Celtic Under-20’s secured their fourth successive double with a three one victory over Dunfermline in the Scottish FA Youth Cup Final at Hampden.
Second-half goals from Jamie Lindsay, Bahrudin Atajic and Denny Johnstone gave Celtic a comfortable victory over their Fife opponent’s. Allan Smith had brought Dunfermline back into the game with ten minutes of the game remaining, but it ended up being only a consolation goal.
Dunfermline started the game with a number of first team player,s while Celtic made three changes to the squad which clinched the league title at Inverness.
Dunfermline’s, Blair Henderson found himself through on goal with less than a minute on the clock, but the striker was unable to keep control and Stuart Findlay was able to clear the ball.
The first chance of the game fell Dunfermline’s way when striker Alex Whittle had his low shot from the back post saved on the line by Michael Miller.
On 23 minutes, Dunfermline goalkeeper, Ryan Goodfellow was forced into a great save when Jackson Irvine headed high towards the roof of the net from six yards out. Irvine found himself with plenty of space after Jamie Lindsay put in a great cross.
Allan Smith with five minutes of the first-half had a shot go well wide when he should have tested the keeper.
Into the second-half and Celtic finally broke the deadlock. Jamie Lindsay slotted the ball into the bottom corner from seven yards out. John Herron had originally headed the ball against the post before falling to the feet of Lindsay who made no mistake in putting Celtic in front.
Chris Kane could have equalised for Celtic only minutes later but could only head wide after a terrific whipping corner found the defender who was in plenty of space, however he wasn’t able to finish.
Celtic captain John Herron with 20 minutes of the game remaining was booked for a dive after collapsing at the edge of the box.
Scott Mercer had his shot from just inside the box pushed wide for a corner after Fasan made a great save at the front post.
However, Dunfermline’s pressure counted for nothing as Celtic doubled their lead on 79 minutes through Bahrudin Atajic. The winger headed the ball into the bottom corner from 8 yards out after receiving the ball in plenty of space from a Michael Miller cross.
A minute later and Dunfermline scored their consolation through Allan Smith. The striker drove though into the Celtic box where from eight yards out he placed a shot into the far bottom corner.
However on 84 minutes, Celtic secured the double when substitute Denny Johnstone scored with his first touch of the game. The substitute guided a head at the far corner across goal into the bottom corner.
After the game Dunfermline Under-20 manager, John Potter, said: “We had a good first half, we stopped them [Celtic] from making chances and from getting a goal. Second half we started okay again, they got their goal against the run of play then they started to pass balls around and made it difficult for us. After their second we got a goal and it made it an exciting last ten minutes. We were the better team first half and they were the better team second half.”
Celtic manager John Kennedy was delighted with his team’s performance, but also praised Dunfermline.
Kennedy said: “The experience they had with playing in the first team meant it was always going to be a difficult game. They made a number of chances. It was a very tough game in the first half. Credit to Dunfermline as they came tonight and done really well. The circumstances they are under are difficult but their players showed great character and commitment to their club and made it difficult for us. We were delighted we managed to perform in the second half and go on to win the game.”
Celtic: Leonardo Fasan, Darnell Fisher, Michael Miller, Jackson Irvine, Eoghan O’Connell, Stuart Findlay, John Herron (Patrik Twardzik) , Callum McGregor, Bahrudin Atajic (Paul McMullan), Jamie Lindsay, Paul George (Denny Johnstone)
Subs not used: Patrick McNally, Jordan Hart
Dunfermline Athletic: Ryan Goodfellow, Ross Millen, Grant Munro, Kerr Young, Lewis Martin, Chris Kane (Scott Gray), Scott Mercer (Declan O’Kane), Shaun Byrne, Blair Henderson, Allan Smith, Alex Whittle (Ross Drummond)
Subs not used: Sean Robertson, Andy Ritchie
Referee: Scott Lambie
For more match photos check out our official Flickr site and keep your eyes on Scotzine over the next few days as we bring more features from the Cup Final.