Celtic have a game to forget as their turbulent season ends

Conor Hagan. INLM10-712.
Conor Hagan. INLM10-712.

The Hoops went into the last game of the season missing no fewer than nine players due to suspension, injury and non availability,

So badly depleted were their ranks they had to call on veteran Steven Magennis to fill in as a stop gap goalkeeper and they only had 11 players with no subs to call on.

The Hoops started brightest taking the game to Town and went ahead in the third minute after Jonathan Douglas made a break into the penalty box and was taken down for a penalty which Conor Hagan calmly converted.

Minutes after this Dale Malone was inches off a through ball which would have put Celtic two up.

Banbridge came more into the game but their attacks were repelled by the home defence although at this early stage the hard pitch was holding surface water and players from both sides found difficulty keeping their balance.

The Town equalised in the 28th min after Conor Downey tried a speculative shot which Magennis looked to have covered but he only succeeded in pushing the ball into the roof of his net.

Play was fairly even after this with neither side able to create an opening of note and just as the referee blew for half time hailstones came cascading down on both players and spectators to make the day seem even worse.

The second half began with Town more dominant but the Hoops seemed reasonably comfortable in dealing with anything coming at them with Declan McVeigh, Shane McCabe, Conor McAnallen and Chris Coleman keeping a firm eye on things but they fell behind on 64 mins as Magennis in the Hoops goal jumped to gather a cross but dropped the ball giving Boyle an easy tap in to put Banbridge 2-1 ahead.

Celtic tried to get back into the game but went further behind on 75 mins to a fine solo goal from Kernaghan who twisted and turned in the Hoops penalty area putting his team 3-1 ahead.

By now Celtic legs were tiring but with no substitutes available they had no choice but to soldier on with the conditions taking their toll and it was no real suprise when Grey fastened onto a through ball to give Magennis no chance in the 86th min to finish the scoring at 4-1 to the visitors.

It completed a poor outing for a badly depleted Celtic side who will be glad to see an end to what has turned out to be a turbulent season.

Obviously there is work to be done in getting Celtic ready for the new season and firm decisions need to be taken regarding the playing personnel.

Tthe close season looks like being a testing time for the management when deciding on the squad they want to go into the new season with ambitions to be in the mix for promotion.