Author: Craig South - Mon 12 Oct 20
The U21s got their league season off to a bang with a 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers on Sunday. Goals from Elliot Handley, Alex Oyewole, Jack Sloan and Josh McVety gave the young Celts a deserved win after recovering from the shock of conceding in the opening couple of minutes.
There's no doubt the visitors began the brighter, as Stalybridge's lack of pre-season games really showed early on with players still very much getting used to each other. A mistake in midfield gave Tranmere possession and the visitors worked the ball nicely to take the lead. A second goal was rightly disallowed for offside before Celtic finally began to grow in to the game and they got back on level terms after the referee awarded a penalty for handball. Elliot Handley stepped up and found the corner of the net to make it 1-1 at the break.
Following three changes at half time, Celtic came out firing in the second half and created chance after chance at the start of the second half. Substitute, Wisdom Uwadiae, shot wide before Josh McVety set up Alex Oyewole to put Stalybridge in front and then Uwadiae rattled the post as the U21s took control of the game. It needed an excellent save from Deacon Everett at the other to keep Stalybridge in front though, before an in-swinging Joe Doran corner saw Jack Sloan rise highest to head home on his debut to make it 3-1.
A double sending-off took a little bit of gloss off the game with 15 minutes to go. A Tranmere player was red-carded after seemingly lunging forward with his head, but the referee also inexplicably showed red to Handley who was trying to avoid the contact.
The sendings-off seem to give the visitors more of a lift, but Celtic saw the game out and added a touch of gloss to the score line when McVety turned in a low drive in the first minute of added time.
Given the short pre-season and the lack of friendlies for the team, this really was an excellent performance to start their league season against what is a good side.
FT: CELTIC 4 TRANMERE ROVERS 1