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  • 10-man Celtic fall just short in defeat to Kilmarnock

    10-man Celtic fall just short in defeat to Kilmarnock

    By: Tony Connelly on 07 Mar, 2018 00:32

  • SPFL Development League
    Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
    Tuesday, March 6, 2018

    KILMARNOCK…2
    (Samizadeh 11, Taylor 70)

    CELTIC…1
    (Church 35)

    A 10-man Celtic side suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park following a hard-fought 90 minutes in which the Hoops’ ingenuity and attacking threat fell just short of securing a point.

    The home side took the lead early in the game through Alex Samizadeh but Daniel Church levelled the score for Celtic before half-time. Kilmarnock then went a goal ahead midway through the second-half thanks to Ally Taylor.

    Tommy McIntyre’s side started the game well with neat, confident passing in the early stages as they looked to create an opening, but it was Killie who landed the first blow thanks to Iranian forward, Samizadeh, who controlled a good ball from Will Graham before slotting it beyond Ross Doohan in the Celtic goal.

    The Hoops responded with some impressive attacking play, particularly from Ewan Henderson and Broque Watson. The midfield duo were key players in Celtic’s attacking play and created several goalscoring opportunities.

    Watson came closing to drawing the Bhoys level just over 10 minutes after they went behind when he timed his run well down the right. The 19-year-old cut inside and had a crack at goal but his effort was just over. Shortly afterwards he saw another shot from the right go narrowly wide of the mark.

    Henderson’s efforts to cancel out Killie's goal included a shot from the edge of the area which the goalkeeper dealt with comfortably and also an attempt to curl the ball into the top corner, but the keeper again was there to deny the Hoops midfielder.

    Celtic grew into the game and increased the pressure on their opponents as the half progressed. Left-back Church eventually drew his side level with 10 minutes remaining in the half. Some well-organised pressure-play from Celtic paid off when the keeper's punched clearance fell to Church. With the keeper off his line, the 17-year-old punished him with a wonderfully-measured lob from 20 yards.

    The Hoops started the second half strongly and Watson again caused problems for the Ayrshire side with brilliant pace and control down the right. This allowed him to slip a great pass to Savoury who fired over from close-range.

    The game was turned on its head just three minutes after the restart when Stephen Welsh was shown a straight red for what looked to be a legitimate tackle on Samizadeh.

    From there the game opened up as Celtic went in search of a winner. Jack Aitchison and Kerr McInroy nearly grabbed an equaliser following some good link-up play between the two, but McInroy’s shot from 18 yards failed to find the back of the net.

    Kilmarnock then went ahead thanks to substitute Ally Taylor who picked the ball up on the left and drove to the 18-yard line before firing a powerful shot beyond Doohan.

    The young Hoops refused to bow down and worked extremely hard to find a route back into the game. They created plenty more opportunities, with Aitchison and Watson coming close in the dying moments of the game but the highly sought-after goal eluded Tommy McIntyre’s side who were unfortunate not to have scored more despite being a man down.

    CELTIC (4-3-3) Doohan, Wardrop (Potter), Church, Duffy, Welsh, Bell, McInroy(c), Henderson, Watson, Caffrey (Aitchison 62), Savoury (Diver 50).
    Not Used: Willison, Campbell, Deas

    KILMARNOCK (4-3-3) keranovic, Barr, Dempsie, A. Wilson, McLevy, Mouanda, Paterson, Samizadeh (McCracken 90), Graham (Taylor 61), McDonald (Walker 78), Cameron
    Not Used: Miller

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