A double from Michael Ordish helped the new look Celtic u-19 side to a 4-2 win over Wigan at the Barrafield yesterday.
The scoreline never gave an accurate reflection of the gulf between the sides with Celtic superior in every area of the pitch.
There was no hint of pre-season rustyness about the Celts as they set about the game in a very business like manner.
Callum Bagshaw was the only regular from last season’s double winning side to start the match with the remainder of the team made up by u-17s stepping up plus Lewis Toshney who missed out on most of last season due to injury.
The pitch resembled a bowling green with Celtic quickly rolling the ball around in an adaptable 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 formation.
Callum McGregor on the left and Ordish on the right weren’t afraid to move inside to support Liam Madden while Bagshaw, John Heron and Australian bhoy Jackson Irvine patrolled the midfield.
With Ordish and McGregor happy to swap wings there was always plenty of options and variation to Celtic’s attacks.
Midway through the first half Celtic scored the two goals that their play deserved. In the 18th minute Madden confidently tucked away a pass from Toshney after the full-back had hit the bye-line with Ordish timing his run perfectly in the 27th minute to volley home an accurate delivery from McGregor on the left.
Some slack defending early in the second half allowed Wigan to pull a goal back but Celtic were still dictating the bulk of the game against the Premiership side managed by former Everton defender Dave Watson.
On the hour mark a great solo run by McGregor down the right was completed with a cross onto the head of Paul George to net from eight yards out.
There was no let up from the young Celts despite making a number of substitutions through the second-half with Ordish slamming home a great 20 yard effort high into the net in the 67th minute.
With the final kick of the match a speculative cross cum shot from the left flank evaded Robbie Thompson in the Celtic goal to find the net.
As first impressions go this was a very impressive showing from the youth side who looked a cut above Wigan throughout the match.
Whether it was the formation suiting the players or the players suiting the formation doesn’t matter, on this showing I’m looking forward to watching more of this side and watching some of these players follow James Forrest into the first team scene.
CELTIC: Robbie Thompson; Lewis Toshney, Joe Chalmers, Curtis Jones, Kiren Brennan; Michael Ordish, Jackson Irvine, Callum Bagshaw, John Herron, Callum McGregor; Liam Madden
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