A week after Dodgy Dave King talked up the virtues of the Sevco youth academy – even as he decried the running costs, and their impact on the “business plan” – we took on the pride of the isle today in Development League business.
To say we weren’t intimidated by Chairman Dave’s bluster would be to put it mildly. Celtic does not make a big song and dance over our Development team, although we’ve historically been very successful. We prefer to do the talking on the park.
Which is what we did this morning, with aplomb.
The game was being played at Cappielow, at the same time as Celtic’s open Training Day was going on. The Training Day itself is worthy of comment for a moment; 10,000 fans turned up to watch the team go through their paces on a Friday morning. Amazing. Just as amazing is that Brendan organised it as an apology to the fans for not bringing the team back to Celtic Park from Tynecastle. The manager Gets It. There was never doubt he would.
Celtic were 1-0 up on only seven minutes, when a Wardrop cross got the Sevco defence in a mess. The ball dropped to Regan Hendry, and he volleyed it into the net. It was the perfect start, and things just got better from there.
It was 2-0 on 13 minutes, as (the magnificent) Hendry released Calvin Miller. He crossed the ball into the box, and Sevco defender Kyle Bradley put it into his own net. From that point on, the result was never really going to be in doubt.
It was 3-0 on 30 minutes, when Regan Hendry popped up to grab his second of the game, following a great ball whipped in by McInroy, playing out on the left.
Whatever the wonderful, brilliant, enormously talented Sevco coaches said to their players at half time worked … for three whole minutes.
Then a Sevco defender grabbed at Miller’s shirt in the box. Penalty, and young Hendry stepped up and made it 4-0.
The game settled in to a predictable calm after that, with Sevco on their knees and hoping for full time. Ralston, the hero, came off on 74 minutes, and he can have been exceedingly pleased with his man of the man display.
The match finished four.
It was a rout though; Celtic were in total command throughout and deserved the win.
It cements their position as the major challengers to Ross County in this year’s Development League title race.
It’s been an interesting battle; Hibs and Hamilton are also involved in the race for the flag, with Celtic now seven points behind but with a game in hand and those clubs four and five points behind respectively. It’s the best end to a Development League campaign in a while.
Sevco, the much vaunted “best youth team” since the club was founded lie in seventh place after today’s game, two points ahead of Aberdeen who have two games in hand and three ahead of Partick Thistle, who have now played one game less.
Makes you wonder what the table would look like if they were having a bad year, right?