Celtic entertained Glebe Rangers on Saturday in the third round of the Intermediate Cup and progressed with a 3-1 victory despite manager Colin Malone making no less then seven changes.
With so many changes the Hoops weren’t up to speed at the beginning and the visitors took the lead when a ball played through the middle was fastened unto by David McVicker and he shot past McCorry who had no chance after only two minutes.
Celtic looked all at sea in the opening period but soon settled and Haire equalised on 10 minutes with a scrappy shot and as a result the goal settling the home side down.
Celtic pressed on and took the lead five minutes later when Malone’s effort took a deflection and beat the Glebe goalkeeper.
The Hoops kept the pressure up with Haire looking dangerous up front and Malone was wasteful with a few chances and by now the Hoops midfield had a firm grip on the game with the defence dealing competently with any attacks from the visitors.
Just on the stroke of half time the home side extended the lead after good build-up play from Haire and Ryan saw Malone end the move with a well placed shot beyond the keeper’s reach leaving the score 3-1 at half time.
On resumption of the second half Raymond Fitzpatrick replaced Haire. who worked tirelessly in the opening half, and is being phased back into match fitness after such a long lay off.
The second half saw Celtic contain their opponents with Hagan and Seeley dominating the midfield with to their credit Glebe worked hard to pull a goal back they were unable to make the breakthrough they needed although the centre forward shot wide just after the hour.
Towards the end of the game Ryan and Lavery were replaced by Caolan Campbell and after a very lengthy lay -it was good to see Michael Downey take the pitch again
Referee Ally Burns blew for time in what could be described as a routine win for the Hoops.
It was pleasing to see that despite the much changed line up Celtic were able to keep up their winning streak against teams from Championship 2 which has lasted since 16th August.
The draw was made on Monday and Celtic are away to the winners of Knockbreda/Crusaders Res in the next round.
This Saturday Lurgan Celtic entertain Ballymoney United at home with a 2.00pm kick-off in the final league match of the year as the Christmas derby against Annagh United, due on the 27th, is postponed due Annagh’s participation in the Radcliffe Cup final the day before.