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AFC - Match Report
match report 2019-20 fixture list
SPL Youth 18 
Aberdeen 3 - 2 Celtic
Kick Off:  4:00 PM   Barron 20 (Pen), Barron 46 (Pen), Barron 62 (Pen).       Murray 24, Murray 77  
Attendance: 150
Venue: Balmoral Stadium, Cove
Under 18s captain Connor Barron celebrated his 17th birthday, albeit a day late, with a hat-trick of penalty conversions, each dispatched with clinical efficiency, as the young Dons saw off a determined Celtic side at The Balmoral Stadium.

Fresh from last week's resounding 4-0 win against Hibs, Barry Robson made just one change to his line-up. Kevin Hanratty, who had been ordered off in that match, was free to play after successfully appealing against his first yellow card last week for simulation. Connor Barron came back after missing the Hibs clash due to suspension, Corey Gerrard the man to drop to the bench.
The home side had a stiff wind behind them, but Celtic created the first danger as Murray's cross from the right flew across goal without anyone in a hoped shirt able to apply the decisive touch.

It was a cagey start by both sides as they tried to assert themselves in the game. Montgomery had a good chance for the visitors on 12 minutes when the ball fell to him after a free-kick from the left wasn't cleared, his snapshot flying just past.

Aberdeen responded by winning a corner on their right and Barron's excellent delivery found Calvin Ramsay who was unlucky to see his fierce strike crash off the bar and away to safety. A real let-off for Celtic.

Tom Ritchie saved comfortably from Wylie as the game started to flow. On 20 minutes the Dons were awarded a penalty when Murray barged into Kieran Shanks as they pursued a neat through ball from Barry. Skipper Barron made an immaculate job of the spot-kick sending the keeper the wrong way.

Hepburn turned neatly away from Kieran Ngwenya to create space in the box, but his final ball was lacking and Luke Turner cleared easily. Celtic were not to be denied though and they drew level on 24 minutes when Wylie's accurate corner was powerful headed into the net at the near post by Dane Murray.

Both sides looked evenly matched and were producing some neat football. A good run from Lewis Duncan saw the winger burst into the area, but he couldn't get any real power into his shot.
Ngwenya then delivered an enticing cross from the left, but, as the rain started to fall, there were no takers.

The dangerous Hanratty fired into the side netting after Shanks and Duncan combined to give him a sight of goal. Shortly after, a fine Ramsay cross was well defended as Shanks attacked the ball. The Dons full back was then booked for a challenge on Wylie in midfield as the Celtic skipper looked to break forward.

Patient build up on the left created space for Ngwenya to have a shot, but the left back's right-footed effort was too straight and presented Smith with a comfortable save.
Connor Barron and McRobb were both booked after a clash in midfield as the half moved into stoppage time.

An entertaining opening 45 ended honours even between two sides who played some good football without being able to establish any real supremacy.

Half time - Aberdeen Under 18s 1 Celtic Under 18s 1

The Dons won a second penalty thirty seconds after the restart when Michael Dangana was tripped by McRobb as he raced in on goal after a fine pass from Andy Paterson. Once again Barron did the needful from the spot to put his team 2-1 up.

A great move from the Dons saw Dangana and Shanks combine to free Hanratty on the left and the in-form forward was inches away from notching a third. It had been a strong, positive start to the second half from Robson's young guns.

Lewis Duncan fired just wide from the left side of the area as the Dons were beginning to take a stranglehold on the game, the purposeful running of Hanratty and the clever midfield play of Barron a feature.

Celtic still posed a threat though and Ritchie saved brilliantly from Montgomery on 58 minutes.

Incredibly, on 62 minutes the Dons were awarded a third penalty when Dangana was brought down by the keeper. Connor Barron kept his cool to hit his penalty into the same corner as the previous two, drawing admiring glances from the last Don to complete such a feat, Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley who was watching in the stand.

Ritchie produced another fine save to deny Wylie as Celtic tried to get back into the game, but the more they pushed forward the greater the danger of the Dons breaking on them came into play.
Duncan almost connected with Hanratty's low ball into the area before Wylie shot well over as the match continued to ebb and flow. Dangana was cautioned for a clip on the heels of Wylie, shortly before Murray pulled a goal back for the Bhoys heading in his captain's corner, a carbon copy of his first goal.

The game was back in the melting pot as Stephen McManus's side showed great fighting spirit.

The Dons were being forced back at every turn and Wylie shot over when he really should have worked the keeper. Tom Ritchie was booked for time-wasting as the clock ran down but despite incessant pressure, the Dons held on to record a fine victory.

Full time - Aberdeen Under 18s 3 Celtic Under 18s 2

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Ritchie, Ramsey, Ngwenya, Paterson, Turner, Barry, Hanratty, Barron, Dangana, Shanks, Duncan.

Unused Subs: Dalling, MacIver, Duncan, Renforth, Gerrard, Buirds, Hyslop.

Bookings:  Ramsey (38),  Barron (45),  Dangana (75),  Ritchie (89).

Celtic Teamsheet:  Smith, Murray, Otoo, McQueen (Murphy 66), McRobb, Carse, Hepburn, Wylie (C), Montgomery, Moffat, Cusick (Quinn 62).
Unused substitutes :- Angelini, Gillespie, Corr

Bookings:  McRobb 45,   Montgomery 90+3

Referee: Joel Kennedy

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