Oli Shaw seems like a pretty laid-back kind of guy, judging by the way he comes off the bench and scores against Celtic. But you might think he’ll have a few sleepless nights over the one that got away against the champions – the one that would have ended their unbeaten run.
“I didn’t think too much about what it would mean, I just saw the ball and concentrated on hitting the target,” the Hibernian striker said of the last-gasp chance.
An Efe Ambrose cross was spilled by Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon and the 19-year-old found himself in the right place for what would have been a golden moment in his career, no matter what else he achieves. But Shaw’s effort was blocked on the line by Mikael Lustig.
“Afterwards I just thought: ‘Oh no!’,” added Shaw. “I’m a bit gutted to be fair. It would have been a good feeling to have been the guy who ended the run.
“I thought it was in but obviously it wasn’t. It’s just hard lines for us. Someone was about to come through me so I had to hit the target. The ball went through [Jozo] Simunovic’s legs but Lustig has blocked it on the line.”
At least Shaw had been the guy to have earned Hibs a point, his equaliser coming just seven minutes after his entrance. In the Betfred Cup semi-final in October he needed only a minute to score with only his second touch. “The boys have been giving me a bit of stick in the dressing-room, saying I only score against Celtic,” he laughed. “Maybe I can come on against Rangers [on Wednesday] and get the winner.”
Or start for the first time. “It was nice to score the equaliser against Celtic and the gaffer [Neil Lennon] told me I’d been close to starting. I just need to be patient, bide my time, then when the chance comes I need to take it. I’m a striker so obviously I’ll need to score goals. When I get the chance to start, I’ll need to score and keep scoring.”
Shaw’s opportunity wasn’t even the final one of a ding-dong affair, a match which really opened out in the second period. Scott Sinclair, who’d fired Celtic into a two-goal lead, had his own chance to win it. “I saw Scott Brown breaking and thought Dylan [McGeouch] was going to bring him down but he just skipped by. When I saw Sinclair free I was like: ‘Please don’t!’ He missed and then the final whistle went. Thankfully we managed to keep the draw.”
Sinclair said Celtic were cursing having allowed the match to slip from their grasp, although they had to be grateful to Lustig for preserving the unbeaten record. “I thought we had the game under control but we sort of threw it away,” he added. “Losing two goals like that felt like a loss. The game then became end-to-end and the block was great from Mikael. He showed his quality.”
The striker agreed teams were getting closer to ending the run. “Everyone who plays against us it’s like their cup final,” said Sinclair. “They all want to be the first to beat us. It makes it that little bit harder but we just need to concentrate on doing as well as we can.”