On this day in 2009, Celtic travelled to New St Mirren Park for only the second time. Opened in January that year, Buddies supporters wondered if the new arena could live up to the magic witnessed at Love Street over the previous century. Their answer wasn’t slow in forthcoming, though it may not have been welcome.

27 minutes into the match, Paddy McCourt picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch. Jinking past one, cutting inside another, bursting through a gap between two players, selling a dummy to a fifth opponent and driving past a sixth; ‘the Derry Pele’ powered a shot into the far corner from a tight angle. It was a goal reminiscent of George Best, Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi.

Shaun Maloney confirmed the points for Celtic by adding a second in the 78th minute. The result put Tony Mowbray’s team four points clear at the top of the SPL table, but little did anyone know how different the team would fare on their next visit to Paisley.

This article first appeared on The Celtic Star and was syndicated with permission.

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