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Aberdeen 4 - 3 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 3 Celtic

SPL Youth 18
Aberdeen scorers: Hanratty 55, Shanks 60, 67, 69.
Celtic scorers: Angelini, Denham, Montgomery, McQueen, McRobb, Robertson, Moffat, Wylie, Sparkes, McBride, Harper

10/05/2019 | KO: 14:00

Aberdeen entertained Celtic at Balmoral Stadium on Friday afternoon as the curtain came down on the Club Academy Scotland U18 League. It had been an up and down campaign for the young Dons, but they were looking to end the season on a high against a Celtic side fielding a number of the players who played in the Youth Cup Final two weeks ago.

Lloyd Robertson was named as skipper by Scott Anderson and Barry Robson as they looked to make it back to back wins after the excellent display at Rugby Park on Tuesday. A healthy crowd were in attendance at Balmoral Stadium, which a little over 24 hours later would be hosting the first leg of the League 2 Play Offs between Cove and Berwick.

The first chance fell to the hosts when Kevin Hanratty collected the ball on the wing. He left the full back for dead with some excellent trickery, but the shot to the front post was tipped wide for a corner. The corner would lead to nothing, but it had been a strong start from the men in red.

In the 16th minute The Dons won possession back in the Celtic half and Lewis Duncan, who had plenty time, tried an effort from long range that had to be tipped over by Angelina.

Celtic began to play their way into the match and were knocking the ball about well. They won a free kick in a good area on 23 minutes and the well-rehearsed routine from the training ground was executed to perfection as two short passes later the ball was volleyed home by Robertson as they caught The Dons defence cold. It wasn't what Aberdeen had deserved, but they trailed the hoops.

Robertson nearly had his second only a minute later, but his long range effort just skimmed the top of the crossbar.

Then Aberdeen wasted a big chance to equalise. Lewis Duncan did brilliantly to feed in Max Barry and with the goal at his mercy he fired wide of the target. The goal kick from the 'keeper was slack and landed at the feet of Shanks, who played it wide to Barry, but the midfielder blasted over from distance in a much more difficult chance to the one previously.

Conceding the goal seemed to have given Aberdeen a shot in the arm and Hanratty fired a low effort across goal that was begging to be tapped home on 35 minutes, but there were no takers.

Unfortunately, they were to rue those missed chances when Celtic grabbed a second just three minutes later. The Dons got back in numbers to defend as Celtic broke, but they were unable to stop the ball reaching McBride, who curled home from a good 25 yards, leaving Mair with no chance.

Before The Dons could compose themselves and go again it was three. Celtic won a free kick right on the edge of the Aberdeen area and McBride stepped up to bend past Mair at the near post. The Dons had been right in the game, but Celtic were showing their class and led 3-0 at the break.

Half time: Aberdeen 0-3 Celtic

Archie Mair was called into action early on in the second half when Harper was played in and the goalkeeper tipped wide to deny.

Aberdeen were pressing for a way back into the match, but Celtic countered well and Harper reached the byline. He composed himself to cut back and Tyler Myktya almost inadvertently fired passed his own keeper, but Mair, who didn't know too much about it, blocked.

Celtic continued to dominate the early stages of the half and Mair once again beat away a shot from McBride, who was hunting for a hatrick.

Then in the 55th minute The Dons had their way back into the game. Lewis Duncan, who was having a really good battle with the Celtic left back Montgomery, beat his man in the corner and fired a good low cross into the area. The ball dropped to Hanratty who blasted home to give the hosts hope.

Only five minutes later and The Dons had their second. A short free kick was played wide before Hanratty dinked into the area. The Celtic 'keeper and defence made a mess of it and the ball dropped to Shanks, who under severe pressure and off balance, knocked in the rebound from close range.

It was game on and in the week where comebacks have been the order of the day, The Dons completed their own with a remarkable quickfire double less than 7 minutes later.

Good movement in the middle of the Celtic final third allowed Calvin Ramsay to find himself unmarked on the edge of the box, where he fired home from 15 yards to draw level.

Celtic were still licking their wounds when Aberdeen broke in numbers again. Duncan made a surging run forward on the inside right. He left three Celtic markers in his wake and with his entire team screaming for him to play it left he did where Ramsay coolly slotted home to complete the turnaround.

The Dons were not letting up and continued to charge forward at their opponents, who led 3-0 only 15 minutes before. Shanks went very close with a stretching header from ten yards that Angelina had to tip over the crossbar.

Celtic were rattled.

The Dons continued to enjoy the bulk of the play, but as the clock ticked down you knew Celtic wouldn't be going away. Good trickery from McBride found the Celtic man six yards from goal, but Dalling superbly dived in to block with a big tackle.

The Dons were having to dig deep and Mair pulled off another important save as Celtic threatened.

Celtic could easily have had a penalty as the clock struck 90 when Brooks went in on goal. He never had full control and had to turn, but went down under the challenge of Mair. It looked a close call, but the referee waved play on. Archie got a boot in the face for his troubles and had to receive treatment.

It turned out to be the last action of the game and incredibly Aberdeen ended the season on the highest of highs with a tremendous comeback to win 4-3 against their Glasgow counterparts.

Full time: Aberdeen 4-3 Celtic

Reaction:

Scott Anderson

?It was entertaining certainly. We?re delighted to have come back and won 4-3 and were disappointed to go into half time three goals down. Some of our play in the first half was good, but it?s three basic errors that had us behind. That?s been the story of the last five or six weeks.

?We asked them for a reaction at half time and asked them to cut out the small errors at the back and to go out and get a clean sheet in the first half. They took the opportunities and i?m delighted for them.

?It was a decent game and Celtic were of similar age. I really enjoyed the game and we were pleased with the attacking side of our play. After our win at Kilmarnock it?s good to finish on a high with two wins.

Connor Barron

?It was a brilliant match to watch. The boys showed great character to come back and win 4-3. The best thing was probably the defending in the last 20 minutes along with some great goals.

?We came in at half time and we knew we could get back into the game and that?s what we did. I?m delighted for them.

?It?s been an up and down season after starting well. The Cup run was decent then we went through a patch where we couldn?t get a result. We?ve overcome it now and hopefully we can start next season on a high and push on for the league.

?It?s been great to see the young lads getting a chance in the first team. I?ve been up training a couple of times so hopefully next season it can be my time to do what they?ve done this season.?

 

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mair, Strachan, Booth, Robertson, Dalling, Ramsay, Duncan, Mykyta, Shanks, Barry, Hanratty.

Unused Subs: Dangana, Paterson.
Celtic Teamsheet
Venue: Balmoral Stadium, Cove
Next Match
St. Johnstone
H
28 Feb 2024 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen