Derby thriller at Celtic Park as Rocco Vata and co punish Rangers with big win

By John McGinley

December 30, 2022

Celtic B beat Rangers B 5-2 in the Scottish Lowland Football League this afternoon in a thrilling derby at Celtic Park.

The young Hoops were trailing their Glasgow rivals by a significant points margin heading into today’s league clash and arguably needed a win to keep pace with them at the top of the table.

However, it was Charlie McCann who opened the scoring for the visitors after 15 minutes from the penalty spot before Celtic pushed for the equaliser ahead of half-time.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That came through mid-week first-team debutant Rocco Vata on 38 minutes after fine work from Ben Summers on the left flank, who fired the ball in low for Vata to hit home.

Rangers again had the lead in the second half through James Graham midway through the second half. But Celtic wouldn’t be denied and Kenzie Carse levelled just a few minutes later after combining with Ben Quinn.

Ben McPherson then inspired the goal that put Celtic ahead, finding space on the right flank before delivering a cross that was put into the back of the net via an own goal.

Joey Dawson added to the scoring with his head in stoppage time after reacting quickest to a saved Vata shot.

Substituted Dawson then unbelievably added Celtic’s fifth before the full-time whistle, getting on the end of a Quinn cross and sending everyone home with a huge smile on their face.

Ange Postecoglou and John Kennedy were in attendance to see the young Hoops pick up the morale-boosting win that ends a 2022 of ups and downs in the perfect manner.

Celtic B now sit six points behind the league leaders on 42, but hold a game in hand over the young Gers and will fancy their chances of kicking on with sustained form in the new year.

On a day they wanted to impress fans who turned out at Celtic Park, the young team delivered. Credit to them and coaches Darren O’Dea & Stephen McManus!

In other news, Josip Juranovic reflects on class World Cup moment with Celtic teammate.