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Celtic 3 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Celtic 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Youth Cup Final
Celtic scorers: Low 16, Gardyne 95, Harris 119
Aberdeen scorers: Foster 69.

16/05/2003 | KO: 19:30

Brave Dons lose out in extra time

Aberdeen put up a brave fight at McDiarmid Park, but the evening ended in disappointment as Celtic won 3-1. The Dons ended the match with 10 men as Diamond limped off the park in the second half of extra time. The Dons had put everything into the game to secure a 69th minute equaliser from Foster and come extra time the heart was willing, but the legs had gone. Carella almost sneaked a second equaliser in the 114th minute, but Marshall stretched to tip the ball over and deny the Dons. Celtic then grabbed a third in the closing minutes with a deflected shot, which gave Hutton no chance.

Aberdeen made a positive start in the pouring rain with Richard Buckley stating his intention in the opening minute with a 20-yard pop at goal that went harmlessly wide. Forceful play by Foster in the 13th minute gave the young striker a glimpse of goal, but Mulgrew reacted quickly to block the effort. From the resultant corner Diamond rose above everyone to power a header goalwards. Marshall in the Celtic goal knew little about it as it hit his shoulder and spun over the bar.

After enjoying all the early pressure the Dons found themselves a goal down after 16 minutes. A corner was swung in from the right and Low beat everyone in the air to give the favourites a lead they barely deserved. The goal gave Celtic a confidence boost and McKenzie was forced to head a corner off the line five minutes later. Aberdeen settled again, but were struggling to get a break of the ball in the dangerous areas.

Celtic now had a spring in their step and were first to every loose ball. They almost extended their lead in the 38th minute following a mix up between Morrison and Hutton. The keeper did enough to recover and block Beattie?s progress. The Dons went close in the 43rd minute when McCulloch rolled a free kick into the path of Jones. The captain looked up and hit a fierce shot, which scraped the keeper's left hand post.

Celtic came out all guns blazing in the second half and Hutton was forced to palm the ball to safety in the opening minute. However Aberdeen rolled up their sleeves and second half substitute Carella released Foster in the 50th minute, but the striker couldn?t keep the shot down. A minute later McCulloch was released wide right and his cross was scrambled clear before Foster tried a shot from long range, which the keeper fumbled on the slippery surface. Two minutes later Tarditi went close as the keeper only just managed to turn another low shot round the post.

After that good spell Celtic hit back with a few half chances and Aberdeen had David Hutton to thank in the 63rd minute when he made a superb save, turning a fierce Beattie shot round the post. Watson replaced Tarditi in the 65th minute and four minutes later the Dons grabbed a deserved equaliser. McCulloch was once again released on the right and his low cross found Foster at the far post. The young striker accepted the cross and turned the ball into the empty net to cheer up the large Dons support in the 1,946 crowd.

Both sides went looking for the winner, but both defences were on top as the game edged towards extra time. Celtic went close in the 86th minute when a poor cross from McGeady almost floated into the top corner of the net. Fortunately Hutton was alert and tipped the ball over the bar. After three minutes of added time the teams were still level and the match went into extra time.

Aberdeen almost grabbed a dramatic lead in the first minute of extra time when Foster pounced on a defensive mix up only to see his effort blocked and roll agonisingly towards the line before being booted clear. Three minutes later Hutton gave the Dons fans palpitations as he fumbled an easy cross. Celtic then took the lead in the 95th minute when a Wallace cutback found Gardyne in glorious isolation at the far post. Six minutes later Wallace twisted and turned before crashing a shot off the bar.

Aberdeen were now looking a tired team as their efforts to draw level began to tell, but just on half time Carella should have levelled when his fierce shot was fired straight at Marshall. A shot either side would surely have resulted in a goal. Then with six minutes remaining Carella hit a great shot which looked to be heading into the roof of the net before Marshall tipped it to safety. Celtic added a third in the last minute with a deflected shot to confirm the victory.

Weather: Showery Rain
Celtic Teamsheet
Marshall, Irvine, Mulgrew, Lawson, Low, Reid, McGeady (Ramsey 117), Beattie, Arbuckle (Harris 72), Gardyne (Pinkowski 97), Wallace. Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Wallace 54,   Mulgrew 70,  Gardyne 90
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Hutton, McCulloch, Muirhead, Morrison, Diamond, Jones (Higgins 74), Buckley, Souter, Tarditi (Watson 65), Foster, McKenzie (Carella 46).

Unused Subs: Lombardi, Kelly.
Attendance: 1,946
Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth
Referee: Calum Murray
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride