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  • Hoops keep up winning run in Reserve Cup

    Hoops keep up winning run in Reserve Cup

    By: Newsroom Staff on 25 Sep, 2019 15:55

  • SPFL Reserve Cup
    Tuesday, September 24, 2019
    Lennoxtown Training Centre

    CELTIC…4
    (Afolabi 16, Oko-Flex 37pen, Harper 51, Dembele 87)

    MORTON…2
    (King 7, Muirhead 59pen)

    CELTIC made it two wins out of two in the Reserve Cup with a victory over Morton at Lennoxtown today (Tuesday). And the Hoops replicated the 4-2 result of their opening game against Dundee with the same margin of victory over the Greenock side.

    The home side started the first-half strongly, and there were early chances for Liam Burt and David McKay inside the opening three minutes.

    However, it was the visitors who grabbed the opening goal after seven minutes when Billy King curled home an effort from the edge of the box that evaded Conor Hazard in the Celtic goal.

    That only served to drive the Hoops on, however, and Tommy McIntyre’s side were level on 16 minutes when Oko-Flex’s low cross into the box was tucked away by a cheeky back-heel from Jonathan Afolabi.

    McKay then had an effort cleared off the line, with Oko-Flex again the provider, while at the other end, Robbie Muirhead came close with a shot that went narrowly wide. And Hazard denied Muirhead again just after the half-hour mark with a brilliant save inside the six-yard box.

    On 37 minutes, Celtic took the lead from a penalty. Oko-Flex was brought down inside the area, and then stepped up to convert the spot-kick.

    And as the game moved into the last few minutes, Hazard was called upon to deny both Kalvin Orsi and Muirhead again as Morton looked for an equaliser.

    It took only six minutes of the second-half for Celtic to extend their lead. Cameron Harper picked up the ball from Burt, took a touch and then drove a powerful shot that went in off the post.

    Afolabi came close to scoring his second of the game when his shot from 20 yards out just went narrowly over, while Hazard again was called into action to deny the visitors.

    However, there was nothing the Irish goalkeeper could do on 59 minutes when Morton were awarded a penalty after Hoops defender, Bobby Paterson was penalised for a foul inside the area. Muirhead stepped up and slotted the ball home to reduce the deficit.

    With 18 minutes remaining, Karamoko Dembele, on as a substitute for Liam Burt, had a chance to extend Celtic’s lead, but his first effort was blocked, while his follow-up shot hit the side-netting.

    Afolabi showed great strength to win Celtic a corner on 79 minutes, but his header from the resulting set-piece went wide.

    Morton continued to press for an equaliser, but once again, Muirhead found Hazard in the Celtic goal a tough adversary, with the Irishman saving well in the 85th minute.

    Two minutes later, Celtic made it 4-2 and it was Dembele who fired home the goal, slotting a shot into the bottom corner from close-range to seal the win for Tommy McIntyre’s side.

    CELTIC: Hazard, O’Connor, Paterson, Church, McKay, Coffey, Harper, Robertson, Afolabi (McGrath 89), Burt (Dembele 63), Oko-Flex.
    Subs: Oluwayemi, McRobb, Moffat, Mazis

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