Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blogathon: Goalden moments

Occurs to me that anyone chancing across the blog might wonder what the Nora Batty is going on.

Well, I'm rambling on about football and a few mates are joining me here and there. But we're doing it to help out Alzheimer Scotland and the Homeless World Cup. If you can help please do. The links to do just that are all over this page.

Click, give, feel jolly and make a difference.

The state of Scottish football and the state of Craig Levein's tenure as Scotland manager are reasonably heavy subjects to be carrying us through the night.

So for this shift I'm jumping back to a topic suggested on Twitter early on in this whole process.

My favourite goal at Easter Road.

Tough one. Because you don't score many goals, says the comedian in the corner called Laurie Dunsire.

What makes a favourite goal? Technical proficiency and the quality of the execution. To an extent.

Yet the experience of a particular game can enhance a so-so goal into something above the norm.

I remember a Mickey Weir header. Nothing special about it apart from Mickey - or Michael as Alex(ander) Miller liked to call him - being the smallest man on the pitch and that the game was the day of my annual early January birthday visit to Easter Road with my dad.

I remember, of course, the Latapy-Mixu-Latapppyyy goal in the 6-2 win over Hearts.

I remember every goal in the 3-2 win - the ultimately futile win - over AEK Athens and have a particular regard for David Zitelli's effort.

The two goals scored in the 1992-93 UEFA Cup game against Anderlecht - by Dave Beaumont and Pat McGinlay - remain special. They might not have been as technically proficient as those in the AEK game but on a night of European passion they secured a place in my heart.

Pat McGinlay also scored from close to the halfway line against Kilmarnock - days after, if I recall correctly, Chic Charnley had scored from even further out against Alloa in the League Cup. Chic provided some great moments during his brief Easter Road renaissance as the white Pele.

The road to Hampden for the 2003-04 league cup against Livingston - a road that was eventually littered with broken dreams - included a sweetly struck Kevin Thomson strike against Celtic. Whatever happened to him?

My favourite though wasn't scored for Hibs.

It was a goal by Darren Jackson.

I've never seen it since and I suspect it doesn't exist on video anywhere.

21st February 1995.

For some reason I'd been off school. I say some reason, I didn't need much encouragement to fling a sickie.

Anyway I still managed to get a trip to Easter Road to see Scotland's B team take on Northern Ireland.

This was a special Scotland team in that it contained three Hibs players.

Steven Tweed in defence. Pat McGinlay in a midfield holding role that didn't suit him and Jackson. Or Zico as I called him then.

We won. Steven Tweed actually scored the first. He'd maybe have described it as a tidy flick into the back of the net. I'd say the ball bounced off one his giant limbs after a goalmouth scrap.

But it was Jackson who stole the show.

The ball came to him about 25 yards out. He flicked it over a defender and volleyed a shot into the top corner.

It was a stunner.

Has it got better in the intervening years? Probably.

But that's the beauty of memories and the attraction of having some footballing memories free from the intrusion of the now ever present TV cameras.

Darren Jackson went on to play 28 times for Scotland.

Steven Tweed did not.

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