Celtic B extended their winning run to six consecutive matches today, recording a comfortable 2-0 victory over Caledonian Braves at The Penny Cars Stadium.
Starting the encounter with attacking intent, Adam Brooks saw his curling effort from the edge of the box saved after some good approach play from Ben Wylie. Soon after, Wylie nearly found himself on the scoresheet, only to fire a powerful left-footed strike into the side netting from the left-hand side of the area.
Caledonian Braves then started to build their way into proceedings, with a Jamie Watson strike from distance forcing Celtic goalkeeper Ryan Mullen into a smart save. Just as the contest was evening out, Tommy Mcintyre’s men then got themselves in front.
In a moment of ingenious skill, Northern Ireland Under-21 international Wylie threaded a superb backheel pass to Ben Summers who calmly stroked the ball past Chris Henry into the Braves’ net.
Almost instantly after the opener, the opposing side was denied a route back to parity after Ryan Mullen tipped a ferocious shot from Rhys Armstrong round the post for a corner. Proving to be a busy presence between the sticks for the Bhoys, 20-year-old Mullen then acrobatically prevented a looping deflected shot from 25-yards dropping into his net.
The lively Adam Brooks nearly doubled the advantage in Airdrie moments later, only to see his snapshot fumbled around the post by Henry in the opposition goal. Nevertheless, the young Hoops’ frequent pressure eventually paid dividends.
Not long before the interval, the ball broke to striker Joey Dawson in the six-yard box, who sidestepped the keeper with ease and then rolled the ball over the line to make it 2-0.
Ringing the changes at half-time, Tommy McIntyre brought on Frankie Deane for Ben Wylie and Ewan Otoo off for Magnus McKenzie to make his first appearance for the Celtic B Team.
Returning to the field for the second 45, substitute Deane saw a close-range strike cleared off the line following a cut-back from the energetic Bruno Davidson. Celtic began to slow the tempo as the game wore on, with Davidson working the ball onto his favoured right foot before seeing a tame shot saved by Chris Henry.
Petering out to a close, the fixture suddenly sprung into life in the last ten minutes with Ryan Mullen making an outstanding one-on-one stop to deny Zac Butterworth, which central defender Dylan Corr did well to mop up in the aftermath.
Lewis McLear nearly halved the deficit for Caledonian Braves with a beautifully executed volley, only for it to sail narrowly over the target. Lastly, Bruno Davidson could’ve had added as he cut in from the right, seeing his subsequent left-footed hit parried by Chris Henry.
Eventually, the full-time whistle sounded, giving Tommy McIntyre another commendable victory and performance to please the nearly sold-out crowd who braved the cold to watch the stars of the future.
Man of the Match: Ben Summers
Involved in many of Celtic’s offensive ventures, the youngster can be delighted with his day’s work that was topped off with him getting on the scoresheet.