7 unlikely match winners from Old Firm derby history

Mark Wilson netted the winning goal in a 2011 Scottish Cup replay. Picture: SNS
Mark Wilson netted the winning goal in a 2011 Scottish Cup replay. Picture: SNS
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Sometimes winning goals are scored by club legends, and other times they are netted by those you’d least expect. Craig Fowler looks at some Celtic and Rangers heroes that few fans saw coming.

When it comes to Celtic heroes in Old Firm derbies, it’s tended to be the guys who were revered goalscorers the rest of the time. Henrik Larsson, Chris Sutton, Alan Thompson, Stan Petrov, players of this ilk always tended to net the crucial strike. Rangers had their fair share of legendary scorers in derbies also - Brian Laudrup, Ally McCoist etc - yet these contributions were interspersed with memorable moments from the likes of Maurice Edu, Kevin Thomson and Erik Bo Andersen, whereas similarly obscure Celtic scorers were harder to come by. For that reason, there is one more Rangers player in this list to reflect that anomaly.

Ugo Ehiogu (Rangers)

The former England international spent one year at Ibrox, making only nine league appearances. One of those was an Old Firm derby at Celtic Park, where Ehiogu scored what would later be voted as the Rangers’ fans’ Goal of the Season. With five minutes remaining to half-time, the centre back stunned the home support, and probably himself, by hitting an overhead kick that landed into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar. It proved to be the only goal of the game.

Kai Johansen (Rangers)

The Danish full back latched on to a loose ball 25 yards out in the dying minutes of the 1966 Scottish Cup final and slammed the ball beyond Celtic goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson. It was the only goal of the replay, earning Johansen the distinction of being the first foreigner to score in Scotland’s showpiece event. He played five years at Ibrox and also helped the club reach the 1967 European Cup Winners’ Cup final.

Bert Konterman (Rangers)

Of course he was going to be included. This is the prototypical goal scored by an unlikely source by which all others are judged. Not only did he rarely score goals, he was also a below par player, and yet he unleashed a stunning effort into the top corner of the Hampden Park net. This secured a 2-1 victory for Rangers in the 2002 League Cup semi-final. They would sweep aside Ayr United in the final.

Andy Lynch (Celtic)

People across the country tuned in to watch the first televised Scottish Cup final in 20 years. It wasn’t a classic by any means and was settled by a single Lynch goal from the penalty spot after Derek Johnstone handled the ball on the goal-line. Full-back Lynch would later go on to captain the side and fathered future Celtic striker Simon Lynch.

Brian O’Neill (Celtic)

Not only an unlikely goalscorer, but an unlikely win in general. This 2-1 victory at Ibrox in 1993, courtesy of O’Neill’s last-minute goal, came when Rangers were near enough at the peak of their nine-in-a-row powers, having almost reached the European Cup final six months earlier. Celtic, on the other hand, were at their nadir under the frustrating period between 1988 and 1996, where they failed to record any top two finishes. It was Lou Macari’s first win as Celtic boss but it wasn’t until Tommy Burns came in a year later that things began to change.

Nigel Spackman (Rangers)

If you’re going to score one goal throughout your entire career with Rangers, you may as well make it a winner in your Old Firm derby debut. Spackman started the move he would eventually finish by winning the ball in the centre of the park. He charged forward before playing out wide for Johnson then continued his run into the penalty area and was able to side foot home when the ball arrived at his feet six yards out.

Mark Wilson (Celtic)

The match-winner was almost an afterthought from this ill-tempered encounter. Rangers had three men sent off before Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon acted like a couple of drunk punters by squaring up to each other on the sidelines at full time. The Scottish Cup fifth-round replay saw only one goal and that belonged to Wilson. It was an unusual finish. After an initial thunderous effort was cleared off the line, it rebounded back to Wilson. He didn’t catch it quite as well second time around, though the unusual bounce of the ball deceived the retreating Rangers defenders and it found the back of the net. It was one of only three Celtic goals he would net in his five-and-a-half-year career at Parkhead. Oddly, all three came within a space of 29 days in 2011.

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