Celtic threw their name into the hat for the next round of the Trophy with a hard earned victory at Croft Park.
Celtic pressed and passed Blyth in the opening minutes before Phil Marsh cut inside and fired low and hard, with David Knight parrying into the path of Steve Brogan. Brogan reacted quickly stabbing toward goal, with Knight attempting to grab, but he couldn't hold the ball and Brogan stabbed the ball past him into the net.
The Blyth fans may have written their team off but the Blyth players had not, with Graeme Armstrong hitting the woodwork with a blistering shot, before Wayne Phillips's low cross was missed by the slipping Chris Lynch and went under Craig MacGillivray. Armstrong couldn't believe his luck and equalised for the home side.
Celtic went onto dominate the half, with Arthur Gnahoua and Greg Wilkinson both going close, before Wilkinson put a screamer towards the top corner only for Knight to get a hand to it. Connor Jennings was put one-on-one with Knight but fired into the side netting right before the half time interval.
Celtic started the second half by slicing Blyth open not once, but twice. Gnahoua setting Jennings off toward goal. The Celtic and England forward showed composure to steady himself before curling the ball around Knight. This was followed by Marsh racing down the wing onto a loose backpass from thirty yards out, before cutting inside, making the space and blasting past Knight. To make sure Jennings arrived at the back post. Whether he got the final touch before it crossed the line is open to some debate, but the assistant referee's report says Marsh's shot was over the line before Jennings's touch, hopefully settling the matter.
It was a good job Celtic started the half with a brace from the Dream Team, as Blyth came at Celtic with a will. Time after time they pressed Celtic into their own box, they came with intent, but they could not breach the Celtic defence. Eventually, Blyth seemed to give up, and Celtic finished the game strongly. Substitute Craig Hobson found enough space to unleash a blistering effort that smacked the woodwork, whilst Jennings worked two great positions, and forced Knight into two excellent saves keeping the score-line at 3-1, and see Celtic look forward to the draw on Monday.
|2||Purvis, Dylan||> 45|
|7||Emms, Chris||> 45|
|11||Phillips, Wayne||> 60|
|12||Taylor, Glen||< 60|
|15||Briggs, Rob||< 45|
|16||Slaughter, Richie||< 45|