Matthews on target in cup win
By: Laura Brannan on 12 Dec, 2012 21:52
December 12, 2012
Scottish Cup, fourth round replay
ADAM Matthews´ wonderful first-half strike sealed a 1-0 win against Arbroath and booked Celtic´s place in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup.
The Hoops couldn’t find another goal in the second half of the replay at Gayfield, but Neil Lennon´s side did enough to keep the Second Division side at bay.
The manager had made two changes to the side which beat Kilmarnock 3-1 at the weekend, bringing Beram Kayal and Georgios Samaras into the starting XI. Joe Ledley missed out through injury while Gary Hooper dropped to the bench.
And it was the Greek striker who mounted Celtic´s first attack of the evening after just five minutes but he headed his effort straight at Arbroath keeper, Scott Morrison.
Three minutes later Matthews produced his first effort on goal but he couldn’t keep this one on target. Charlie Mulgrew sent a corner out to the Welshman who controlled the pass but sent his shot dipping just over the bar.
Tunisian striker, Lassad, was then involved in the action and this time came closest to giving his side the lead. He knocked the ball into the back of the net after good build-up play by Scott Brown and Samaras, but he was ruled offside.
Arbroath made a rare break on 17 minutes but Kelvin Wilson was in the right place at the right time to head clear Paul Sheerin´s effort inside the box.
Almost instantly, at the opposite end of the pitch, Matthews went on the attack again, and this time he finished. He took the ball from Colin Hamilton and went on a run down the right flank. With a wonderful finish he slammed the ball into the net to put his side into the lead.
Celtic remained in control and Lassad came close again just after the half-hour mark. This time Morrison blocked his effort from close-range but it was promising play from the Hoops after Mulgrew had picked out Samaras with a long, diagonal pass.
The Bhoys went into the break with a 1-0 lead but Arbroath came out determined to find an equaliser. There was a brief scare when Kelvin Wilson´s clearance was intercepted on 50 minutes, but before the ball was scrambled over the line, play was stopped because of a foul on Fraser Forster.
At the opposite end Brown sent a low drive through the crowded penalty box and watched it go just wide of target before Kayal went one-on-one with Morrison. The Arbroath keeper beat him to the ball, though, at the edge of the box.
The home side had the ball in the back of the net just after the hour mark, and it was Steven Doris who scored the equaliser at Celtic Park a fortnight ago who got onto the end of it. But again a foul was given against Forster and Celtic regained possession.
Arbroath continued to pile pressure on the Hoops towards the end of the match and Forster made a crucial block with his leg on 77 minutes to deny substitute Connor Birse from 12 yards out.
Paul Currie also had a chance go just past the post on 85 minutes but the threats from Arbroath weren’t enough to take the game to extra-time. Celtic rounded off the 1-0 win five minutes later and will now face Raith Rovers in the fifth round early next year.
ARBROATH: Morrison; Baxter, Malcolm, Keddie, Hamilton; Doris, Currie, Kerr (Birse 77), Robertson, Sheerin (Holmes 77); Sibanda (Rennie 73)
Subs not used: Gribben, Bullock
CELTIC: Forster; Lustig, Ambrose, Wilson; Matthews (McGeouch 90), Brown, Kayal, Mulgrew, Izaguirre (Wanyama 66); Samaras, Lassad (Hooper 66)
Subs not used: Zaluska, Miku
Website man of the match: Adam Matthews