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Celtic through after dominant display against Dundee United

Dundee United 0

Celtic 3

Thomson 11, Robson (OG) 26, McMullen 58
  • Saturday, 06 December 2014
  • Tannadice
  • Under 20´s
  • Scottish FA Youth Cup

Alasdair Hooper | YFS Dundee Senior Reporter
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Celtic booked their place in the next round of the Scottish FA youth cup after dispatching Dundee United 3-0 at Tannadice. Joseph Thomson and Paul McMullen netted for the visitors, either side of an unfortunate Jamie Robson own goal, to round of a fine footballing display for the young Hoops.

Celtic dominated possession in the opening 10 minutes of the game. Their game plan from the outset was to start the build up play from the back and each player was getting their passes spot on. As a result the Dundee United players were run ragged right from the start attempting to chase and close down the opposition players.

On the 11th minute the pressure told as Celtic capitalized on their early dominance to make the breakthrough. A corner kick was sent into the penalty area and the Dundee United defence managed to get it clear. However, Celtic’s Thomson was lingering just outside the area and, as the ball fell his way, he struck a sweet and powerful volley straight into the back of the net.  

Following the goal Celtic continued to control the game. The next clear chance for them came in the 16th minute. McMullen sent in a great cross from the right hand side of the pitch which was met by the head of Aidan Nesbitt. The number 7’s header was aimed low but the United goalkeeper, Ryan Booth, dived well to save and hold the effort.

At this point it became clear that Dundee United had to continue to pressure Celtic, in order to force them into a mistake, if they were going to have any joy at goal. In the 21st minute Dundee United’s Ola Adeyemo came close to doing just that. After some relentless pressing the United number 9 managed to collect the ball high up the pitch following a mistake. He drove at goal but was halted by a fine recovery tackle from the Celtic right back, Jack Breslin.

Celtic thought they had scored their second goal three minutes later, but the offside flag denied them. Liam Henderson crossed in from a wide free kick and, in a similar fashion to Celtic’s opener, Thomson volleyed at goal after the initial clearance. This time, however, Booth did well to parry the shot away and Stuart Findley fired the rebound into the net from close range. Unfortunately for him the linesman’s flag was raised straight afterwards to cut the celebrations short.

The visitors didn’t have to wait too long before they did make the score 2-0. Just two minutes after the disallowed goal a low and hard cross, delivered from the left by Henderson, was inadvertently diverted into his own net by Jamie Robson as he attempted to clear. The left back was under pressure to act with Thomson just behind him waiting to finish the inviting cross. It was a real unfortunate moment for the Dundee United team as their defence had begun to nullify a lot of the Celtic pressure at that point of the game. 

Celtic kept up their good ball retention for the rest of the half but it only led to one more clear cut chance before the half time whistle. In the 43rd minute McMullen delivered a great cross from the right hand side that found its way to the feet of Nesbitt. The resulting shot was blocked by a combination of United goalkeeper and centre back and the danger was temporarily averted. 

  • Half Time:
  • Dundee United
  • 0-2
  • Celtic

Celtic continued in the second half as they had done for the first. In the 53rd minute Henderson nearly made the score 3-0. From a direct free kick the Celtic number 10’s superb shot just clipped the woodwork before heading out, much to the relief of the scrambling Booth.

Five minutes later and Celtic’s third goal of the match arrived. Following some more delightful build up play Breslin sent in a looping cross from the right. The ball evaded the two Dundee United central defenders and arrived at the feet of McMullen. From 12 yards he used his first touch to control the ball and finished expertly into the bottom left hand corner with his second.

Four minutes afterwards and Celtic were denied by the woodwork for a second time. Following another great cross, this time from the left, McMullen headed at goal at the back post. Unfortunately the post denied him from getting a second goal for himself.

In the 78th minute Kieran Tiernay had an attempt on target for Celtic. He unleashed a fine looping shot aimed for the bottom right hand corner but was denied by a sublime diving save from Booth, who pushed the ball out for a corner.

Six minutes from time and Dundee United had their best chance to get on the score sheet. From a wide free kick the ball was sent into the penalty area and Adeyemo managed to meet it with a low, powerful header. The Celtic goalkeeper, Jordan Hart, saved well down low before eventually gathering the loose ball.

Shortly afterwards and the referee blew the full time whistle. Celtic deservedly progressed into the next round of the Scottish Youth Cup with one of the best footballing and passing displays that I’ve seen all season.. The Dundee United players ran their socks off to try and press the opposition players but it was just a task too much for the boys in orange. No doubt they will come back a much stronger team for their next match.

  • Full Time:
  • Dundee United
  • 0-3
  • Celtic


Dundee United
1. Ryan Booth
2. Euan Spark
3. Jamie Robson
4. Brad Smith
5. Chris McLaughlin
6. Harry Souttar
7. Reghan Tumilty
8. Aaron Duke
9. Ola Adeyemo
10. Scott Lochhead
11. Ali Coote
12. Jamie Montgomery
13. Darren Clarkson
14. Rafa Malaga
15. Greig McNaughton
16. Matty Smith
1. Jordan Hart
2. Jack Breslin
3. Calum Waters
4. Eoghan O’Connell
5. Stuart Findlay
6. Joseph Thomson
7. Aidan Nesbitt
8. Jamie Lindsay
9. Paul McMullen
10. Liam Henderson
11. Kieran Tierney
12. Fiacre Kelleher
13. Colin McCabe
14. Jamie McCart
15. Mark Hill
16. Calvin Miller
Star Player
Dundee United
Ola Adeyemo – The big number 9 pressed the Celtic defenders relentlessly for the majority of the game. Wasn’t given much service to feed from but worked hard to try and make something happen for himself and his team.
Liam Henderson – the central midfielder was excellent. His passing was spot on throughout and he was a presence all over the field. Really dictated the play and was directly responsible for the second goal. The epitome of a midfield engine room.
Magic Moment
Dundee United
Ryan Booth’s save in the 78th minute. A superb bit of goalkeeping.
Celtics build up play was superb throughout. The play that led to their third goal was particularly good to watch.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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