Dundee Celtic and Lincraig served up a thriller of a match as they met in the Watson McInally league. The game finished level, after both sides bagged three goals each, but there could easily have been more goals on show in this one.
Dundee Celtic got off to the perfect start when Connor Donnan scored after just three minutes. Jack Whyte leveled for Lincraig, in the 19th, but Celtic hit back almost instantaneously with Jay McDonald scoring their second goal. Two minutes before half time Celtic extended their lead when David Heenan struck the back of the net. For the second time in this game, however, there was an instant response. Lincraig reduced the deficit just a minute later as Jason Murphy scored a wonderful goal. The boys in yellow kept the momentum going, following the half time break, and got their second equaliser a minute into the second period. Both teams continued to search for goals but the score line stayed at 3-3 up until full time.
Celtic showed their intent to attack right from the very get go. After winning a corner in the second minute Jaye Elder very nearly headed home from the kick but his attempt was cleared off the line.
The home side’s play was soon rewarded with just three minutes on the clock. Donnan received the ball within the penalty area following a great pass from midfield. With the ‘keeper bearing down on him the number seven finished comfortably to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Kian Stewart, keeping goal for Lincraig, was soon called upon a minute later to prevent his team falling behind further. Liam Charnock teed up Nathan Ford for a shot at goal just yards from the target. Ford’s curling effort was then denied as the Lincraig goalkeeper dived and parried the shot away from goal. Superb keeping.
In the 13th minute it was the woodwork’s turn to deny Celtic a second goal. The ball fell to the feet of Donnan, on the edge of the box, and he looked to find the bottom left hand corner of the net. Unfortunately the ball ricocheted back off the post and was scrambled away by the Lincraig defenders.
With hindsight Celtic would rue those missed chances because, shortly after, Lincraig made it 1-1. Josh Wells played an exquisite through ball, which was diverted to Whyte by Keigan Nixon. This move cut the Dundee Celtic defence wide open as Whyte drove towards goal. The number five then found the back of the net with a nicely taken side foot finish.
There’s an old football saying that teams are most vulnerable just after scoring. Unfortunately for the Lincraig boys this proved to be correct. Straight from the kick off Celtic launched a long ball over the away side’s back line. McDonald beat the offside trap, latched onto the ball and fired straight into the bottom left hand corner. That’s how you respond.
McDonald came close to adding to his goal tally in the 29th minute after taking a shot following Heenan’s set up. Stewart was on hand for his team again, however, and successfully made the save to deny him.
As the game had showed already, goals were the theme of the day. Celtic’s third arrived two minutes prior to half time as Heenan managed to turn in a low corner kick.
Another theme of the day appeared to be instant responses. After Celtic’s instant response following Lincraig’s equaliser, the away team did the exact same after going down 3-1. In the 34th minute Lincraig’s impressive frontman, Whyte, laid the ball off to Murphy who was arriving at the edge of the box. The diminutive number seven then executed a peach of a finish as his effort looped over the ‘keeper and straight into the back off the net.
With half time seconds away there was still time for another golden opportunity at goal for Lincraig. Whyte managed to get his head onto the end of a corner kick and diverted the ball towards the right of the goal. His header was on target but a Celtic defender was in the right place, at the right time, to clear his effort off the line.