BPFL Crawford Cup, round One

Belfast Celtic 4-3 Glebe Rangers

Belfast Celtic took on Glebe Rangers in the Crawford Cup at Glen Road Heights on Saturday, with the hopes of extending their winning run to three games.
The afternoon got off to a flyer as the home side found the lead in the seventh minute, after a frantic start from both sides.
The goal came after Stephen Tully launched forward Lee O’Brien down the left-hand side whose pass was met by Barry Webb who made no mistake from close range and put his side up a goal to the good in the early stages.
The Hoops would be the cause of their own detriment as they had a real half to forget as far as their defensive display was concerned. Matthew McNeil’s effort was blocked by Centre Half Tully, but it ricocheted up and McNeill responded with a header which hit the post; however, the referee deemed a foul was committed in the build-up and awarded Rangers a penalty.
Kurtis McCartney sent Paul McLaughlin the wrong way and levelled the score in the 18th minute of play.
A poor mix-up between Anthony McGonnell and Conor Mulligan put Celtic in bother as Mulligan’s slack pass back let in Glebe striker Luke Mitchell who punished Belfast Celtic and slotted the effort underneath the keeper and flipped the tie on its head making it 2-1 to the away side.

The Hoops got their equaliser instantly after Eamonn Kelly looped the Rangers goalkeeper after he latched on to a long pass which made the score two apiece on the half-hour mark.

Eamonn Kelly notched a brace for Belfast Celtic on Saturday

Eamonn Kelly notched a brace for Belfast Celtic on Saturday

The half-time score saw both sides level at 2-2, Belfast Celtic would look to rue those first-half defensive errors.
The Hoops would start the second half fantastically after a corner from would put them into the lead instantaneously. Ryan McPhillips swung in the cross and the ball was met by Peter Nesbitt whose header made it 3-2 moments into the second half.

In the 51st minute, a penalty was awarded, for a second time, to Glebe Rangers after a poor challenge saw striker Mitchell brought down inside the area. Belfast Celtic’s outrage was aimed at the referee after they believed the initial pass was out of play.
Kurtis McCartney’s had the chance to level the game and take his own tally to two, but the penalty was poor and well saved by Paul McGlaughlin who kept his side in the lead.
Celtic doubled their lead to 4-2 shortly after the penalty incident. Another fantastic corner was looped into the box by Lee O’Brien and Eamonn Kelly flicked the header beyond the Rangers shot-stopper to score his second of the afternoon.
Glebe Rangers had the ball in the net after Mitchell thought to have kept the ball from going over the line as he squared the ball to Shaw, but the referee blew it for being out of bounds, awarding a goal kick to Belfast Celtic.
A third penalty for Glebe was awarded for a handball by Sean Hawkins. Darren Henderson stepped up and dispatched the penalty into the top right corner and made it 4-3 but the pressure was on for the final 15 minutes for the home side.
The Hoops saw out the game as Glebe Rangers failed to build on any late momentum. Belfast Celtic were the victors of a cracking seven-goal thriller and have booked a spot in the next round of this season’s Crawford Cup.

Belfast Celtic: P McLaughlin, S Hawkins, A McDonnell, P Nesbitt, S Tully, C Mulligan, R McPhillips, D Taggart, B Webb, E Kelly

Subs: G McVeigh, K Farrelly, S McAlorum

Scorers: B Webb 8', E Kelly 30', 55', P Nesbitt 47',

Glebe United: G McMullan, S Shaw, K McCartney, L Gault, M McNeill, D Reid, J Francis, R Blair, J Morrison, J Elliot, L Mitchell

Subs: A Sheppard, B McNeill, A Harte, D Henderson

Scorers: K McCartney 18', L Mitchell 27', D Henderson 75'