Celtic duo Jonathan Afolabi and Conor Hazard both produced heroic moments to secure vital points for their loan clubs this weekend.
Afolabi’s Dunfermline Athletic were 1-0 down against lowly Queen of the South yesterday. However, the young Irishman stepped up confidently to convert a second-half penalty that bagged the Pars a vital point.
Afolabi’s goal was only his second in senior football and his second on loan with Dunfermline. It comes after he netted against Dundee United last weekend as he starts to pick up some form.
Meanwhile, it was the battle of the Celtic goalkeepers at Somerset as Ayr United hosted Dundee. For Celtic, it was the best result we could’ve hoped for as the scoreline ended 0-0.
Ross Doohan was in between the sticks for the Honest Men, whilst Hazard took to the sticks for James McPake’s Dees side.
Ross Doohan and Conor Hazard both get shutouts
However, whilst the clean sheets will be great for both men, it was Hazard who took the plaudits for a second-half penalty save as he batted away Aaron Muirhead’s powerful effort at full-stretch.
So it was a positive afternoon for all three of Celtic’s Championship youngsters. But it was Afolabi and Hazard who became the heroes with their big moments.
As for the Championship table, it leaves Dunfermline two points behind Dundee having played a game more. That shows how vital Afolabi’s penalty AND Hazard’s penalty save were in the context of the season.
Doohan’s Ayr, meanwhile, are ahead of both sides in third place. However, their point at home to Dundee was crucial as it keeps them two points clear of them.
So it’s a straight shootout between three of our academy’s hopefuls in the Championship. It’s looking next to impossible when it comes to having all three of them in the playoffs. Hopefully though, one can at least taste the glory of promotion come the end of the season.
As things stand it remains a brilliant learning curve for each and every one of them. And despite not one of them winning their respective games, they can all be satisfied with their individual displays.