Celtic faced Delting for the first time this season on a breezy Wednesday night at the Gilbertson Park. Celtic started with a strong eleven with Robert Smith and Shane Odie the notable absentees while Delting talisman Gary Sutherland was again missing for the visitors.
It was the home side that dominated most of the possession in the first half with brothers Jack and Danny Clubb and Joel Bradley able to play out from the back comfortably and link into midfield and Connor Regan in the number 9 position.
Delting posed a threat on the break however with Reece Thorne and Leighton Flaws looking to utilise the pace of their forward, especially Josh MacColl down the right wing. However the returning Kieran Glaser was never seriously tested in the opening period.
Celtic deservedly opened the scoring midway through the first half when James Aitken broke though the Delting defence and cut the ball back to Connor Regan who swivelled and stroked the ball into the bottom corner.
Kennedy Moar had a couple of chances to extend the home side’s lead but failed to find the target on a couple of occasions. However it was third time lucky on 30 minutes when Brendan Johnson found the tricky winger at the back post and there was certainly no mistake this time, with the youngster slotting the ball past Matthew Saunders.
Aitken could have added a third from a short corner soon after but failed to find the target and Regan struck the post from a well worked freekick.
The second half was a different match altogether with Delting seeing more of the ball and posing a threat going forward. The home side struggled to string passes together the way they did in the first half and Saunders was a bystander for much of the half.
Midway through the second period, Delting pulled a goal back. A freekick on the left was bent into the mixer by veteran Leighton Flaws and Thorne stole in at the front post to nod the ball past Glaser in the Celtic goal.
The goal seemed to breathe new life into the away side and Peter MacLachlan and Ross MacDougall were added to the fray to chase the equaliser. Shay Regan was also brought on by the hosts to inject a bit of pace on the break.
And it was indeed the Celtic substitution that paid dividends as the home side wrapped up the win in the closing minutes. A long ball forward from Jack Clubb played in Shay Regan and the winger played a delightfully weighted pass into the path of his cousin Connor who made no mistake from close range. Best on the night for Celtic was Jack Clubb while Delting goal scorer Reece Thorne stood out for the visitors.
CELTIC TEAM: K Glaser, J Clubb, D Clubb (R Grant), J Bradley, M Murray, E Smith, J Aitken, T Moncrieff, B Johnson (S Regan), C Regan, K Moar