down low to his right and deny Stephen O’Donnell from the spot, but it wasn’t to last.
From the ensuing corner, the ball dropped to full-back Eddie Malone in the middle of the penalty box, and his flying left foot volley arrowed into the roof of the net, giving Clyde a lead they richly deserved.
While Celtic tried to scrap their way back into the game, with Adam Virgo, Aiden McGeady and Maciej Zurawski making second half appearances to try and turn the tide, Polish substitute Zurawski could only pull one back late in the second half. If anything, it looked much like the home side were to add to their lead as Brighton, O’Donnell and Bryson continued to torment the Celtic backline.
While nerves around the stadium began to jangle at 2-1, the home side held out comfortably, to give us one of the greatest Scottish Cup Shocks of the modern era.