Karamoko Dembele scored his first ever Reserve League goal as Celtic earned a dramatic 3-2 win over Hearts after having an early two goal lead pegged back.
The 16 year old flighted in a free kick that deceived everyone and crept in at the far post to give Tommy McIntyre’s side full points.
It was much more physical and competitive than most Reserve League matches with Hearts showing the cynicism, body-checking and other traits that seems to be part of the Gorgie DNA.
Two early set-pieces put Celtic in control of the match as McIntyre’s side continued where they signed off with last week’s 6-0 win away to Dundee.
After six minutes Dembele swung a free kick deep into the box, Marvin Compper headed it goalwards with Wallace Duffy showing more interest than the Hearts keeper to head home from close range.
Eight minutes later a corner from Armstrong Oko-Flex was met perfectly by Marvin Compper at the front post with his glancing header sailing into the net.
Celtic had complete control of the game with a front four including Vakoun Bayo and Jack Aitchison pushing and testing the Hearts defence.
The visitors did have a couple of efforts on goal but nothing that tested Ryan Mullan in the Celtic goal as the first half came to a close.
Hearts forced a couple of early second half corners and pulled a goal back in the 55th minute when Lewis Moore found himself in space inside the penalty box and curled a low shot around Mullan
Eight minutes later the scores were level when Andrew Irving sent a low free kick from 25 yards out around the Celtic wall and into the net.
The momentum was with Hearts but Celtic almost restored their lead in the 79th minute but Dembele’s shot from 15 yards out struck the crossbar.
Dembele wasn’t to be denied however, after Andrew Irving rugby tackled Scott Robertson to the deck. The youngest player on the park curled in a free kick, Compper got close to it, enough to distract the keeper as the ball slipped in at the far post..
CELTIC: Mullan; Duffy, Welsh, Compper, Church; McInroy, McLaughlin (Robertson 69); Dembele, Aitchison (Coffey 69) , Oko-Flex; Bayo
SUBS: Willison, Mazis, Diver, Savoury, Caffrey,