Celtic begin season with a draw

LURGAN celtic started their pre-seaspon programme with a 2-2 draw with Championship 1 side Warrenpoint Town.

This was despite starting with only six first team regulars and a bench made up of mostly youth team players from last season.

Warrenpoint started off the brighter of the sides and with three friendlies under their belt it looked like only a matter of time before a goal would come.

But the Hoops held firm and played themselves into the game with Aaron Haire and Raymond Fitzpatrick keeping the visitors busy and it was no suprise when Fitzpatrick scored a fine goal to put Celtic into the lead. He could have had a hat-trick as he went close with an effort and then crashed a shot against the underside of the bar.

Soon after the start of the second half the hosts extended their lead when young Ciaran McCann scored.

The Hoops then made several changes when they withdrew Fitzpatrick and Haire to replace them with Kieran Headley and Carlos Correja.

Warrenpoint pulled a goal back midway through the second half and equalised towards the end after more changes has been made to the Hoops line-up giving game time to more of last year’s youth squad.

Overall this was a worthwhile exercise in letting the management assess the ability of players who may be drafted into the squad as the season progresses.

Due to this being the first game the club waived the entrance fee as a gesture to the supporters.

The Hoops play Strabane away this Saturday and this is followed by a home tie at Knockramer Park against Moneyslane on Tuesday evening with a 7.p.m. kick off.

This game will have a reduced entrance fee to offset the match officials’ payment