The Hoops continued their impressive climb towards the top of Championship 2 with an impressive home win over Glebe Rangers last Saturday, to go second in the table by a point from Moyola Park.
Victory came despite the absence of Jonny McAreavey, Paddy Rooney and Conor Hagan (injured) and Colly Rooney and Dale Malone both suspended.
Ryan Henderson made his first appearance of the season in midfield with recent signings Padraig Judge and Caolan Skelton making the bench alongside Jonny McCarron
From the outset Celtic’s front three of Chris Lavery, Raymond Fitzpatrick and Daniel Ryan totally dominated the visitors and it came as no suprise when they took the lead on 15 mins after Lavery jinked past two defenders on the left and his precise cross was headed expertly in by captain Fitzpatrick to give the Hoops the lead.
By half time the Hopps had scored another two with Fitzpatrick blocking a clearance to make it 2-0 on 25 minutes and completed his hat trick a few minutes before the break slamming home from a loose save,
The same pressure wasn’t put on the visitors in the second half and Glebe came more into the game and the Hoops were caught out with a shot which took a wicked deflection and left Goff stranded to reduce the score on 55 mins.
Glebe lifted their game but were put under severe pressure with several pacey direct runs from Ryan which the visitors dealt with by some last ditch clearances.
Celtic piled on the pressure to close the game and Manager Malone replaced Henderson and Jason Rodgers with Judge and Skelton to freshen the Hoops up.
N Lavery sealed the win on 75 mins with a delicate chip, a just reward for his tireless work.
Glebe were awarded a hotly disputed penalty on 88 mins when a well struck shot cannoned off a Hoops defenders arm and the referee awarded the spot kick. The kick was duly converted to put a little gloss on the scoreline.
This result bodes well for Lurgan Celtic’s season but harder games will surely follow to test their mettle but the signs are looking positive for this new look squad and the more they play together they will become more efficient.
Raymond Fitzpatrick was awarded the McLean’s Bookmakers Man of the Match and has now scored seven goals in four league games, half of Celtic’s total of 14.
Next week’s game sees the Hoops at home to Dungannon Swifts reserves in the Bob Radcliffe cup, kick-off is at the earlier time of 2.30pm.
Last Saturday morning the Celtic Youth team played Markethill Swifts Youth at the Gordon needing to win by at least six goals to give themselves a chance of progressing in the cup being played on a league basis with the top two going into a semi final - they beat their opponents by a whopping 9-0.
Match Ball Sponsor for Saturday’s match was INF Club.