The Celtic B team lived up to the achievements of the youth side and the senior team tonight when they beat the Ibrox outfit to win the Glasgow Cup. A sublime first half display from Adam Brooks where he scored two and created another for Rocco Vata, set us on our way, going in 3-1 at the break after conceding a late penalty.
The second half, however, was a horror show for Celtic as our late concession almost came back to haunt us in a big, big way due to a nervy, uninspiring performance from Bosun Lawal in particular who had looked nervous in the first half but in the second almost self-destructed with frequent careless passes and dallying on the ball allowing Ibrox its opportunity.
The first performance from Celtic B going forward was outrageously good to watch, reminding us all of the way Ange has the first team set up at the moment. Aside from the front men, Summers was excellent in the middle of the pitch, in an echo of the classy display of youth captain Kyle Ure, who played there in the Youth Cup Final victory.
But the second half display saw Celtic in some disarray as though the concession of the spot kick had frayed the nerves somewhat. Conceding the early second half goal – due to Lawal’s extreme carelessness – definitely made them feel under pressure and fed into an insecurity which seemed to paralyse them somewhat.
I thought it was a matter of time before it came, and right towards the end it duly did after Lovelace had smacked the ball against the crossbar and the defence had failed to clear their lines. We had given up a 3-0 lead to send the game to penalties.
There were signs of nervousness in our penalty takers too with two of them missing outright – one of whom was Summers, who certainly would not have deserved to be on the losing side – and a couple having their shots saved by the Ibrox keeper.
A few times in the shoot-out we flogged chances to win.
That does speak to how jittery some of the players were. In the end it was our big keeper, the Irishman Josh Clarke making some excellent saves to deny Ibrox players who probably thought it was in their hands.
We deserved it, in no small part because of a first half performance which was absolutely brilliant from our midfield and front players.
But boy did we come close to throwing it away.
If the big lad Lawal has had a worse game in his career he will be glad it’s out of his system, but he didn’t help his prospects of breaking into the first team especially with Ange watching from the wings.