Celtic begin with a bang
Impressive Shamrock put Arklow United to the sword
SHAMROCK CELTIC started their league campaign with an impressive 4-0 thrashing of Arklow United B at Ferndale Park last Sunday.
Last season Celtic failed to perform away from home, dropping points towards the tail end of the season but with a start like this Shamrock Celtic are likely to be competing at the top of the league table.
The first 15 minutes of the game was very even for both sides in terms of possession with both teams looking to get an early goal but both defences stood solid for the first ten minutes.
Shamrock Celtic’s Scott Meaney was looking very lively straight from kick-off, the winger beat his opposing left back Drew O’Halloran for pace in the opening five minutes and whipped a ball across the box for striker Thomas Duffy but Duffy’s header didn’t trouble United keeper Dean Hayes.
Meaney grew in confidence the more he got on the ball and proved to be a massive threat down that right hand side for O’Halloran.
Meaney’s hard work paid off after 20 minutes when the winger obtained the ball deep in his own half, he then found Stephen Morris with space in the centre of the pitch.
Morris made a great run towards goal and was heavily challenged by the United defence but Morris wouldn’t go down and the midfield powerhouse unleashed a shot that smashed the inside of the crossbar and rattled the back of the net to make it 1-0.
It was only a matter of time before Shamrock Celtic’s Glen McCarthy provided that killer ball to break down the United defence.
The midfielder was pulling the strings from centre midfield as everything was going through him.
McCarthy started another counter attack on the 32 minute mark when he took the ball from keeper Stephen Doyle and found Meaney who was making another great run.
McCarthy pulled the ball out to Meaney on the right wing who then made a darting run down that right hand side, Meaney then squared a perfect ball across the box to Duffy who couldn’t miss.
Another great counter attack from the travelling side to take a comfortable 2-0 lead into the second half.
Substitutions from the home side added more experience on the pitch with Dennis McAuliffe and Nathan Carr introduced at half-time for Joe Reid and Drew O’Halloran.
United got more into the game from the beginning of the second half.
Dennis McAuliffe worked hard with and without possession, winning every header and tackle from centre midfield.
His performance after coming on led as an example for his fellow team mates as they started to grow into the game, but unfortunately it was all too late for the Arklow side.
They did have opportunities in the second half to get back into the game, winger Paul Kavanagh made a great run down let hand side before hitting a powerful shot that looked like it was going to nestle into the top corner but Celtic keeper Stephen Doyle pulled off a great save to tip the ball over the bar for a corner.
Mark Nolan changed position in the second half from midfield to striker alongside Luke Walker, Nolan had won the ball on a number of occasions and tried to get a knock down for Walker to run on to but the Celtic defence stood firm throughout the game and the two strikers were left without many chances throughout the second half.
Morris grabbed his second of the game as he found himself in the right place at the right time after an un-cleared ball from a corner dropped in front of him.
Morris took his chance and got the final touch on the ball to put it over the line on the 76th minute.
McCarthy finished off the game with a bullet header from a well delivered corner from Meaney to make it 4-0 on the 80th with no way back for United.
McCarthy took his header well and deserved a goal after his contribution throughout the game for his team mates.
United just didn’t get going in the first half and it was always going to be difficult trying to take the game to Celtic in the second half who had a two goal cushion, but the home side kept fighting until the final whistle, but unfortunately for them Shamrock Celtic were well organised at the back and that proved to be the difference in the two teams in the end.
Shamrock Celtic, who began the season with an impressive win over Arklow United.