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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Gordon's perseverance pays off with Cup medal

Craig Gordon
Craig Gordon

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon believes his Scottish League Cup winner's medal is his reward for refusing to call it quits.

The Scotland keeper spent two years out of the game battling knee and arm injuries.

He feared for his career at one stage, but eventually fought his way back to fitness before clinching a deal with Ronny Deila's side last summer.

And yesterday he collected his first gong since helping Hearts win the Scottish Cup in 2006 after a relatively trouble-free afternoon as the Parkhead outfit claimed a 2-0 win over Dundee United at Hampden.

Gordon said: "It's great to get back at this level and to play in a cup final again. But to win it is very special.

"It means even more to me given what I've been through. I thought for a long time I'd never get back to playing football, never mind winning a cup final.

LONG ROAD

"It's been a long road back to this level and I'm absolutely delighted to win it."

United spent six minutes of the first half down to 10 men after skipper Seán Dillion had to go off for stitches in his shin after a clash with Virgil van Dijk.

By the time he returned Kris Commons had blasted Celtic ahead with a 28th-minute strike.

Celtic substitute James Forrest came on for the final 20 minutes and had time to stroke home a second with 12 minutes left before missing a late penalty, which he had won himself after being dragged down by Paul Dixon.

United felt they should have had a penalty themselves before half-time when Ryan Dow was pushed over in the area by Hoops skipper Scott Brown, but referee Bobby Madden waved the appeal away.

Midfielder John Rankin claimed Celtic might have influenced the official's decision-making with a string of comments this week.

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