LOUIS MOULT is the last Motherwell player to score a winning goal against Celtic, grabbing a brace as the Steelmen came from behind to shock Ronny Deila’s side with a shock 2-1 victory at Parkhead on December 19, 2015.

The 29-year-old had come to Scotland that summer in order to rebuild a career which had taken him from hometown club Stoke City (for whom he made one Premier League appearance) to non-league Wrexham via stops at Bradford City, Mansfield Town, Accrington Stanley, Alfreton Town, Northampton Town and Nuneaton Town.

Now, as he reflects on that memorable night in Paradise, Moult finds himself in a similar position, having endured injury problems which are likely to have chewed almost two-and-a-half years from his career since he returned south in January, 2018.

Motherwell haven’t won any of their 20 subsequent encounters with Celtic, losing 17 of them, but Moult hopes that Tony Watt, Kevin van Veen or anyone in claret and amber can emulate his feat and claim the three points for the Steelmen when they clash again at Fir Park on Saturday.

“We hadn’t started well that season but Mark McGhee had just come back as manager and he made a difference,” he said. “Even so, we went into that match with them on top of the league and us one point ahead of Kilmarnock, who were second-bottom.

“It was goal-less at half-time but they went in front early in the second half when a Nir Bitton shot was deflected into our net by Keith Lasley and it seemed as though our luck was out. However, Marvin Johnson went on a surging run down the left and I managed to get on the end of his cross to equalise with a tap-in.

“Then, after Scott McDonald had produced some trickery in the box, Jozo Simunovic brought him down for a penalty kick – and I was amazed he allowed me to take it! I sent it straight down the middle and, thankfully, Craig Gordon had dived to his left. That put us in front and we held out for the win.”

Moult became a predatory presence in the Premiership, displaying a wide range of finishes which eventually saw him lured back to England with Preston North End but he credits the supporters who idolised him for that transformation.

“The connection I had with them was unbelievable – and it still is,” he said.

“They believed in me right from the start and they’re the reason I did so well for the club. They’ve been very loyal, too – they’ve followed me since I left and I still keep in touch with them and come up to the odd Motherwell game whenever I can.

“I still follow their progress and I’ve been impressed by their progress under Graham Alexander since he took over: they look very well organised now and it’s not often they’ll go into a game against Celtic at this stage of the season ahead of them in the table.

“Obviously, any game against the Glasgow clubs is tough because their budgets are bigger than the rest put together but Celtic are dropping more points now than they were under the Brendan Rodgers teams I played against and I’d like to think that one of the home players can grab a winner this weekend.”

Moult, meanwhile, hasn’t played first-team football since August 17, 2019.

“I suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage playing for Preston against Swansea,” he explained. “Then it went again during rehab, which is fairly common. However, just as I was due to have an operation to speed up the healing process, the lockdown was imposed and suddenly the world had more important things to worry about than fopotball injuries.

“Consequently, I had to wait for months for another appointment and wasn’t able to do any fitness work at all. I became more frustrated every day and I’m just glad my wife and kids were able to help me stay positive and get through it.

“I’d returned to full fitness by the end of last season and joined Burton Albion but, in a pre-season game against Leicester, I landed on their centre-half’s foot and did my ankle in so I’ve yet to make my debut. I’ve just started running again and hope to be back in action before Christmas.”