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Milngavie run out impressive winners in Celtic friendly

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Milngavie Wanderers
Celtic GW
Boclair Academy
03 April 2014
Milngavie Wanderers have had a bit of a new look about them in recent weeks, the team that started the friendly against Celtic on Wednesday night contained four boys who had signed after the league triumph last month with one other on the bench. This significant turnaround coupled with a defeat to the team 8th in the Paisley and District League two weeks ago may have sowed the seed in some minds that Milngavie are falling away and would be on the end of a comfortable defeat to the team second in that same league who play in the regional semi-final on Saturday. Unfortunately for the nay-sayers, that didn't materialise as Milngavie dominated throughout, emerging as deserved 3-1 winners having come from behind at half time. Most satisfying perhaps was that they thrived where they have often struggled this season, scoring all three goals from set-pieces and successfully nullifying Celtic's significant threat from them, playing with grit and determination to
 win for their team mates, their coaches and their badge.
The hosts took the field looking the part in their brand new Adidas home kit provided by Colpi Ice Cream and against Celtic's 'bumblebee' shirts, there was no chance of a colour clash here! The Wanderers started confidently with their passing fluidity belying some of the boy's lack of game time together. The first chance fell their way after only a couple of minutes when a good move culminated in Kyle Campbell laying the ball off to Aran McDonald whose effort went just wide. McDonald's next chance, five minutes later was closer to the corner flag than the goal following James Macmillan's ball but he was popping up in all the right places in the first ten minutes, which he would do throughout the match.
Ten minutes later, McDonald demonstrated the kid of pace that makes him an absolute nightmare for defenders, rushing at full pelt to close down a loose ball from the Celtic defender to bear down on goal in the blink of an eye but when faced with just the keeper to beat, the stopper came out on top, making a fine save.
On twenty five minutes and totally against the run of play, Celtic went ahead: Jason McCartney made a great save from Celtic's effort but the defence failed to clear and Scott Clark was unfortunate to bring the attacker down, giving away a penalty in the process. The Celtic player side footed the ball just beyond McCartney and his side led at half time.
Half Time:  Milngavie Wanderers 0 – 1 Celtic GW
The home side didn't allow their heads to go down despite Celtic taking the lead and took the game to their opponents again in the second half. There was a desire to win the ball throughout the team, something that has been lacking at crucial times this season, best exemplified by sweeper Robbie Donaldson launching himself into a full blooded aerial challenge that left him bleeding from the mouth as he was forced to limp heavily off the pitch.
Then in a fifteen minute spell midway through the half, the game was turned completely on its head: Celtic looked certain to double their lead when a shot from the edge of the box cannoned off the bar and fell to Ryan Love six yards from goal, but McCartney did superbly to scramble across his goal and somehow keep it out before holding the rebound.
That remarkable piece of goalkeeping proved to be a turning point as Milngavie went ahead soon after when Aran McDonald floated a corner into the box to find Jack Carson ghosting in at the back post who slipped a header through the keeper's gloves. They had went from looking certain to fall further behind to drawing level in a matter of minutes and they didn't have to wait long to go in front from another set piece. Ben Jenkins took the corner this time and it was powered home by centre back Rory Elder on his first game since putting pen to paper on Monday.
The Glasgow champions were well on top now and went about trying to increase their lead: McDonald came close to getting the goal his fine performance certainly deserved but his shot from distance hit the side netting. A few neat interplays between Alberto Vezza and James Macmillan almost put them through on goal but they just couldn't find the right final ball on a rain swept Boclair pitch.
The killer third goal eventually came though with just under ten minutes remaining and from a corner yet again. Jenkins swung the ball deep into the six yard box where Scott Clark was waiting and although his initial effort was blocked he managed to hook the rebound home, meaning he has now scored in three of his four games since joining the club from Fulham.
Milngavie then saw the rest of the game out with relative comfort to record a superb victory, no doubt silencing a few critics in the process..
Full Time: Milngavie Wanderers 3 – 1 Celtic GW
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