Celtic took the honours in this year’s Bloomfield Cup Final, overcoming Delting in an entertaining match at the Gilbertson Park on Saturday.
Delting 2, Celtic 4
Lerwick Celtic secured the Bloomfield Cup by defeating Delting in a fast flowing reserve clash.
The game started at a fast pace with neither side appearing to find an early rhythm. Despite that Celtic found themselves a goal ahead after only seven minutes. As was to become the pattern for the game Celtic’s set piece plays were devastating and Delting simply had no answer to them. Deliveries were first rate from either left or right side at corners and the threat in the air was to become key. The first such occasion proved the point as Jordan Simpson swung in a first rate ball under the bar and Justin Watson poked the ball home.
The early goal settled Celtic and they held the upper hand for most of the first half. Delting weren’t without opportunity however, but when they were presented they were somewhat tame, highlighted by Lee Jamieson’s effort from a free kick three minutes after Celtic opened their account.
Ian Devonald in the Delting goal kept his side in the hunt with some sterling work. Firstly, taking a Bruce McCulloch cross with assurance as Watson lurked, waiting for the heading opportunity, then tipping another Jordan Simpson corner delivery over the bar when it appeared to be dropping into the net.
Celtic continued to dominate territory as Paul Leask and Ali Sim took a stranglehold on the central midfield area and the second goal wasn’t long coming. In the 30th minute Ryan Grant turned provider, delivering a fine dead ball from a corner on the right. Connor Regan found himself unattended and calmly headed home from seven yards as Delting concentrated defensive efforts on the seemingly more dangerous aerial Celtic threats.
Delting almost pulled themselves back into the game four minutes later but a Lee Balfour drive from the corner of the box lifted just over the bar.
Celtic added the third four minutes from the break, again from a corner kick. A carbon copy delivery by Simpson to the back post was met by Watson who nodded home his own second of the game as the Delting defence were caught wanting.
Delting were certainly never going to roll over. They fought back into the game and secured a lifeline goal a minute before the ref’s half time whistle blew. Some less than convincing defending by Celtic, offered at least three chances to clear the lines effectively, saw the ball headed home by Danny Carter past a helpless Clive Watt, the veteran coming out of retirement to make an emergency appearance between the Celtic sticks.
Celtic might have expected the stiff northerly breeze to assist Delting during the second 45 minutes but the green and whites didn’t appear to be seriously affected by it. As they looked to kill the game off Lowrie Simpson was tenacious in winning the ball from Alistair Williamson before squaring to Ali Sim whose effort was turned away by Devonald.
The game was almost turned on its head in the 65th minute as Delting were finding a second wind and exerting a little more forward pressure. Colin Grant sclaffed a clearance and as young Shaun Manson turned to take advantage he was impeded by Grant as he unwittingly wrestled the striker to the ground leaving referee Robert Leask with no option but to flash the red card as Grant was certainly denying a goal scoring opportunity.
Eight minutes later and the 10 men of Celtic were further rattled as Ian Jamieson made the score 2-3 with a tremendous strike from distance into the top right hand postage stamp corner.
Celtic could quite easily have panicked themselves into further problems at that stage but credit to them in that a quick reshuffle, a few old heads and young legs didn’t let the double set back see them take their eyes off the prize and within four minutes the killer goal was secured.
Danny Peterson was rightly if unluckily penalised for a hand ball 22 yards from goal. Jamie Duffy stepped up to the plate and curled the free-kick beyond the wall into the net via the far post in classic style.
Minutes later Duffy again unlocked the Delting defence, slipping a cute ball into the feet of Lowrie Simpson, the striker hit his shot first time but once more Devonald saved well and Ali Sim watched as his shot from the rebound went over the bar.
As the play swung from end to end Peter Peterson tried his luck with a curled effort around a somewhat static Celtic rear guard but Clive Watt was equal to his effort and at the other end Duffy again broke free down the left and swung a cross into the danger area for it to just fail to find any takers.
Fraser Hall struck a fine effort at Clive Watt which he parried off for a corner kick before taking the set piece in the air to clear the danger. Peter Peterson again swung the ball into the Celtic box but neither attackers nor defenders intercepted and the ball went safely behind for a goal kick.
The final word in a good afternoon’s entertainment went to Celtic as Jordan Simpson drove down the right flank. The full back delivered the ball into namesake Lowrie whose first time clip just went past the post.
Celtic ran out worthy winners with a good all-round team performance with experience and youthful legs doing the trick. Delting were worthy adversaries and had a standout in young goalkeeper Ian Devonald.