Old foes Celtic and Spurs faced each other in the 2019 season’s opening match and the first of the Highland Fuels quarter finals on a very windy night in Whalsay.
Celtic were missing a couple of players including defender Robert Smith while April Fool Jack Clubb missed the ferry after it was re-located to Vidlin and only made the second half. Spurs also had several players missing including the influential Sam Maver and Paul Molloy.
Although the wind was hardly an advantage for either team throughout the match, it was at the backs of Celtic in the first half and they looked the most likely to open the scoring from the off.
Celtic looked to utilise the pace of youngsters Shane Odie, Szymon Orlowski and Kennedy Moar going forward and the trio never gave the Spurs backline a minutes rest throughout, supported by the midfield runners.
The home side could only fashion a couple of long range efforts and free-kicks before Moar was played through but the wind caught the ball and Grant Wood in the Spurs goal was able to collect.
Spurs forwards Connel Gresham and Lewis Harkness were always a threat going forward, and the former was brought down right on the edge of the box midway through the half. However the Celtic wall stood firm to block Ryan Thomason’s free-kick.
Moments later Celtic opened the scoring with an excellent goal. The ball was played around a couple of Spurs challenges before being laid off to Ryan Grant who then swung a ball into the box which was expertly guided into the far corner by the head of James Aitken.
It was soon 2-0 when a long ball forward from Joel Bradley was brilliantly lobbed home by Moar with Wood closing in on the forward.
Celtic brought on Clubb in the second half to sure things up at the back but it was the hoops who looked most likely to grab another goal.
Regan had a couple of efforts from distance that flew wide and several other half-chances were not converted with the wind making things difficult to judge in both boxes.
With 15 minutes left, Spurs were given a lifeline when Gresham pounced on a saved shot to slot past Mike Lynch to set up a grandstand finish.
The majority of the rest of the match was played in the Celtic half but Spurs weren’t able to create all that many clear-cut chances. Harkness had the best opportunity to take the game to penalties but his first-time effort in the box flew over the bar. And that proved to be the final chance of the match with Celtic holding on for their first win against Spurs in a couple of years and booking their spot in the semi-final where they’ll face either Delting or Ness.
CELTIC TEAM: M Lynch, E Smith, J Bradley, R Grant, B Buggy (J Clubb), C Regan, J Aitken, T Moncrieff, S Odie, S Orlowski (B Johnson), K Moar