Hesselink the hero for Celtic

Celtic 2 Hibernian 1

Celtic 2 Hibernian 1

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink made a big name for himself after coming off the bench to score the winner against Hibernian at Parkhead and send Celtic back to the top of the SPL.

The man with the longest name in Scottish football will have more fans spending fortunes to get his letters embossed on their shirts after his debut.

His introduction after the break, for mis-firing Kenny Miller, sparked a second-half Celtic revival.

Maciej Zurawski cancelled out Scott Brown’s cool opener from a superb run and pass by another new signing Lee Naylor, and Vennegoor of Hesselink pounced after Aiden McGeady’s shot had come back off the post.

Hibernian made a bright start and would have taken a shock lead after just two minutes but for the heroics of Stephen McManus.

Merouane Zemmama made Mark Wilson and former Hibs captain Gary Caldwell look silly by cutting inside of the left flank but the Scotland defender got back to clear his low shot off the line.

Celtic striker Zurawski looked for a penalty in the seventh minute when he went down under the challenge of Fletcher and Shields but rightly got nothing.

And a minute later, the visitors burst down the other end of the field and took a deserved lead.

The lively Zemmama skipped away from Lennon and played the ball inside Naylor to the overlapping Brown, who took it in his stride before blasting a low right-foot shot past Marshall.

The Celtic defence looked shaky to say the least but at the other end Hibernian goalkeeper Zbigniew Malkowski was far from rock solid.

The Pole spilled a comfortable Neil Lennon strike, from the edge of the area, but he made amends to save Nakamura’s follow-up effort.

Miller got behind the Hibernian defence, from Nakamura’s pass, but he could only lob the ball straight to Malkowski.

Shields was a relieved man on the half-hour after losing Nakamura and then clumsily bringing him down on the edge of the area.

From the right side of the box, the playmaker curled in a left-foot free-kick but it bounced back off the crossbar.

But at the other end more calamitous defending by Celtic almost plunged them into more trouble.

Fletcher seemed to get pulled to the ground by Caldwell but he still managed to get a shot away, which flew just over the top.

Abdessalam Benjelloun stupidly got himself in trouble in the 36th minute after Stephen Pearson had fouled goalscorer Brown.

The Moroccan ran past his team-mate to shove the Celtic midfielder and referee Charlie Richmond further incensed the crowd by flashing the yellow card to Pearson and the Hibernian man.

Mowbray took off Benjelloun, through fear of having him dismissed, and brought on Ivan Sproule.

Brown was booked before the Ulsterman went close to making an instant impact when he ran on to a throughball and took it past Marshall but failed to slide the ball the correct side of the post.

Strachan attempted to lift his side and the crowd when he sent on Vennegoor of Hesselink for Miller, who had failed to score in 12 matches, after 51 minutes.

The Dutchman brought more urgency and a header from Wilson’s cross in the 50th minute but Malkowski made a comfortable save.

Sproule then had a golden opportunity to put Celtic further behind moments later.

Man-of-the-match Kevin Thomson took the ball away from Nakamura to send the forward through on goal but Marshall raced off his line to save.

And Zurawski came to Celtic’s rescue in the 52nd minute but Naylor’s persistence was instrumental in the equaliser.

The full-back had no right to burst into the box having been injured earlier but he pulled the ball back from the byline and the Poland striker blasted home first time from 11 yards.

Parkhead was jumping again in the 66th minute when Vennegoor of Hesselink pounced to score his first goal for the club.

McGeady was the provider having ran at the defence before seeing his left-foot shot come back off the right upright and into the path of the frontman to sidefoot home past the grounded Malkowski.

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