Two late goals from Liam Henderson and Kieran Tierney finally eased Celtic past Motherwell into the last 16 of the SFA Youth Cup.
It was a fiercely competitive match that seemed destined for extra-time until Henderson stepped forward to put the hoops in front in the 82nd minute with Tierney putting the game out of reach five minutes later.
Motherwell pushed Celtic all the way but had no one with the poise of Henderson when it came to putting the ball in the net.
The hoops carved out a great chance in the sixth minute with Paul McMullan cushioning the ball into the path of Joe Thomson from a Tierney cross but Well keeper Ross Stewart got down well top push away Thomson’s shot.
It was one way traffic towards the Motherwell goal but keeper Stewart looked on top of his game while the linesman’s flag disallowed an effort from Thomson in the 15th minute.
Motherwell stood firm to withstand that early pressure and although they forced a few corners Celtic keeper Jordan Hart was kept out of the firing line.
Six minutes into the second half there was a scare for the hoops when Steven Higgins cut in from the left flank and flashed a shot across the face of goal.
Celtic responded with a couple of long range shots from Henderson before making the first change with Luke Donnelly replacing Calvin Miller with the sub playing through the centre and McMullan switching to the right.
Henderson’s persistence paid off in the 82nd minute when he cut the ball back from the bye-line shaped onto his right foot then curled a shot across Stewart into the net at the far corner.
Tierney sealed Celtic’s place in the next round with a sweet left foot drive from 18 yards out after being picked out by a McMullan.
Elsewhere in the cup Aberdeen lost at home on penalties to Hibs, St Mirren won away to Falkirk, Kilmarnock beat Huntly 6-0, Queens Park beat East Kilbride on penalties and Morton won 5-0 away to Raith Rovers.
CELTIC: Hart; O’Connell, Kelleher, Findlay, Waters; Thomson, Lindsay, Henderson; Miller, McMullan, Tierney
SUBS: McCabe, Donnelly, McCart, Wardrop, Breslin.