Celtic Park 3, Spartak 0.
The scoreline did not reflect the game as a whole; Spartak dominated the opening period in Beaumont Convent but failed to get on the scoresheet. Celtic Park fielded eleven fresh players at half time, and aided by a very soft penalty decision, went on to win.
In the last 20 minutes Spartak strove to get back in the game, throwing caution to the wind, and Ross Kelly and David Kernan each missed good chances close in. David Kernan and Jeff Gamble worked valiantly to get the attack going and showed decent stamina and skill.
The first half saw Spartak move the ball well and Kernan, Jeff Gamble and Conor Callis displayed energy and movement, but without applying the final, decisive, touch. In midfield Lee Malone and Shane McInerney kept the supply line to the front line going and supplied defensive cover.
Conor Callis shot over after an excellent move by Gamble and Lee Malone; Conor Canavan, sent clear by Malone, fired a cross over with men well placed inside; Shane McInerney’s cross found Jeff Gamble but his close in effort was cleared for a corner. Shots by Malone and Callis went close, and there were several goalmouth scrambles.
In defence there was little to do apart from a lapse when Chris Hogan was caught in possession, but Jason Northey advanced to block.
On 50 minutes the penalty was award for a push by Paul Kinsella and Celtic Park’s fresh team began to take control. A very soft second goal gave them a two goal advantage and the third goal was a result of Spartak going for broke in attack.
Positives in general play from the first half, but punishment often follows when teams don’t press home their advantage.
Man of the match : David Kernan
Jason Northey 6 Chris Hogan 6 Ciaran Keane 7 Paul Kinsella 7 Dave Browne 6 Shane McInerney 6 Conor Canavan 6 David Kernan 8 Lee Malone 6 Jeff Gamble 7 Conor Callis 6
Subs: Kevin Loftus 6 Luke Foley 5 Aaron Ormerod 5 Stuart Love 5 Ross Kelly 5