Lee Casciaro watched Celtic hurtle towards Nine In A Row with a big smile on his face.

But four years ago today, the Lincoln Red Imps striker had the Hoops frowning as his strike brought one of the darkest days in their history.

Celtic fans were in dreamland having appointed Brendan Rodgers as gaffer but a shock 1-0 Champions League win for the Gibraltarians in his first game brought them crashing to earth.

Casciaro watched from afar as Rodgers transformed his team from impotent to Invincibles and loved knowing his plucky side had achieved something the rest of Scotland couldn’t.

He said: “That Celtic game is the highlight of my career. Getting one over on the mighty Celtic was the best day for everyone associated with Imps.

“Celtic went the whole season without losing domestically so it was a fantastic achievement for us.

Lincoln's Lee Casciaro opens the scoring

“I kept an eye on Celtic’s campaign that season and it was great to know we’d achieved something no Scottish team was able to.

“We’re quite far away over here from the noise in British football but we get the tabloids so were aware of Rodgers taking the Celtic job.

“We knew that the heat here in July along with our plastic pitch would give us an advantage. It didn’t suit Celtic.

“You don’t get that kind of humid weather in Scotland very often so we knew they were going to struggle. Thankfully I was able to score a goal. Celtic had some great chances but our goalkeeper gave us a helping hand.

Mikael Lustig, Leigh Griffiths and Patrick Roberts struck in Glasgow to end the Imps’ dream and the Hoops reached the group stage after wins over Astana and Hapoel Be’er Sheva.

With the qualifiers starting in just a few weeks, Celtic will again be hoping to advance in the Champions League.

But the pressure doesn’t stop there for Neil Lennon’s men as they chase that historic 10th league title in a row.

Casciaro has been impressed with the work Steven Gerrard has done at Ibrox to close the gap but he expects the Parkhead club to continue dominating at home while mounting a strong challenge in Europe.

He said: “Gerrard has commanded a lot of respect from the players and has used his contacts to bring players up from Liverpool.

“He has a swagger that just tells you that he’s capable of doing a great job at Rangers. His experience of playing in big pressure games will help him this season when they’re trying to stop Celtic winning 10 In A Row.

“He has been there for two years but is still trying to build his team while Celtic have built a really successful team over 10 years.

“I’m also well aware of how important it is for Celtic to reach the Champions League group stage.

“Celtic have won a European Cup before so it’s important they continue that tradition of winning.

“I don’t think there’s any danger of Neil Lennon’s team coming up short in the early rounds this year.

“Our win against them showed that qualifiers against smaller teams aren’t a joke. They can laugh afterwards when they’ve won.

“We had a good team, but not one that could really compete at that level. They still scored three against us in the return leg at Parkhead.”

Having caught Celtic off guard in Gibraltar, the 38-year-old saw enough to know that Rodgers would turn them around and achieve plenty of domestic success.

As a fan of Europe’s top leagues, he relishes watching Leicester City play – because seeing the former Celtic gaffer on the touchline brings fond memories flooding back.

Casciaro said: “Every time I watch Rodgers on TV managing Leicester it’s a reminder. It always makes me watch the goal back on YouTube or sometimes even the whole game.

“That goal was a huge part of football history in Gibraltar. After the second leg, Brendan invited us into the home dressing room and gave us a round of applause for our achievement in the first leg.

“That made us all even more proud of what we had achieved.”

This wasn’t the first time Casciaro had made Scottish football sit up and take notice of his lethal finishing.

A year earlier, he silenced Hampden as he grabbed an equaliser for Gibraltar in a Euro qualifier against Scotland.

He added: “Scoring at Hampden was another great achievement.

“It was Gibraltar’s first goal at international level in a competitive game even if we did lose 6-1.

“Gibraltar are considered minnows but I want to win every game otherwise I wouldn’t be a footballer.

“That’s why the Celtic game was so special because we got a result as well as making history.”