Celtic U19s go top of the table
By: Laura Brannan on 27 Mar, 2012 16:24
March 27, 2012
Clydesdale Bank SPL Under-19 League
(Herron 3, George 13, Watt 35, McGregor 90)
CELTIC´S Under-19s produced a stylish and entertaining 4-0 victory over Dunfermline to go top of the league. The Hoops are now one victory away from clinching the SPL title with three games still remaining.
Two early goals from John Herron and Paul George settled the nerves and helped the young Hoops get into gear. Tony Watt extended their lead shortly before the break and Callum McGregor rounded off the victory in the last minute with a wonderful chip.
With the league campaign drawing to a close, Tommy McIntyre and John Kennedy´s side knew a victory this afternoon (Tuesday) at Stirling University would edge them another step closer to securing a third consecutive league title at Under-19 level.
Jackson Irvine cracked an effort off the bar in the third minute and Herron was in a good position to latch on to the loose ball and net his 10th goal of the season.
And just 10 minutes later George doubled Celtic´s advantage. Marcus Fraser did most of the hard work inside the six-yard box and was unlucky to see his ball hit off the far post. The Irish winger was on the line to turn it into the net, however, and grab the glory for Celtic´s second.
A good team-effort then saw Watt make it 3-0 shortly before the break. Herron provided the ball which the striker, who was playing up front as part of a three-man attack, slotted past the keeper and low into the net.
Celtic had another three good chances to extend their lead minutes before the break. Joe Chalmers came close with a free-kick just past the post, while McGregor and Watt both saw their efforts go wide of the target.
Dunfermline upped the pressure at the start of the second-half and started to close Celtic down. Darnell Fisher blocked an effort on the line before Chalmers also provided a good clearance a minute later.
But Celtic moved the ball up the pitch and Curtis Jones showed good movement inside the Fifers´ box to hit the woodwork midway through the second-half.
The young Hoops had two penalty claims waved away when substitute, James Alabi, looked to have been fouled inside the box before a Dunfermline defender appeared to handle the ball.
Neither decision was given, though, and Celtic continued to push forward. Irvine then curled a good free-kick around the wall in the 80th minute, but the keeper was able to collect it.
The second-half looked to be finishing goalless, but with the last kick of the game, McGregor lifted a brilliant ball over the goalkeeper from the edge of the box and watched it curl over his head and into the top of the net.
It was a fitting way to round off the comprehensive victory. Now Celtic face an SFA Youth Cup semi-final this Sunday against St Mirren as they go in search of a league and cup double.
CELTIC (4-3-3): Fasan; Fisher, Fraser, Jones, Chalmers; Irvine, McGregor, Herron; George (Gormley 83), Watt (Alabi 66), P. Twardzik (Johnstone 83)
Subs not used: Muir, McNally, Kidd, Lindsay