Celtic 2 (Twardzik 24', Herron 29') Aberdeen 0
SFA Youth Cup 5th Round | Firhill | Full Time
RedWeb Match report
Aberdeen were knocked out of the Scottish Youth Cup once again by Celtic this afternoon at Firhill but the result certainly does not tell the story of the game as Aberdeen were the better side for most of the afternoon. For many different reasons this was actually an extremely encouraging performance for the future of the club with many of the young boys impressing.
The Dons lined up in a familiar 4-3-3 formation with Rogers in goal, Murray at right back, Rose and Rumsby in central defence with Duguid at left back. Storie, Gibbons and O'Neill were in central midfield with Allan O'Sullivan wide on the right, Jamie Masson on the left and Cammy Smith up front through the middle. Declan McManus was suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the previous rounds and Clark Robertson was unavailable due to his involvement with the first team.
Celtic meanwhile brought all their big guns back in. Bahrudin Atajic, Tony Watt and Patrik Twardzik, brother of Aberdeen goalkeeper Dan, all played.
Celtic in the early stages had most of the possession but Neil Cooper's side were extremely well organised as usual and soaked it up well. On 4 minutes Aberdeen had their first flurry forward. Craig Duguid played the ball in from the left and his cross was not far away from the head of Cammy Smith. Then Celtic had a good chance from a corner. Poor marking allowed Findlay to have a free header but thankfully Craig Murray had stayed on the line and was able to clear. The ball then fell to Herron on the edge of the box and although he was able to get away a strong shot Rogers saved and showed good handling to hold on.
Then on 12 minutes the young Dons came desperately close to taking the lead. After a well worked move down the right Allan O'Sullivan played in Murray who had over lapped him. The full back put in an excellent cross to the near post to pick out Storie and it looked like he had scored but Fasan in the Celtic goal made a great save on his goal line. From the resulting corner Celtic failed to clear and the ball eventually broke to the Dons captain Jamie Masson but he hooked his effort inches over.
One minute later Celtic had an opening when Craig Storie slipped and gave the ball away. Chalmers was the lucky recipient on the edge of the area but his low drive was brilliant saved by Rogers. It was the only thing Storie did wrong the whole afternoon, the Scotland U17 internationalist was superb.
Back came Aberdeen and Stephen O'Neill created an opening for himself after showing fantastic skill in the box. He left a couple of players for dead before seeing his shot blocked and the ball went behind for a corner. From that set piece again Aberdeen almost scored as the ball was cleared off the line, agonisingly there was no red jersey there to put the ball into the net.
On 24 minutes Celtic took the lead. The home side worked the ball down the right channel. A cross came in which was not the best but landed up going behind a number of Aberdeen players who could not clear. The ball eventually went right across the box and fell to Twardzik at the back post and he hit a sweat first time left foot shot past Rogers.
Aberdeen did not allow the goal to affect them and they came straight back up the park. Celtic captain Marcus Fraser was extremely lucky to see his deflected clearance hit the Celtic keeper and stay out as the Dons went very close again. But then on 29 minutes a killer for the Aberdeen youngsters as Celtic grabbed a Celtic with another clinical finish. It looked like the Dons defence had dealt with the attack the ball broke to John Herron in a central area at the edge of the box. He composed himself before firing an unsavable shot into the corner.
Again Aberdeen did not let their heads drop and dominated the rest of the half. Jamie Masson had a good run down the left to win a corner. The ball then fell to Storie and Gibbons on the edge of the box but they got in each others way and a good chance was wasted. Shortly after that Masson headed just over from a free kick and another Murray cross was not far away from Smith.
At the start of the second half Danny Rogers did very well to race off his line when Watt was clean through. The goalkeeper forced the striker wide and he then over hit the ball out of play. Apart from that chance Watt was rarely seen all afternoon. The Aberdeen defence, Michael Rose in particular, marshalled him superbly.
After that it was all Aberdeen for the next 45 minutes. In the first half Celtic had played an aggressive pressing game but the Dons youngsters just passed the ball round the onrushing player. In the second half Celtic sat in more which made it difficult for the Dons to hit on the break or to find space down either channel. The Dons youngsters threw everything they could into the game in a desperate attempt to get a goal back. They were flying into tackles all over the park.
Craig Murray did his best to try and create something and had a number of good runs but his crosses would just not fall to an Aberdeen player in the box. On 57 minutes he played a superb ball across the face of goal but again there was no one to get on the end of it. You certainly felt Declan McManus would have taken one of these chances. Cammy Smith tried his luck with a couple of long range shots from distance and Masson almost picked out O'Sullivan with a good cross from the left but the Dons could just not get themselves back into the game. Celtic in the end were happy just to see the game out with most of the ball boys posted missing in the final 20 minutes.
Aberdeen | Rogers, Murray, Duguid, Gibbons, Rose, Rumsby, O'Neill, Storie, Smith, Masson, O'Sullivan (Campanile 78')
Subs | Close, Hamilton, Campanile, Szemis, Macaulay
Celtic | Fasen, Miller, Chalmers, Fraser, Findlay, Herron, Atajic, Kidd, Watt, Johnstone, Twardzik
Subs | O'Connell, Thomson, Lindsay, George, Henderson
RedTV | Post Match Reaction from Neil Cooper please click here
match highlights to follow
Neil Cooper quotes |
"I told the boys I was really pleased with their performance.
"We were by far the better team today and anyone at the game would have seen that. The pitch did not make it easy to play football but I thought we still managed to do so and controlled the game with our passing in both the first and second half.
"I am disappointed with the goals we lost especially as there were not many chances in the game.
"Credit to boys that the heads never went down at any point. Their attitude has been first class all season.
"At this level it is about playing football and doing the right things. Tactically and technically we were very good."