Wylie and Dawson on form as Celtic B see off Caledonian Braves
Start as you mean to go on was clearly the message from Celtic B Team boss Tommy McIntyre, as the Bhoys colts took on Caledonian Braves.
The North Lanarkshire side sat 11th in the SLFL table, and in mid-place they would stay. McIntyre’s young side started, with some of the emerging names making a real impact.
Things got off to a fast start. Within three minutes, Owen Moffat tested the Braves’ keeper with a volley. The fire-haired occasional first-teamer couldn’t get his shot to stay beneath the bar, however. Then, Braves had a go through Butterworth, but his deflected shot went out of play.
The momentum continued for Celtic. Moffat tried again with a volley, but bruised the inside of the post with his effort. Rocco Vata was found free at the back post shortly after, but couldn’t guide the ball into the net.
If the first twenty minutes were frenetic from Celtic, the twenty-first saw a breakthrough. Ben Wylie, who’s impressed since the start of the SLFL season, curled in an effort from the edge of the box. That put his tally for the season at 3 [SLFL].
Celtic kept the pressure on, and forced the Braves into conceding a second. This time it was summer signing Joey Dawson, reacting to a Wylie pass to slot it home.
It could’ve been a very different team-talk, though. Dane Murray was on hand to stop the Braves pulling a goal back just on the stroke of half-time. Murray, who played in Champions League qualifying earlier this season, showed quick reflexes to intervene.
Celtic B Team given second-half warning but rise to see off Braves
Celtic looked in great shape for the second half, two goals to the good. But if Dane Murray stopped the Braves in the first-half, he couldn’t prevent the Braves scoring the goal they threatened to score.
Tobi Oluwayemi, a prominent name in Celtic news over the last month, could do little to prevent Mark Kelly scoring from a corner. Set-pieces; who wants them?
That did spark Celtic back into life, though. A clever exchange of passes saw Wylie take the ball from Owen Moffat, as he chased a brace. Unfortunately, his well-timed effort cracked the crossbar.
After an hour, it was Celtic very much in control. This time, a counter-attack from Tommy McIntyre’s side saw Rocco Vata find Owen Moffat, but again the chance went begging.
A third for Celtic was coming. No surprise, then, when Tsoanelo Letsosa restored the Colts’ two goal advantage with a stunning long-range effort in the 70th minute. Letsosa’s stock is rising, with this the latest in a series of contributions for McIntyre’s side.
Of course, the two-goal lead couldn’t last in a break-neck second half. The Braves found a second, through Cameron Breadner, cutting in on the left on 78 minutes.
A nervy final 10 minutes was to come.
Celtic B held on as Braves pushed bodies forward. This would be a chance to climb up the table for the North Lanarkshire side, who were feeling the momentum from Breadner’s finish. Oluwayemi was forced into a great save to prevent a heartbreaking equaliser.
Thankfully, McIntyre’s Bhoys secured the result. In a testing, back-and-forth battle, it was the Hoops who emerged with 3 points.