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Penalty shoot-out disappointment for young Celts in Challenge Cup

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Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup
Falkirk Stadium
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

(Longridge 9)

(Robertson 11)

HAVING enjoyed the highs of a penalty shoot-out the previous week against Queen’s Park in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup, Celtic suffered the heartache of a shoot-out in the second round against Falkirk.

The tie at the Falkirk Stadium had finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, and it was the League One side who won 6-5 on penalties to progress to the next round.

It was Celtic who started brightly, with Ewan Henderson firing from just inside the area, but it was saved by the Falkirk goalkeeper, Robbie Mutch.

And on nine minutes, the home side took the lead. The ball was crossed into the Celtic area, with Hoops keeper, Ryan Mullen clashing with Falkirk forward, Denny Johnstone, and it was Louis Longridge who slotted the ball into the empty net.

However, Tommy McIntyre’s side made an almost instant response, equalising just two minutes later when Scott Robertson hit a shot from 18 yards that nestled in the back of the net.

The goal galvanised Celtic, who pressed forward in search of a second goal, and on 15 minutes they were awarded a penalty when Armstrong Oko-Flex was brought down inside the box. Robertson stepped up to take it but Mutch produced a superb save to deny the young Celt his second goal of the night.

Oko-Flex was causing problems for Falkirk with his trickery on the ball while, at the other end, Mullen produced a great saved just before the half-hour mark to deny Ian McShane.

Jack Aitchison came close on 33 minutes, back-heeling an Anthony Ralston cross from six yards out, but it just went narrowly wide. And just before half-time, Henderson came close with a right-foot shot from just inside the box.

It was Falkirk who started brightest in the second-half, though the young Celtic side defended well, and soon Oko-Flex began to test the home defence.

Ross MacLean had a header just wide for Falkirk on 65 minutes from a corner, while Aitchison had a powerful shot saved at the other end.

As the game headed towards a stalemate, Liam Burt, on as a substitute for Oko-Flex, was brought down inside the box as he got a shot away, but Celtic’s claims for a penalty were ignored.

So the tie went to a penalty shoot-out, with Falkirk eventually coming out on top 6-5.

CELTIC: Mullen, Ralston, Church, Welsh, Deas, Connell, Robertson, Miller, Henderson, Oko-Flex (Burt 74), Aitchison.
Subs: Hughes, Mazis, McBride, Coffey, Paterson & Harper

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