Dominant Celtic earn Madrid Cup win over Delting
On a fine Friday evening at Gilbertson Park, Lerwick Celtic made their domination count in gaining a handsome victory over Delting in the Ocean Kinetics Madrid Cup.
Celtic began at a great tempo. Neil Fenwick shot harmlessly wide and Delting goalkeeper Iain Devonald rushed out to clear from Lowrie Simpson before catching a tame Jordan Thomason volley, all within the opening few minutes.
Delting’s opportunities were initially few and far between, their first opening coming when Peter McLachlan’s deep cross was headed wide by Jamie Sim.
Celtic’s pressure continued, Thomason’s doggedness forcing a series of corners and a penalty appeal for handball.
After a rocky opening 10 minutes, Delting gained some confidence, their pressing making Celtic struggle to play through midfield, forcing them to drop deeper and spread wider to find space. Delting’s organisation, however, came at the expense of a consistent attacking threat, often having 10 players behind the ball with only Gary Sutherland offering a forward outlet.
Midway through the half, Celtic’s persistence paid off when, getting onto a Connor Regan pass, Robert Smith burst into the Delting box from the right and curled a low left-footed effort into the far corner to give them the lead.
With ten minutes left in the half, Delting’s best opportunity arrived when Fenwick mishit a clearance. Sutherland played in Sim who shot wide.
A spell of Celtic passing allowed Smith in for an almost identical effort to his goal, Devonald this time getting his hands to it. The game did open up somewhat, however, Sutherland and Sim breaking for Delting and forcing a save before the half ended.
Delting kept more men forward as the second half started, and found some fluency in attack. Sutherland’s constant movement was a threat, the additional support he had helping him grow into the game.
Shortly into the half, Leighton Flaws crossed for substitute Danny McKay whose back header was met by Sutherland, putting his diving header just over the bar.
After a frenetic opening to the half, Celtic regained their composure, Smith heading a corner straight at Devonald. On 75 minutes, Smith was again instrumental in attack, being felled in the Delting area for a penalty. Regan finished calmly for 2-0.
Delting still looked to attack but were mostly reliant on efforts from range. Instead, Celtic offered the greater threat as they were able to keep the ball in midfield, Thomason finding space further forward than he had all match and driving at the defence on a number of occasions.
Full time was blown shortly after a low Smith cross was pushed out by Devonald. Celtic deserved their victory against a Delting side that offered resilience and tenacity, but couldn’t find their attacking spark.