Linesman’s Flag Denies Youngsters

Celtic 2 Rangers 1

When Chris Hegarty fired the ball into the net in the final minute of extra time it looked like Rangers had taken the game to  a penalty shoot out only to be wrongly flagged offside by the far side linesman. Rangers went into tonight’s final as underdogs, having won only once in their last six games, while their rivals were on a winning run having clinched the league title at the weekend.

It was Billy Kirkwood’s side that had the first effort on goal after six minutes when Rhys McCabe shot wide from around 25 yards. Ten minutes later Gordon Dick’s cross field pass found Kal Naismith on the left he made his way into the box and his shot from almost on the byline was blocked by the foot of Nick Feely.

Two minutes later Adam Hunter’s free-kick from the right caused problems for the Celtic defence but they managed to scramble the ball clear. It was midway through the half before Celtic threatened the Rangers goal, Patrik Twardzik cutting in from the right although Gary Inglis saved easily.

Ten minutes before the break Gordon Dick  sent the ball forward to Kane Hemmings at the right hand angle of the box where he turned the defender and shot across goal. Three minutes later Inglis gathered Patrik Twardzik’s long-range effort at the second attempt.Right on half-time Dick sent Kyle  McAusland on the overlap and his low cross had Matty Hughes stretching to clear for a corner.

Half-Time:- Celtic 0 Rangers 0

Four minutes into the second-half and Darren Cole had to look sharp to clear Stephen O’Donnell’s low cross. Just before the hour mark Callum McGregor sent Keiran Brennan down the left and his cross come shot just cleared the crossbar.

On the hour Callum Bagshaw got to the byline and Adam Hunter could only divert the ball towards his own goal with Inglis being called into action to save.  A minute later Inglis was beaten when Patrik Twardzik’s 25 yarder came back of the cross-bar and Greig Spence could only knock the rebound wide.

Celtic’s pressure eventually told on 72 minutes when they took the lead, O’Donnell’s ball into the box saw Greig Spence turn past a defender before shooting beyond Inglis. Rangers replied almost immediately, Kal Naismith picking up a clearance at the edge of the box with Feely diving to his right to divert the ball for a corner.

Brennan then set up a chance for Patrik Twardzik with ten minutes remaining and the striker shot over. With only four minutes on the clock Patrik Twardzik’s cross found Bahrudin Atajic who could only direct his header straight at Inglis. A minute later the Ibrox youngsters grabbed an equaliser to take the game into extra time. McAusland’s cross from just inside the Celtic half was headed back across goal by Chris Hegarty with Rhys McCabe on hand to head beyond Feely.

Full-Time:- Celtic 1 Rangers 1

Celtic came close soon after the restart when Atajic flicked Patrik Twardzik’s right-wing cross just wide of the far post. Ten minutes into extra time Inglis produced a fine save, diving high to his right to claw away O’Donnell’s shot after the full-back cut in from the right.

Five minutes into the second period of extra time Celtic grabbed the lead, substitute Liam Gormley who had only just come on, cut in from the left before shooting past Inglis from the edge of the box. With the game into the final minute,  Naismith made space to shoot from the edge of the box and his shot was fumbled by Feely into the path of Chris Hegarty who fired the ball into the net only to be denied by the linesman’s flag.

After Extra Time:- Celtic 2 Rangers 1

Celtic:- Nick Feely; Stephen O’Donnell, Matty Hughes, Lewis Toshney, Keiran Brennan; Callum Bagshaw, Jackson Irvine, Callum McGregor, Filip Twardzik; Patrik Twardzik (Liam Gormley 109mins), Greig Spence ( Bahrudin Atajic 82mins)

Not Used:- Robbie Thomson (GK), Marcus Fraser, Islam Feruz

Rangers:- Gary Inglis; Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole, Robbie McIntyre; Gordon Dick (Ewan McNeil 62mins), Gregor Fotheringham (Robbie Crawford 51mins), Adam Hunter, Rhys McCabe, Kal Naismith; Kane Hemmings (Andy Mitchell 72mins).

Not Used:- Wayne Drummond (GK), Kamil Wiktorski.


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