Scotland and England level pegging at Celtic Park

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SCOTLAND v England may no longer be the annual highlight of Scotland’s international season, but this sixth meeting of the nations at Celtic Park does at least give the winner a chance to go ahead in the series of games played at that venue.

Of the five previous Scotland v England clashes played there, each side has won two games and lost two, while their first meeting, in 1894, finished as a 2-2 draw. Even the goal-scoring is evenly split with each side having scored nine.

The England squad look around Celtic Park ahead of their game against Scotland. Picture: Getty

The England squad look around Celtic Park ahead of their game against Scotland. Picture: Getty

The Scotland team contesting the 1894 match was captained by Dan Doyle and contained three Celtic players, four from Rangers, three from Queen’s Park, plus the only non-Glasgow man, Hearts’ Isaac Begbie. They were just five minutes from victory when John Reynolds scored England’s equaliser.

A 3-0 England win at Villa Park in 1895 persuaded the SFA it was time to call-up the previously ineligible Anglos and in 1896 a team containing five – Sunderland goalkeeper “Ned” Doig, left back Tom Brandon of Blackburn Rovers, centre-half Jimmy Cowan of Aston Villa, centre-forward Tom Hyslop of Stoke City and outside left Jack Bell of Everton ended the run of non-success. Willie Lambie of Queen’s Park and Bell got the goals in the first half, with Billy Bassett scoring England’s consolation.

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England won at Celtic Park for the first time in 1899, in a match in which Cowan, the first Anglo to captain Scotland, had to carry the can for the 3-1 defeat amidst suggestions he had played while under the influence of alcohol.

Scotland had their revenge in 1900, in one of the most famous matches between the sides. This match, on 7 April, is immortalised as “The Rosebery International”. As a tribute to SFA patron and future Prime Minister Lord Rosebery, the Scots wore his Lordship’s primrose and salmon pink racing hoops.

Hero of the hour was Queen’s Park centre forward RS McColl, who opened the scoring in the first minute, and scored again in 25 and 44 minutes to put the Scots 4-1 ahead at half time. Jack Bell of Celtic got the other goal, with Steve Bloomer scoring for England. In the second half, only a superb individual performance from England goalkeeper Robinson denied Scotland an even more emphatic win.

In what was, until tonight, the most recent clash between the sides at Celtic Park, Bloomer returned in 1904 to score the only goal in a 1-0 England win.

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