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Celtic 0 - 3 Aberdeen

HT Score: Celtic 0 - 2 Aberdeen

SPL Youth 18
Aberdeen scorers: Stewart 7, Wilson 18, Boyd 90.

08/09/2023 | KO: 14:00

Young Dons defeat Celtic in Glasgow heat

Aberdeen Under 18’s delivered a dominant performance against Celtic on Friday afternoon, where two early goals from Alfie Stewart and Cammy Wilson sent them on their way to victory on the road.

The young Dons were without Brendan Hamilton for the trip to Glasgow, the young full back was away with the Northern Ireland Under 19 squad. Alfie Bavidge was also away with the Scotland U19s. Hamilton’s unavailability forced Scott Anderson’s hand into making just the one enforced change to the side that comfortably saw off Hearts at Cormack Park last week: Timothy Akindileni came into the team.

The last time an Aberdeen Under 18’s team took on Celtic at Barrowfield the side came from 5-1 down with 30 minutes to go to within an inch of claiming a point, a missed penalty the difference in a crazy game which finished 5-4. In the sweltering 26-degree East end heat the Dons were going to need to apply the same effort levels again if they were to maintain their strong start to the campaign.

The game saw an early flashpoint when Fraser Mackie was clattered by the on rushing Aiden Rice in the Celtic goal as they both went charging for the ball. Rice was booked for his troubles; the foul had taken place just outside his penalty box and the Dons had an early chance.

Just as he did last time out, Alfie Stewart took responsibility with the free kick and the skipper managed to find the back of the net for a second week on the trot. He was aided by the flailing Rice who ended up deflecting the ball into his own net, but it counted all the same and Aberdeen had an early lead.

The free-flowing Dons continued to create chances and after passing up a similar opportunity minutes before, Cammy Wilson doubled his sides lead after finishing off an extremely well worked move involving Victor Enem who’s overlapping run found him in enough space to drive down the line and cut back for the waiting Wilson.

Findlay Marshall grew into the game as it went on and flashed his quality after the midfielder was given the freedom of the park, he was allowed to drive through both Celtic’s midfield and backline, unfortunately his shot was dragged wide.

On a different day Aberdeen could have been three or four goals to the good heading into the interval. Mackie headed wide at the back post, the combination of Enem and Boyd continued to churn out chances, but they were denied by the keeper.

HT. Celtic 0 Aberdeen 2.

The second 45 was a more subdued affair but there is no doubt that favoured the Dons who maintained a comfortable lead as the sun continued to beat down in all its intensity.

With just under 30 minutes to play Aberdeen were forced into their first change of the day – Jamie Mercer hobbled off with a knock, Christovie Kondolo his replacement.

With both teams slowly beginning to grind to a halt the game opened back up in the last ten minutes and after a selection of half chances didn’t go Aberdeen’s way, they finally got their third goal.

A direct ball up the park from Marshall was gathered by the galloping Enem and eventually rebounded back out to where Boyd was waiting and he smashed it home to wrap up the three points with the last kick of the ball. It capped off what was an extremely successful days’ work for the young Dons.

A thoroughly deserved win for the young Dons who were excellent.

Next up, the visit of Motherwell to Cormack Park on Tuesday the 12th, kick off 2pm.
"It was a great team performance" - 18s reaction

Under 18’s lead coach Scott Anderson and captain Alfie Stewart both took time to reflect on a brilliant team performance in Glasgow on Friday afternoon, which saw them return North with all three points after getting the better of Celtic 0-3.

Scott Anderson

“I am extremely pleased.
“I think we were well worth the 3-0 win.
“I’m really pleased to get a clean sheet, we score two good goals in the first half and then missed various opportunities to be further ahead at half time. To then manage the game the way we did, for me that is a real bonus.

“I’m really pleased with how we managed to see things through. As I said, some of the play in the first half was excellent, both when we had possession of the ball when we were in control, but also when we were breaking on them at real speed, we were creating a lot of chances off of the back of that as well.
“It was so hot. I said to them that’s why we worked so hard in pre-season, we saw the difference that made today. They are a super fit group, and they brought that into the game today. We saw the fitness levels for the full 90 minutes so credit to the players, I am also really pleased with that aspect.

“Fletcher Boyd is doing well; he has got lots to learn about the game, but he is working extremely hard for us which is the main thing. That being said, its not about one player, at the end of the day that result is earned of the back of a real team performance, and the individuals within that today were all very strong.

“Motherwell on Tuesday will be a different challenge for us. A tough challenge as they are always strong at this age level. They bring a different style of football as we saw today, so we need to stand up to that. First and foremost, we need to recover from today. It’s a home game, which we have only had one of so far, when I thought we done really well last week against Hearts. We are looking forward to it, but as I say we need to recover from today and then its straight into getting prepared for that.”

Alfie Stewart

“I’m very happy with that today, it was a great team performance, you couldn’t fault anyone, we were all pushed to our absolute limits. The sun was a big factor, but you can’t let that bother you. Even in the warmup we could tell it was going to be a problem. That’s why we worked hard in pre-season and put in the work in Portugal. It makes us feel like the graft we put in pre-season paid off. We all worked for each other, it was a real team performance, there wasn’t one individual out there – it was one team.

“I was very happy to score another free kick. Brendan Hamilton tries to claim he should be the free-kick taker, but he’s clearly not quite on my level just yet! No seriously, it is something we both practise a lot and stay back after training to work on, so it is nice to see them coming off in games. Today’s wasn’t as clean as my freekick last week, but a goal is a goal!

“It is amazing to captain the team. It is a whole different role to what I was used to last year, but I think I am adapting to it well. As I mentioned earlier there isn’t just one captain on the pitch, everyone gets onto each other when needed and act in the right way.

“Motherwell on Tuesday is another big game. After today we need to get some rest, see how the weekend goes and then we get back to work on Monday, do our match prep and take that into the game on Tuesday, where we need to try and get the three points.”
Celtic Teamsheet
Rice, Crawford (Cannon 57), Hale (Pickford 76), Davidson, Ferns, Bennett (Dargie 62), Hatton (Kyle 76), Haddow, Cummings, McArdle, Rachwal Unused Subs: Meikle, Keenan

Bookings:  Rice 7,   Haddon 67,   Davidson 84
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Vitols, Watson, Mercer (Kondolo 63), Carrol, Enem, Akindileni, Stewart, Marshall, Wilson (Masson 92), Boyd, Mackie (Teasdale 92).

Unused Subs: Smilie, Clark.

Bookings:  Watson (65),  Mackie (72),  Stewart (72),  Kondolo (77).
Venue: ,
Referee: Paul Regan
Next Match
27 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen