|Hearts press the Celtic defences|
I wouldn't swap my match days with Dumbarton for the world. But sometimes it is good to get to watch a live game at a significantly higher level, and to soak up a bit of the 'big match' atmosphere. This one was buzzing, particularly where I was sitting, in the spacious and comfortable Wheatfield Stand, adjacent to the corner where the Jambos' faithful crossed words with the Hoops' travelling support.
Given the mighty financial and footballing gulf between the Old Firm and the rest in the Scottish Premier League, I had braced myself for disappointment in my hopes for an upset. Hearts aren't bad, but Celtic came into this one off the back of a 9-0 drubbing of Aberdeen, and though few thought that would happen again in Gorgie, there was an understandable air of tension and apprehension among the home support.
Technically, this match was far from flawless, but it had all the ingredients of a great game: passion, atmosphere, pace, constant endeavour, a couple of decisive goals - even a red card on the pitch and one for Celtic manager Gordon Lennon, too, for his (justified but over-exerted) complaint about a penalty call. The Hearts fans taunted the frankly rather unlovely Glasgow visitors - who didn't appear to have heard the tannoy appeal against sectarian chants - with "It's a conspiracy!" when they scored or got a decision. Altogether, a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a fine 2-0 home win.