Revenge sweet for Hoops

Dale Malone
Dale Malone

A lost has changed since the last time Lurgan Celtic travelled to Knockbreda - on that occasion the Hoops lost 8-0.

What a difference a year has made with Celtic coming away with a deserved victory.

As is customery in cup games manager Colin Malone rang the changes resting Raymond Fitzpatrick, Niall Lavery Colin Rooney, Jonny McCarron and keeper Conor McCorry who made up the bench and into the starting line up came Michael Goff, Stephen Hutchinson, Josh Barton, Ryan Henderson, Conor Hagan and Aaron Haire.

Celtic started brightly and Barton shot wide of the goal early on and the same player headed wide from six yards after being supplied with a great cross from Haire.Around the 12th and 13th minutes Dale Malone had two efforts go narrowly wide as the Hoops applied more pressure

Tommy Lamb had the home side’s first shot which was narrowly wide but two minutes later Stephen Hutchinson played a fine long delivery out of defence finding Henderson who forced a save from the home keeper just inside the box.

Play flowed from end to end and an intricate Celtic move ended with Declan McVeigh having a shot saved. Near the break Lamb shot wide for ‘Breda and moments later Goff in the Celtic goal just about cleared off the goal line after a defensive mix up while right on the whistle the half ended as it began with Barton shooting just over.

Immediately after the break Celtic began the half creating chances and Henderson having his first competitive outing since being injured in late November shot over the bar, but the breakthrough for the visitors came on 50 minutes after ‘Breda conceded a free kick 25 yards out on the right side and Malone rifled his effort low into the net putting the Hoops a goal to the good. A minute later Barton sent a shot wide but on 55 minutes Celtic went off the boil and ‘Breda took control of the game. Firstly Jordon Hughes and then Conor Corey shot over with long range efforts and Aaron Boyd blazed over from 18 yards.

The Hoops conceded a free 25 yards out and Lamb hit a fierce free kick but Goff made a fine double save to keep his goal intact.

Celtic faded badly by this stage and had a lucky let-off in when Boyd headed against the bar with Goff beaten but this seemed to give the Hoops a second wind and a great run from Daniel Ryan resulted in him laying the ball off for Barton who had his shot saved.

With five minutes to go Fitzpatrick and Rooney replaced Malone and Ryan and Celtic finished the game on a high as Barton ran down the line and cut in only to be once more thwarted by the keeper who saved with the official calling an end to the proceedings.

Despite the multi changes Celtic retained the winning habit they have cultivated this season against a team many fancied to go the whole way in this cup.

The McLeans Man of the Match is for league games only but Aaron Haire was adjudged the Hoops Man of the Match in this game for a fine all round display.

This weekend Celtic resume league fixtures away to much improved Tobermore United in the last 2.00pm kick- off this season and will be without Declan McVeigh who misses the game through suspension.

The Lurgan Celtic Youth team eventually played Portadown Youth at the third time of asking in the Mid Ulster Youth Cup and went down to a narrow 2-1 defeat after having Downey sent off .

The Hoops only goalscorer was Rodgers.