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A bitterly cold Coatbridge afternoon would be the setting for today's match between sides at either end of division 1, Davie Brown's Vale of Level team had conceded 15 goals in their last two games but the coach was keen to stress the fact that having started the season with only four players available to him any success he had this season would only be relative.
At the other end of the table Celtic had only lost one game all season, a narrow defeat in a closely contested game with league leaders Johnstone Burgh 3-2 and were hoping for a comfortable win here today that would both put them top of the league and give them confidence heading into their Scottish cup quarter final with Hutchison Vale.
The thermometer was barely above freezing here but Celtic were on fire straight from the kick off, withing minutes of referee Ross Hardie signalling kick off they had taken the lead through a superb strike from Daniel Sneddon who, having been played in from the right by David Reid, lifted his shot over the advancing William Brown where it ricocheted in off the bar for the opener.
Vale wouldn't be without chances themselves though and Nathan Wharton did well to turn Brooks Tadlock's left footed effort round the post midway through the half. Celtic were the dominant force though despite having numerous chances it was nearly half time before they extended their lead.
Reid was yet again the architect as he managed to get to the byline before cutting the ball back to Kieran Connachan who controlled and shot in one swift motion giving the goalie no chance and doubling his sides advantage.
Connachan then turned creator as he teed up Greg Steele for his sides third before the goal of the half made it four for Celtic, straight from the kick off Daniel Sneddon received the ball before lifting over the defence perfectly for the unmarked Christopher Lennon who took a touch to control the ball, one to set himself and slid the ball under Brown with his third for the third goal in five minutes.
Vale would be the team who ended the half with a flourish though with Ross Willis receiving the ball on the left hand side of the Celtic area and hit a superb shot from just inside the box which flew past Wharton to make it 4-1 at the interval.
Half Time: The Celtic BC 4-1 Vale of Leven
Yet again it only took three minutes for the hoops to break Vale hearts after the restart, Christopher Lennon putting his pace to good use yet again as he tore past the opposition and fires through Browns arms from an angle with such force the ball ripped through the net to make it five.
It was now raining goals here in North Lanarkshire and minutes after Christopher's brother Connor Lennon had given his team a five goal advantage after finishing unchallenged in the Vale area a superb free kick from Gary Stillwell found Lee McGeachy arriving like a train at Wharton's back post to smash the ball home and make it 6-2.
Celtic substitute John Aitken was next to get in on the act after yet another defence splitting ball from Daniel Sneddon left him clean through on Brown, the goalie was able to get a hand to the shot but the ball spun over his shoulder and into the net to make it seven.
Willis was once again able to show his striking ability before the end with the shot of the match after turning and setting himself on his left he bent his shot towards the far post and, despite Wharton getting a hand to it, it thumped off the upright and in for his second.
The Celtic subs were showing what a difference a strong squad can make and after Greg Smiths run and slide rule pass across the box Barry Daly swept the ball into the empty net to make it 8-3 and finish the highest scoring game in the division this season.
Vale will have been pleased to put three past such a strong side and certainly show promise for the future but this was Celtics day and they must certainly fancy their chances of lifting a couple of trophies this year.
Full Time: The Celtic BC 8-3 Vale of Leven