In the run-up to Danny Lennon vs Neil Lennon this afternoon, much of the talk has, quite appropriately, been about the dreadful 2006 Scottish Cup shock when Celtic went down 2-1 to Clyde.
Yet there’s actually some more romanticism for Clyde fans to take heading into this one. That’s because their dugout has more cup victories over Celtic to brag about than just that day on ’06.
Both Lennon and his assistant Allan Moore weren’t involved in Clyde’s stunning Scottish Cup win that year. Therefore, there’s an argument there to say that the game isn’t really all that relevant to them.
However, whilst 2006 might not resonate much with the Clyde dugout on personal notes, 2013 most certainly will.
Clyde boss Lennon has experience of being an underdog against Celtic and knocking us out of cup competitions. His St Mirren side ripped up our treble dreams right in front of us back in the 2012/13 campaign. A 3-2 Hampden defeat in the League Cup semi-finals stunned just about everyone inside the stadium and those watching at home.
Lennon and Moore have individual success vs Celtic
Lennon also went on to win the League Cup and secure St Mirren’s first major trophy since 1987. It was also his finest hour as a manager.
But his current assistant dealt us an even more embarrassing blow just eight months later. Moore’s Championship strugglers, Greenock Morton, came to Parkhead looking like being on the end of a doing.
Instead, they took us to extra-time before Dougie Imrie slammed home a penalty that ended in Celtic once again waving goodbye to League Cup success, this time at the first hurdle. To this day, there’s a debate over whether this is Neil Lennon’s worst result as Celtic manager.
Many will counter and state that Celtic are too strong to lose today. But we should’ve been too strong in both of those previous encounters. The likes of Mikael Lustig, Virgil Van Dijk, Scott Brown, Tom Rogic, and Kris Commons all featured against Morton. It can happen if you’re switched off.
Another positive omen for our rivals is that Neil Lennon was our manager on both of these occasions. Thankfully, however, cup shocks have been something of a distant memory for the gaffer since he came in the door back in February.
Lennon has already secured both the Scottish Cup and Betfred Cup since arriving almost a year ago. But it could be a blessing in disguise that he has these haunting memories to look back on too. It’s a reminder of what can happen when you underestimate decent opposition.
So when we look across to the opposing dugout and see Lennon and Moore on the touchline, don’t be fooled. They’re anything but semi-professionals. They have both the experience and know-how to spring a shock. Fortunately, our own boss will be all too aware of that.