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Celtic 5 - 4 Aberdeen

HT Score: Celtic 3 - 1 Aberdeen

SPL Youth 18
Celtic scorers: Turley, Hatton, Hatton, Borland, Cummings
Aberdeen scorers: Harvey 23, Bavidge 62, Marshall 73, Marshall 84.

20/01/2023 | KO: 14:00

a nine goal thriller

Aberdeen Under 18s went extremely close to coming from four goals down to earn what would have been a well-deserved point on the road against a strong Celtic team in Glasgow on Friday afternoon.

The last game between the two sides finished 3-3 at Cormack Park after a dramatic evening of action that took an abundance of twists and turns, and the return fixture was no different.

Aberdeen lined up with a familiar looking side, Alfie Stewart returned to the starting XI after being left to take up a place on the bench for last week's Aberdeenshire Shield tie at Buckie.

The early exchanges were a rare even period of the match. Liam Harvey came close, finding himself through on goal but he was smothered by the oncoming Aidan Rice in the host's goal. Both players took a nasty whack in the process and after recieving a couple minutes' worth of treatment the Celtic keeper was unable to continue and was replaced in goal.

It was Celtic who got on the scoresheet first through Francis Turley after a lengthy move that started at the back. In response, Findlay Marshall capitalised on a slack ball from Kyle Ure and managed to feed in Dylan Lobban, but the skipper's effort was off target and sailed past the post.

The young Dons pressure was ramped up a gear through Brendan Hamilton's inviting crosses into the box, which was met by the head of Harvey, but he couldn't get up in time and get more behind the ball.

However on 23 minutes the Dons striker found an equaliser. The chance really came from nowhere, a through ball found Harvey inside the area, and he reacted well to fire home.

But Celtic were then able to gain control of the game, two good chances went abegging in quick succession. They were eventually rewarded for their efforts however when Thomas Hatton headed home at the back post for 2-1.

Adam Emslie surged forward in response to Celtic's second, winning a corner after a great run. The set piece was eventually worked to the feet of Alfie Bavidge but the young hitman couldn't quite get the ball under his control.

Two became three just a few minutes later for the hosts, again at the back post with Hatton, this time the Celtic number 7 swept home from just a few yards out, leaving the Oluyemi with no chance.

The goal was to be the last action of a frustrating first 45.

HT Celtic 3-1 Aberdeen.

Celtic came out the traps hungry for more goals which would normally kill the game, and on the 52nd minute `Aidan Borland was gifted a fourth goal for his side after the young Dons were undone by some slack distribution.

Barry Robson responded by introducing Cammy Wilson to the fold, replacing Liam Harvey.

Alfie Bavidge showed signs that he was coming to life just after Wilson's introduction, taking Lenny Agbaire for a ride on the halfway line, his pace simply too much to keep up with, eventually drawing a foul and a booking for the Celtic defender.

The game as a contest looked over just before the hour mark when Celtic's number nine Daniel Cummings got in on the goalscoring action and chipped in with a fifth goal.

As it transpired however, there was plenty football still to be played.

Marshall drove through the Celtic midfield and pierced their defence who were caught off guard by his determination and power, setting up Bavidge who after the initial shot was saved, ensured he put the ball in the back of the net.

After the goal Robson sent on Finlay Murray and Timi Fatona, with Kai Watson and Victor Enem both making way.

The young Dons were buoyed by Bavidge's goal and were beginning to take control of the game.

Wilson- who's introduction was one of the catalysts of the Aberdeen fight back had a shot saved, before with just over fifteen minutes on the clock he had won a freekick on the edge of the box, which also saw a second booking for Agbaire, who after strong protests, was sent off.

The free kick from Stewart was a good effort but was saved and turned behind for a corner kick. From the resulting corner Marshall was able nod home on the near post.

Ten man Celtic 5-3 Aberdeen, game on.

Lewis Pirie was soon brought on, with Lobban coming off as Aberdeen put all their efforts into finding two more goals.

Findlay Marshall was on hand with 81 minutes on the clock to reduce the deficit even more. Fatona sent the ball forward and it was latched onto by the Dons midfielder who lifted the ball up and over the helpless keeper. Marshall was at the heart of everything Aberdeen were doing, and he had given his team a chance of salvaging a point going into the closing period. 5-4.

Just a few minutes later he was then hauled down in the box by Mitchel Frame, his runs were causing chaos for a Celtic defence that were both stretched and rattled. It was Adam Emslie who stepped up to take the penalty, devastatingly his effort from 12 yards saved, and Aberdeen were left still on the hunt for the elusive fifth goal.

The young Dons threw everything at the last five minutes.

Bavidge managed to find a third lung and burst down the line and deliver a perfect ball towards Marshall at the back post, however he was incredibly unlucky and much to everyone?s disbelief the effort went wide.

The chances continued right up until the death; Oluyemi went forward for two corners, but nobody was able to get a header on target.

It was then Pirie who had his only chance of the game saved, which was followed by two more corners, with the second attempt resulting in the ball grazing the top of the bar and going behind as it was met by a head through a sea of bodies.

That was to be the last action of the game, and devastatingly for the young Aberdeen team who pushed so hard to salvage at least a point, they left wi'h nothing, collapsing to the ground on the referee's full-time whistle, indicative of the effort levels that went into the game, particularly the last half hour.

Celtic Teamsheet
Rice, Goldie, Frame, Osagie, Agbaire, Ure, Hatton, Turley, Cummings, Borland, Bonnar

Unused Substitutes: Haddow, Mclean, McDonnell, Davidson, Cannon, Dobbie

Bookings:  Agbaire,   Agbaire 72  Agbaire 72
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Oluyemi, Enem (Fatona 63), Hamilton, Watson (Murray 63), McKenzie, Marshall, Stewart, Lobban (Pirie), Harvey (Wilson 52), Bavidge, Emslie.

Unused Subs: Ochmanski.

Bookings:  McKenzie.
Venue: Barrowfield Training Ground, Glasgow
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead