Celtic’s u-19 side began their defence of the SFA Youth Cup with a convincing 6-1 win over Dundee.
Stevie Frail’s side were too strong in all areas for the First Division side who did take away the consolation of being the first Scottish team to score against Celtic this season.
Liam Gormley scored in either half with the other goals coming from the two Callum’s- McGregor and Bagshaw, with Patrik Twardzik and a mazy effort from Stephen O’Donnell completing the scoring.
“There was a bit of complacency in the first half but there was a vast improvement in the second half,” said Frail.
“Going in at half-time 3-1 up gave us a cushion but we told them that their standards had slipped during the first half.
“A lot of our play was enjoyable to watch. We’ll never get the perfect game but we’re always striving to get better. It’s hard for them but we want them to be excellent in every game.
“They set themselves high standards and we will always demand that of them. If we don’t then we’re not doing our job properly.”
Celtic had created a number of first half chances before Twardzik opened the scoring in the 17th minute when he slid the ball home from six yards out after a powerful run down the left from Kieran Brennan.
Seven minutes later Dundee drew level when a 25 yard effort from their number 11 flew past Robbie Thomson into the net.
Michael Ordish came close to restoring Celtic’s lead on three separate occasions but was out of luck with the woodwork twice denying him a goal.
The visitors caused a few problems after levelling but Bagshaw restored Celtic’s lead seven minutes from the break with a powerful run into the penalty box, an exchange of passes with Bahrudin Atajic and then found the net with a composed finish.
Just before the interval Twardzik turned creator with his cross to the back post being headed home by Gormley.
Dundee could have buckled under Celtic’s second half pressure but stuck impressively to their task before a fine finish from Gormley after anticipating a pass from McGregor ended any hopes that they harboured of an upset.
“It was pleasing for Liam to get a couple of goals,” Frail added. “He has played out wide but took some confidence from scoring against Liverpool.
“His first goal was a good header under a bit of pressure and he showed good composure with his second goal.
“We’re pleased to be in the next round, we’re defending the cup and we’re now four games away from the final.”
The impressive McGregor got the reward that his play deserved in the 70th minute with Twardzik again the creator. A great reverse pass opened up the Dundee defence with McGregor showing great feet before slotting the ball home from ten yards out.
The best goal of the day however was saved till the end with O’Donnell netting his first ever competitive goal.
Taking control of the ball just inside the Dundee half he powered forward before unleashing an unstoppable shot high over the bemused goalkeeper to complete an impressive display.
As soon as the final whistle was blown O’Donnell summoned up the same energy to race over to the video analysis to take a second look at his masterpiece!
Frail admitted: “I’m pleased for Stephen, he makes those runs from the first minute to the last and got his reward.
“We stress to him that firstly he’s a defender but he gets forward in every game and took his goal well.”
TEAM: Thomson, O’Donnell, Toshney (Chalmers 62), Hughes, Brennan; Ordish (George 70), Bagshaw, McGregor, Gormley; Atajic (Lowdon 55) , P Twardzik
Scorers: Twardzik 17, Bagshaw 38, Gormley 45 & 69, McGregor 75, O’Donnell 90