LEIGH GRIFFITHS doubled his goal tally for the first part of the season when he netted his third goal in four comeback games in the 3-0 win over St Johnstone in Perth last night.
The 29-year-old Scotland international, who has now claimed six goals, has hit the ground running since returning after the mid-winter break. He collected strikes against Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup at Firhill, Kilmarnock in the Premiership at Rugby Park and now the Saints at McDiarmid Park.
Ironically, he failed to score in the 3-0 triumph over Ross County at Parkhead at the weekend.
Griffiths cushioned in a volley from a superb Greg Taylor left-wing cross to score the Hoops’ third goal in their relentless first-half assault on the gallant Zander Clark. Olivier Ntcham, with a net-bursting header, opened the scoring and James Forrest flashed in the second.
The returning forward’s strike helped Neil Lennon’s side to maintain their five-point lead at the top of the table with Rangers beating Ross County 2-0 at Ibrox.
GOAL-DEN BHOY…Leigh Griffiths celebrates his strike against St Johnstone with Odsonne Edouard about to join in.
The goal also took the attacker’s overall Celtic tally to an impressive 110, surpassing Neilly Mochan and Frank McGarvey, who both scored 109 goals.
It also draws him level with John Hartson who, before Griffiths, was the last Celt to hit a century of goals for the Hoops.
Griffiths, who has also scored against Nomme Kalju and the Perth side in the east end of Glasgow and another against Motherwell at Fir Park in the first half of the campaign, is hoping to get the nod to carry on scoring against Hamilton Accies at the FYO Stadium at the weekend.
The fans’ favourite, speaking to the Celtic website, said: “For the first 45 minutes, it’s probably the best we’ve played so far this season. To come to McDiarmid Park, score three goals, keep a clean sheet and take all three points is great.
“We just take each game as it comes and we’ve got another tough away game on Sunday against Hamilton, so we need to prepare well and get ready to go again.”
SHAKE, PAL…Neil Lennon congratulates Leigh Griffiths at the end.
Griffiths also paid his compliments to frontline partner Odsonne Edouard, who fired blanks in Perth last night.
He added: “Odsonne’s got such good movement and can go long and come short, and we play off each other. I think you can see from the first goal how well we can link up – and long may it continue.
“I’m feeling good and the more minutes I get on the pitch, the fitter I’m going to become. I can still get a bit fitter, but so long as I’m playing games and working hard in training, then that’ll come.
“It’s not just about scoring goals, it’s about helping the team get the three points. You saw the team goal we had for the first, then Jamesy scored a great second and then Greg Taylor put a great ball in for my goal.
“We were unlucky not to add more, but three goals away from home is a positive result. I’m just concentrating now on hopefully getting picked again on Sunday against Hamilton.”