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Second half fightback secures point for Milngavie

Written by  Milngavie Wanderers


Celtic BC
Milngavie Wanderers
U15's Glasgow & District YFL League Cup
Tannochside Primary School, Uddingston
19 May 2014
Milngavie Wanderers came into this match with the shadow of their previous clash with Celtic hanging over them like a cloud. That 8-1 defeat in the Regional Cup back in January prompted a lot of soul searching, forcing the club to face up to some hard truths and after some significant overhaul only seven players who were in the squad that day lined up today. On this occasion a slow start saw them go 2-0 down and it could've been more with Celtic going into the break 3-1 ahead. This was to prove to be a classic game of two halves though as Milngavie came out to dominate the second period, drawing level after goals from Connor Nelson and an incredible effort from Robbie Donaldson. They will perhaps feel they had enough chances to win the game but only defensive heroics in the final minute kept the scores level which on reflection was probably a fair result.
Celtic started the game the strongest with the wind at their backs and Dylan McKinnon rattled the bar after only 60 seconds but they didn't need to wait long to go ahead with Mark Taylor taking advantage of some defensive hesitancy to slot past his former Fulham team mate Jason McCartney in the Milngavie goal. He was celebrating again three minutes later as he lashed the ball home from the left hand side of the box.
Milngavie were at sixes and sevens and struggling to cope in midfield as the wind helped Celtic to remain camped in their half, creating chance after chance and McCartney had to be alert to push a low free kick round the post. Aran McDonald began to force himself into the game and after cutting inside on 21 minutes his tame shot was saved by Daniel Farrell.
Four minutes later there was more luck though – McDonald left two defenders for dead before shooting from a tight angle: Farrell couldn't hold it and James Macmillan was onto the rebound like a shot as he tapped home.
That joy at coming back into the game was instantly erased however as McCartney was caught off his line when right from the centre, Paul Rankin launched the ball over his head and into the net to restore his side's two goal lead.
Both teams had good chances before the half was out – former Celtic player Alberto Vezza did superbly to block on the line what looked like a certain goal on 31 minutes which could have killed the game and five minutes later, Aran McDonald rattled the bar from distance. Vezza then played in James Macmillan with a smart through ball soon after but a wonderful save from Farrell kept the ball out.
Half Time: Celtic BC 3 – 1 Milngavie Wanderers
After a breathless first half, the second saw Celtic facing the wind and Milngavie looked a side transformed as they set about eradicating the two goal deficit. The first chance fell to Vezza who brought down Robbie Donaldson's free kick inside the six yard box but his effort was blocked. He had another chance ten minutes later when skipper Jack Carson won the ball and played it into him but the ball was just slightly out of his reach and he could only glance it wide with his head.
Louie Robertson then played in Connor Nelson who had been the focal point of his side's attack - his shot was held but as the cries from the touchline testified, the breakthrough was coming and it came via two Robbie Donaldson free kicks in the space of two minutes. His first on 66 cleared the defence and found Nelson who got the goal his contribution had meritted as he drilled it in at Farrell's near post. Donldson's second was all about himself though. After a foul just inside the Celtic half, he played a similar ball over the top to Nelson with the ball evading him but crucially, it also evaded Farrell and bounced into the net sparking jubilation from the Milngavie players, coaches and supporters as Donaldson was mobbed having got by far his most important goal in Milngavie colours so far.
Celtic then shut up shop slightly and Milngavie didn't get as much chances for a winner as they would have liked before the game burst back to life in the dying minutes: Robertson's corner on 80 minutes eventually fell to McDonald at the back post and his half volley was deflected onto the bar. From the next set piece it fell to Jack Carson at the edge of the box but his toe poke was held.
In the end, some defensive heroics were required to keep the scores level: two minutes into injury time a free kick was floated into the Milngavie area and when McCartney was unable to fully clear it a goal looked certain but Grant McGhee who had put in a superb shift at right back was able to block it on the line before Rory McInnes cleared the danger just in time for the referee's whistle.
Full Time: Celtic BC 3 – 3 Milngavie Wanderers
Celtic BC Scorers: Mark Taylor x 2, Paul Rankin
Milngavie Wanderers Scorers: James Macmillan, Connor Nelson, Robbie Donaldson
Milngavie Man of the Match: CONNOR NELSON – his second MOTM award in the space of a week as he notched up his fourth goal in his last three games. The recent acquisition from Busby tied the Celtic defence in knots, looking dangerous every time he went forward and was rewarded with a well-taken goal.
In terms of this match's impact on the eventual destination of the League Cup trophy, having already drawn with Airdrie it means Celtic face an uphill struggle in order to win. Milngavie on the other hand, despite having played two games less than their two nearest competitions know that if they can win all their remaining four games then they will secure their third GADYFL league cup in a row with the upcoming match against Airdrie now looking vital for both teams.
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