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Sunday, 24 March 2013 20:12

Late strike seals Celtic's cup final spot

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Celtic FC
Kilmarnock FC
P. Twardzik 76


U20 SFA Youth Cup - Semi Final
Celtic Park

Dean Robertson Kieran Muir

By Kieran Muir and Dean Robertson
YFS West Region Reporters
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Today’s game at Celtic Park saw Celtic Under 20’s take on Kilmarnock Under 20’S in the SFA Youth Cup semi final. It was a bitterly cold day in Glasgow and it concluded with the home team continuing their hot streak of cup wins and booking a place in the final.

It was Celtic who kicked the game off and they managed to find themselves with some early pressure when they were awarded with a free kick. Darnell Fisher stepped up and crossed the ball into the box which forced the Kilmarnock defender to head the ball clear for a corner which found itself being dealt with by the keeper. The next chance came when Celtic’s Paul George crossed the ball in the head of Bahrudin Atajic but the Kilmarnock keeper, Devlin Mackay, dealt with it again.

After Kilmarnock’s shaky start – which saw the away keeper struggle to deal with the pressure and make a nervy mistake by failing to clear the ball and striking his own player which could have resulted in the ball landing in the back of the net – they settled down and got into their own attacking stride. This resulted in their first chance of the game when Jude Winchester had a shot from distance which hit the outside of the net. Winchester was landed with Kilmarnock’s second chance when he had another chance from distance which went over the bar.

With the game levelled out, most possession was in the middle of the park but both teams found themselves with free kicks in promising areas but unfortunately for each side they came to nothing.

After a slow patch in the game, both sides found themselves with chances that could have seen either team take the lead; Kilmarnock’s chance came first when a ball in from a corner was blocked out to the edge of the box which allowed a thundering strike to go wide of the post. Celtic then had a chance of their own when a cross in found the head of Atajic but the ball went wide of the target.

The next real chance fell to Kilmarnock when good passing play between Kiltie, Slater and Muirhead lead to Muirhead having a long range effort fly over the bar. Celtic, however responded when Jamie Lindsay had a shot from within the box which was well saved by the Kilmarnock goal keeper.

It looked like Celtic would be the first to score when Patrik Twardzik played a nice ball through to Bahrudin Atajic, inside the box, who went down believing he had been fouled but the referee deemed it to be a dive and he was shown a yellow card. 

Good play by Celtic’s Darnell Fisher led to him being brought down on the edge of the box, winning Celtic a free kick. Atajic floated in the set piece to Captain Jackson Irvine who got his head on it but couldn’t find the target resulting in a goal kick. 

Kilmarnock were next to find themselves with a chance when nice play from a corner resulted in the ball finding its way to the feet of Robbie Muirhead who fired it high and wide. 

Both teams wanted to take the lead before half time but it was Celtic who looked the most likely, having numerous threatening chances on the Kilmarnock goal. Atajic found the first of them when his shot from close range was saved by the Kilmarnock goal keeper. Michael Miller then had a chance from outside the box which landed in the keepers hands. Kilmarnock had the last opportunity of the half when Jude Winchester had a shot which did not go too far wide of the post. 

Half Time: Celtic FC 0–0 Kilmarnock FC

Kilmarnock got the second half underway but it was Celtic who found themselves on the front foot when they were awarded a free kick in the middle of the park. This allowed them to apply pressure on the Kilmarnock defence which stayed strong moments later when Atajic had his shot blocked and cleared away. 

Kilmarnock’s Chris Johnston showed great desire to help give his side the lead when he went on a run from the halfway line to the corner flag before putting in a cross which forced Celtic's defence to react. The resulting corner saw Johnston cross the ball into a dangerous area which lead to a shot from a clearance which went inches wide.

Celtic regained their pressure when Jackson Irvine and Paul George both put Kilmarnock under pressure with shots on goal within moments of each other. The home side then added more pressure when a low ball into the box beat all of the Kilmarnock defenders apart from one, who got a vital touch on the ball to deny Twardzik from having a simple tap in.

After being hemmed in, Kilmarnock began to add some pressure of their own when Muirhead chased down Celtic full back, Fisher, and won the ball. He then proceeded to chip the onrushing goalkeeper but only to see the ball bounce wide of the post. Johnston then continued Kilmarnock’s pressure when his long shot went just wide of the wide post.

After some more slow play in the middle of the park, Celtic quickened the pace when Darnell Fisher fired the ball low from outside the box, forcing quick reactions from the Kilmarnock keeper to tip it out for a corner.

Celtic had another chance which proved to be more successful than the others when Twardzik had a long range effort blocked by what was deemed to be the Kilmarnock defenders arm, resulting in a Celtic penalty and a yellow card for Kilmarnock defender Mark O’Hara. Twardzik stepped up and calmly put the ball passed the goal keeper to give Celtic the lead.

Kilmarnock looked for an equaliser when Chris Johnston managed to get a cross into the box but the Celtic keeper, Leonardo Fasan, was able to catch it before a Kilmarnock player could get a vital touch. They then managed to win a corner which was crossed into the box, finding the head of Mark O’Hara who headed the ball directly at the Celtic keeper.

The last chances of the game would fall to Celtic, the most notable being Michael Miller’s shot from distance which went wide of the goal but another near chance was when a nice ball over the top landed in the path of Paul George who was beaten to the ball by the Kilmarnock keeper which made the two of them collide resulting in a heated end to the game.

Celtic now visit Hampden Park, hoping to make it four SFA Youth Cup wins in as many years. Dunfermline Athletic will be the opposition, after they overcame St Mirren 3-2 in the other semi final.

Full Time: Celtic FC 1-0 Kilmarnock FC

Celtic FC Kilmarnock FC
1. Leonardo Fasan
2. Darnell Fisher
3. Calum Waters
4. Michael Miller
5. Eoghan O'Connell
6. Stuart Findlay
7. Paul George
8. Jackson Irvine
9. Bahrudin Atajic
10. Jamie Lindsay
11. Patrik Twardzik
12. Parick McNally
13. Glenn Daniels
14. Lewis Kidd
15. Liam Henderson
16. Paul McMullan
1. Devlin Mackay
2. Caoinhin Bonnar
3. Ross Fisher
4. Craig Slater
5. Adam Hodge
6. Mark O'Hara
7. Greg Kiltie
8. Ross Davidson
9. Robbie Muirhead
10. Jude Winchester
11. Chris Johnston
12. Andrew Hainey
13. Calum Dillion
14. David Syme
15. Mark Taylor
16. Dylan Pooler
Paul George was skillful on the ball, well positioned, good link-up play and involved in all celtic attacks.
Chris Johnston was a threat going forward, good running wth the ball and good vision in foreward areas.
Last modified on Sunday, 04 August 2013 18:42

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