In last night’s big meeting in the Lowland League, it was theRangers B side who emerged with victory as they defeated the Celtic B team for the second time in a month, meaning Celtic missed the chance to move avenge the recent 3-0 defeat at Ibrox after falling to a disappointing defeat at Celtic Park.
In truth theRangers B team had the better of the first half before weathering a resurgent Celtic after the break before Cole McKinnon’s header settled the competitive Lowland League encounter.
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou was amongst the healthy crowd who showed up at rainy Parkhead on a bleak Tuesday night, perhaps hoping to spot certain players within the B team who look ready to make the step up to the first team before the end of the season. The Australian will have been disappointed during the opening period as the home side struggled to get into the game in what was a scrappy affair.
🚨We had @LewisLaird01 attend the Celtic B Team post match press conference.
He asked Tommy McIntyre about what his side can learn from the defeat going into the final games.
Here’s what Tommy had to say ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/v4BVRbP0yg
— The Cynic (@90MinuteCynic) April 13, 2022
The home supporters were making plenty of noise as they hoped to inspire a performance from the B team who had looked well in their last couple of performances, earning a 3-1 win over the Civil service strollers and a 4-2 victory against Dalbeattie Star.
The first half performance however was more reminiscent of the 3-0 defeat against the same rivals a few weeks ago as Celtic struggled to get their passing game going. Tommy McIntyre’s team often look to implement a similar style to Ange Postecoglou’s first team to ease any transition when stepping up.
That was the case here against theRangers, as the Celtic defence tried to pass their way out of theRangers press, but on two occasions the backline got their build-up wrong, allowing the visitor’s efforts on goal. Tobi Oluwayemi and Ewan Otoo were the men that had to bail their teammates out on these occasions.
January signing Johnny Kenny, in his first outing at Celtic Park, was one of the Celtic players who the opposition were finding difficult to handle during the opening period, having two efforts on goal that Lewis Budinauckas in theRangers goal did well to save. The keeper also received a yellow card for wiping out the Irish striker, with a tackle that could have perhaps warranted a more severe punishment. It was clear to see that Irish youngster Kenny was giving his all to try to impress with Ange Postecoglou in attendance.
what a boy man🤣 pic.twitter.com/iEW3w5sIAK
— Lewis Milligan (@Lewis11Milligan) April 12, 2022
Into the second period and Celtic pushed forward early to try and force the breakthrough.
Rocco Vata went close on 55 minutes as the Celts hit on the counter-attack, setting up the winger who used his impressive pace to beat his man and his curling effort from 25 yards was saved well by Budinauckas. The Ireland under-17 star was definitely Celtic’s star man on the night, a player who continues to improve and will definitely be one Ange Postecoglou has his eye on.
Bhoys Celtic at The B team game vs The Rangers pic.twitter.com/gIXryaP3qz
— Gio Hatate (@YTJgormley67) April 12, 2022
Owen Moffat was also starting to shine as Celtic looked like they were becoming more threatening as the game progressed but against the run of play the away team took the lead on 66 minutes. The goal came from a corner, with Celtic keeper Oluwayemi getting caught out coming for the ball as Cole McKinnon planted a header into the net.
Adam Brooks, who had came on for Johnny Kenny earlier, forced Budinauckas into a smart stop on 82 minutes, cutting in from the left and seeing his curling effort pushed away from the far post. It would be the hosts last chance of the night as the game ended 1-0.
Celtic still have a chance to claim second spot, as they remain third and a point behind second-placed East Kilbride with one game left in the league season coming this Saturday away to Broomhill, although theRangers will now fancy their chances of leapfrogging their rivals in the final weeks of the season with a game in hand.
CELTIC: Oluwayemi, Corr, Otoo, Lawal, Anderson (MacKenzie), Carse, Dembele, Moffat (Summers), Kenny (Brooks), Wylie, Vata (Dawson) Subs: Mullen, Letsosa, Dede.
theRANGERS: Budinauckas, Devine, Fraser, Allen, McClelland, Miller, Ritchie-Hosler (Ure), McKinnon, Weston (Lindsay), McCann, McCausland (Lyall). Subs: Hogarth, Harkness, Strachan, McInally.