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Buckie Thistle goalkeeper Stuart Knight wants to play at Celtic Park every week as he completes Old Firm double and will remember playing against Scotland's top sides for the rest of his life

By Craig Christie

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Every footballer in Scotland wanted to swap places with Buckie Thistle's players at Celtic Park on Sunday, says goalkeeper Stuart Knight.

Buckie keeper Stuart Knight. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Buckie keeper Stuart Knight. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

And as much as his goal came under intense pressure for almost the entire Scottish Cup clash, Knight would love to do it all over again.

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"I want to do it again next week," he said. "It was brilliant, I loved every second of it.

"It was as tough a game as you can get in the country. The crowd was fantastic and it felt packed. The atmosphere was electric.

The Buckie Jags with their supporters at full time...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
The Buckie Jags with their supporters at full time...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"During the warm-up I was just smiling all the time."

Signed last summer from Forres Mechanics, who he served for 17 years, the 36-year-old once played against Rangers in the Scottish Cup so has now completed a competitive Old Firm double.

Forres played the 'Gers when they were in Division 3, and rates his Celtic Park experience as the pinnacle of his career.

"The Rangers team we played was a strong side but obviously it was different circumstances and a tighter park," he said.

"That was levels and levels above what we faced then. I loved the Rangers game, I was saying in all the conversations with the guys that you will remember this game for the rest of your lives.

"We won the league with Forres and then played Rangers the next season and all we speak about the Rangers game.

"It’s great winning the league, the best feeling. It’s great craic afterwards and a great achievement but the guys just speak about the Rangers game.

"This one is the pinnacle though. You don’t want to let an occasion like this pass you by."

The teams head out on to the pitch. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
The teams head out on to the pitch. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Knight made some good stops in the final half hour of Sunday's fourth round tie. Before that he was virtually powerless to prevent a succession of Celtic efforts from hitting the back of his net.

He was thankful that four Celtic goals were disallowed, and he made his first stop from a Luis Palma free kick from out on the left which he tipped over the bar.

"He tried to catch me out," Knight said. "I spilled one and had a decent block as well.

"It felt like it was 60 minutes before I had a save but they were right on the edge of the box.

"The game plan was to sit in and stifle them but it was really difficult. They are so sharp, that is the difference.

"We tried to play as narrow as we could, they were getting down the left and inside."

Knight did feel he could have done better when Kyogo turned in Leil Abada's cross for Celtic's third goal just before half time - but the clinical attack caught him napping.

"The third one, I’m not just chuffed with. The way the ball’s come in, I’ve stopped, expecting a shot because in the Highland League, somebody’s shooting. But it was a good ball across.

"I haven’t seen the possession stats but that was full-on. I was speaking the whole game but I don’t know if anyone heard me because of the noise.

"It was a hard, hard shift and I’m knackered now."

Knight was impressed by the respect paid to Buckie by Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, and he enjoyed a moment with former England international Joe Hart, the Celtic goalkeeper.

"Brendan said he’s looked us up, he’s watched our games back. He saw the Aberdeen game - which he maybe thought I was a bit dodgy in - and they’ve given us respect and put out a top, top side.

"That team will beat Premier League teams 5-0. That is a fantastic team and shows a bit of respect.

"I got a word with Joe Hart at the end. He just said well done.

"I saw him again in the changing room afterwards and he gave me a top, which was fantastic.

"We went into the Celtic changing room after with all the guys and they were all brand new, we couldn’t fault them."

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