Celtic 2 Rangers 4
Billy Kirkwood’s Under 19’s side reserved their best performance of the season so far to record a comfortable win away to their greatest rivals. The Rangers youngsters scored four excellent goals against a side that had only lost one goal in the first six league games, with Celtic’s replies both coming from the penalty spot.
There was a bit of debate on whether a Celtic player had actually touched the ball when Rangers took the lead in the opening minute. Gordon Dick’s pass found Dylan McGeough out on the right and his cross into the box found Christiano Kisuka to send a controlled volley over keeper Robbie Thomson and into the net. Wayne Drummond then produced a decent save when Jordan Lowden’s free-kick glanced of the head of Robbie Crawford and towards his own goal, the Rangers keeper diving to his left to concede a corner.
Straight to the other and McGeough made space to create a chance and a deflection took it only just wide. Just before the twenty-minute mark Crawford superbly controlled a McGeough cross from the right but his volley was to high and went over the bar.
A minute later and a long ball had Chris Hegarty stretching to head clear with the ball falling to Patrik Twardzik his shot was saved by Drummond. The Murray Park youngsters went back on the attack and doubled their lead almost immediately. Kal Naismith won possession and as he broke forward he was fouled at the edge of the box, he duly stepped up to send a superb strike over the wall and into the top corner.
Celtic replied on 25 minutes when Kieran Brennan and Callum McGregor combined on the left, with the former’s low cross along the six yard line being cut out by Drummond. A minute later and a slip by Hegarty allowed Twardzik a clear run on goal, Drummond coming from his line to make a fine block.
As half-time approached Drummond came to punch a Michael Ordish corner and with the ball rebounding from someone inside the packed penalty area, Dick was on hand to head clear at the keeper’s right hand post. Just when it looked like Rangers would have a comfortable half-time lead Celtic got back into the game via the penalty spot. Stephen O’Donnell’s crossfield pass from right to left, found Liam Gormley in behind the Rangers defence and when he made his way into the box he was caught by Kyle McAusland and the referee pointed to the spot. Callum Bagshaw stepped up to beat Drummond from twelve yards.
Half-Time:- Celtic 1 Rangers 2
Rangers again started with a bang and increased their lead after only four minutes and it was a superb individual goal from Dylan McGeough. Picking the ball up near the right hand touchline he cut inside past a defender and with everyone expecting a pass he sent a shot from 25 yards high past Thomson. The Ibrox boys didn’t get a chance to settle on their two goal lead as Celtic were awarded a second penalty a minute later. When the ball broke at the edge of Rangers box, McGregor went down under a Darren Cole challenge, the referee adjudged it was both a foul and inside the box and pointed to the spot. Callum Bagshaw netting from the spot for the second time.
Just before the hour the home side tested Drummond on a couple of occasions, first Ordish broke from halfway and went past a defender before shooting straight at the Rangers keeper from the edge of the box. Then he dived to his right to clutch a Lowdon free-kick, both saves being relatively comfortable.
Rangers then replied when Naismith won the ball in midfield, made space and shot just wide of Thomson’s left hand post. With eleven minutes remaining Rangers made the points safe. Christiano Kisuka out muscled Lewis Toshney in the chase for a through ball, despite a tug from the defender inside the box he managed knock the ball over Thomson, it ball looked certain to hit the net only to come back off the crossbar, and there was Kal Naismith to fire the ball into the empty net.
The Ibrox side then saw the game out comfortably with the only threat coming in the final minute. A reverse pass from Twardzik freeing Bahrudin Atajic inside the box with Darren Cole making a great block.
Full-Time:- Celtic 2 Rangers 4
Celtic:- Robbie Thomson; Stephen O’Donnell, Lewis Toshney, Matty Hughes, Kieran Brennan (Darnell Fisher 71mins); Michael Ordish ( Bahrudin Atajic 57mins), Callum Bagshaw, Jordan Lowdon, Callum McGregor; Patrik Twardzik, Liam Gormley (Paul George 75mins).
Not Used:- Nick Feely (GK), John Herron, Marcus Fraser, Joe Chalmers
Rangers:- Wayne Drummond; Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole, Steven Hetherington; Dylan McGeough, Gordon Dick, Kamil Wiktorski, Robbie Crawford (Ewan McNeil 61mins); Christiano Kisuka, Kal Naismith.
Not Used:- Alan Smith (GK), Max Wright, Anthony Marenghi, Andy Mitchell, Adam Hunter, Michael Noble.