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  • Ewan Henderson’s key role in Neil Lennon’s return as Celtic manager

    Ewan Henderson’s key role in Neil Lennon’s return as Celtic manager

    By: Joe Donnelly on 27 Mar, 2020 14:31

  • TODAY marks the 10th anniversary of Neil Lennon’s first game in charge of Celtic during his first stint as manager. Today is also the 20th birthday of Hoops midfielder Ewan Henderson, who played a crucial role in the manager’s second return to the dugout last year.

    In a thrilling 2-1 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle on February 27, 2019, French forward Odsonne Edouard bagged the winner in second-half stoppage-time, to ensure the Irishman got off to the perfect start as interim boss.

    That night, James Forrest got the ball rolling after 36 minutes, and it was young Henderson, then on the cusp of turning 19, who set the move in motion.

    After collecting a Nir Bitton clearance just outside his own box, he took a touch, opened his body, and sprayed a magnificent through-ball to Scott Sinclair inside the opposition half. The winger burst forward, slipped the ball to loanee attacker Oliver Burke down the inside-left channel who, in turn, squared to Forrest in front of goal.

    Forrest, who was handed his debut by Neil Lennon back in 2010, capped off the fine move to put the Hoops in front. Hearts equalised from the spot on 56 minutes via Oliver Bozanic, before Edouard sealed the win with a flash of late drama on 90+2.

    “It’s always good to play actual football, especially when you do go on to get the win,” said Henderson in an exclusive interview with the Celtic View magazine at the time. “Nir cleared the loose ball and passed to me, before I took it on, took a touch, and spotted Sinclair running.

    “I spotted Scotty in the corner of my eye, and played it into his path and he went from there. At the time, I was convinced it was a simple pass forward, but when I watched the footage back, I realised it looked quite good!”

    Fast forward less than three months from there, and Celtic had clinched the unprecedented and historic Treble Treble. That goal was Neil Lennon’s first as returning Celtic manager, and Ewan Henderson’s part in it cannot be underplayed. 

    Happy Birthday, Ewan!

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