Reserves v CelticSunday, 24th Apr 2005
Celtic Reserves were made to earn the three points needed to win the League
DUNFERMLINE RESERVES 1 CELTIC RESERVES 2
Dunfermline welcomed back Aaron Labonte and Lee Makel both seeing action for the first time since their recent injuries. As usual Jamie Langfield was in goal and the front two of Mehmet and Christianson formed the core of experience in the side.
As expected Celtic began the game at their usual high tempo with Ross Wallace prominent in the opening exchanges. His darting run after 5 minutes was stopped by a typically forceful Labonte challenge on the edge of the box. From the free kick Wallace brought out a great save from Langfield. Celtic created another excellent opportunity for McGlinchey and Pars were happy to see his shot hit the side netting.
The Pars gradually began to find there feet and after the opening quarter gave as good as they got. After 20 minutes Christiansen missed a header inside the six yard box which would have given the Pars the lead. Two minutes later Mehmet had a good turn and shot from 16 yards which the keeper did well to save.
With the Pars continuing to press at every opportunity the breakthrough came on 28 minutes. A corner was only partially cleared to the edge of the box and Craig WILSON hit a superb left foot half volley which gave the keeper no chance.
Three minutes later Celtic were level. Fernandez held off his marker and layed the ball out to Paul LAMBERT and his curled shot round a ruck of players left Langfield unsighted and helpless in the Pars goal.
Both teams continued to play entertaining football and there were chances for both sides to go in with a lead at half time. The best was a Mehmet shot, again well saved while Celtic full back Irvine had a flashing drive just past.
Half time Dunfermline Reserves 1 Celtic Reserves 1
The second period was another even contest although Celtic did have most of the territorial advantage. There were certainly fewer chances for the Pars, Christiansen’s effort five minutes after the restart fell wide and it was the 82nd minute before fine wing play by Dunn produced a cut back for Mehmet but his close range effort was scrambled off the line.
It looked like the young Pars were going to earn the point that their play deserved, especially when a McManus header came back off the post from a dangerous Wallace free kick.
However a minute into the four minutes of injury time, Celtic forced home the winner when substitute Michael GARDYNE shot a tremendous 16 yard shot past Langfield.
The team were no doubt, bitterly disappointed by the end result but great satisfaction can be gained from the improved performance against the Reserve League winners when you consider that as recently as February they lost 4-1 to Celtic, in Glasgow.
The performance is all the more satisfying when you consider that the team which finished the match, contained 7 of our under 19 squad, with a further 4 youngsters on the bench.
SUBS NOT USED: Anderson, Port, C Smith, Murdoch (GK)
SCORERS: C Wilson
CELTIC: Wood: Irvine, Cuthbert, Mulgrew, McManus, Paul Lambert, McParland, Lawson (Michael Gardyne 79), Wallace, Fernandez, McGlinchey (Quinn 46)
SUBS NOT USED: Fox, Bjarnason, Reid
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