Celtic’s Reserves side have booked their place in the semi-final of the SPFL Reserve Cup with a penalties victory over Motherwell in the group stage of the competition on Monday.

An intriguing and talented lineup took to the pitch at Lennoxtown, having to find the spirit and mettle to come from behind and qualify.

Ross Maciver opened the scoring for the visitors. However, 25 minutes later, Jonathan Afolabi combined with Karamoko Dembele to equalise, chipping the goalkeeper with a display of youthful confidence.

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The Young Hoops are unbeaten in the competition so far and can now look ahead to a knock-out match next year against opponents yet to be determined.

Celtic youngster Karamoko Dembele

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

An embarrassment of riches on display

The eleven that took to the field against the second-string Steelmen further demonstrated the kind of depth that Celtic have at the club currently with senior players and talented teenagers on display.


Karamoko Dembele, Jonathan Afolabi and Lee O’Connor, who has won a senior cap with the Republic of Ireland, are all knocking on the door of the first-team action under Neil Lennon, with others such as Luca Connell and Armstrong Oko-Flex showing potential too.

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Jack Hendry also started. Although something of a first-team outcast he is still a 3-cap international and could likely play for the majority of Scottish Premiership sides.

Eboue Kouassi also played from the start, marking a step on the journey to his return to senior action after a serious knee injury.

The talent Lennon has at his disposal is exceptional, even when you look beyond his bench wider first-team squad.

When you consider that Jeremie Frimpong was part of this group just a couple of months ago, it all bodes well ahead of a hectic winter schedule.

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