CELTIC manager Ciaran O’Kane admitted the final scoreline last weekend flattered his team after surviving the first hurdle in the defence of the Bob Radcliffe Cup against Banbridge Rangers.
Despite a solid start and going into a three goal lead, the manager was uneasy at the way his side allowed their opponents back into the match.
“Overall it was a good day for us but there is no doubt it was much tougher than the final score would suggest,” said O’Kane.
“We managed to knock in three late goals to add a bit of gloss to the score but in truth Banbridge were the better team in the second 45 minutes and I was more than relieved they did not pull a second goal back or it might have been a more interesting contest.
“We started well and had a three goal cushion and really we should have had the tie wrapped up by the break with a number of other chances not taken. We then stepped off the gas and all credit to Banbridge they battled back and pulled a goal back and we had a tough spell in the game when they were on top. We had our goalkeeper to thank for making two excellent saves to deny them putting us under even more pressure. Thankfully we got on top again and sealed the victory with three late goals.”
The boss was happy with another aspect of the day, missing several key players he had to draft in some of the younger players at the club and they showed they can do a job when called upon. “The young lads showed me they were not out of place and I know when I have to call upon them they will not let me down. Johnny McAlinden was very creative in midfield and along with Ciaran Conway set up the second goal.”