Scottish FA Youth Cup
Celtic FC Training Centre, Lennoxtown
Monday, February 5, 2018
(Aitchison 32, Deas 60, McInroy 64)
CELTIC continued their dominant streak in the Scottish FA Youth Cup with a 3-0 win over St Johnstone. The holders swept aside their opponents in convincing fashion in a game in which the scoreline reflected kindly on the visitors.
Jack Aitchison opened the scoring in the first half before Robbie Deas and Kerr McInroy rounded off a commanding performance for Tommy McIntyre’s side.
Celtic controlled the game from the off with a stranglehold on possession and a relentless bombardment of the Saints’ goalmouth.
St Johnstone did well to hold out for half-an-hour, although fortune played a part in that as their defence could do little to shut out a steady stream of Celtic attacks from the off.
Calvin Miller, who tormented the opposition all afternoon with his pace and power down the left wing, came close to opening the scoring early on. Broque Watson picked him out at the back post with a fantastic cross and Miller controlled the ball well with his first touch before letting off a quick shot back across goal which was saved by the keeper who did well to get down and make the save.
Moments later, Ewan Henderson threaded a neat ball through the Saints defence and into the box for Regan Hendry. The cut-back looked certain to find a team-mate but the defence managed to scramble clear the danger.
Anthony Ralston put in a commanding and mature performance and right-back and almost scored the opener when he flashed a header back across goal from a Celtic corner, however the ball skimmed past the post.
The Hoops defender linked up well with his team-mates and showed versatility in his passing and ability to spark a Celtic attack.
He set up Hendry with a lovely lobbed ball over the top of the St Johnstone defence. The midfielder controlled the ball well with his first touch before wriggling enough space for himself to get a shot off from six-yards but it deflected out for a corner.
Ralston was the source of the next chance when he collected the ball in the centre of the pitch, drove forward with it and had a go with a ferocious shot from around 25-yards which was just over the crossbar.
A series of chances followed and it looked like only a matter of time before one found the back of the net. It was Aitchison who finally opened the scoring after Henderson picked him out with a great through ball into the penalty area. The striker cut inside, held off the St Johnstone defenders and managed to slip the ball beyond the keeper.
Miller was unlucky not to add his name to the scoresheet before half-time after seeing his powerful effort from distance come off the inside of the post and roll kindly into the keeper’s arms.
Celtic closed out the first half with just a one-goal lead. Doohan didn’t have a save to make whereas the St Johnstone keeper saw more of the ball than his outfield team-mates.
Given the number of chances created in the first half it looked certain that Celtic would increase their lead following the restart and they did so after 15 minutes.
Henderson again delivered another good pace for his team-mates when he swung a cross into the box. Hoops captain, Deas got on the end of it with a header which went in off the post.
Minutes later, Miller was again terrorising the opposition with his willingness to get forward. The full-back sped past the Saints defence and made for goal but his shot was blocked and went out for a corner.
St Johnstone were unable to properly clear the corner and Kerr McInroy punished them for it with a fierce strike on the edge of the area which found the back of the net.
Celtic maintained their grasp on the game right up until the final whistle to book their place in the next round and ensure they remain favourites to lift the trophy for a second successive year.
CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Doohan: Ralston, Duffy, Deas, Miller; Hill, McInroy (Bell 74); Watson (Diver 70), Hendry, Henderson; Aitchison (Cafrey 70)
As officially firstly appeared on Celt official website.