Celtic fight back to ease into Irn-Bru Cup second round

Aidan Nesbitt scores the equaliser to set up Celtic Under 20s victory over Annan Athletic. Picture: SNS
Aidan Nesbitt scores the equaliser to set up Celtic Under 20s victory over Annan Athletic. Picture: SNS
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The all-new first round of the Irn-Bru Cup delivered wins for Premiership under-20 sides, SPFL outfits as well as 
Highland and Lowland League teams.

Annan Athletic manager Jim Chapman had predicted that Celtic’s Colts would be a tough nut to crack and he was proved right when his side went down 5-1 at Cappielow.

The League 2 side did, however, give their opponents a fright by scoring after just 56 seconds when Rabin Omar sent a volley home via a post.

Celtic levelled on 20 minutes when Aidan Nesbitt 
darted in the Annan box and shot past Alex Mitchell and Tommy McIntyre’s side moved in front four minutes later when Regan Hendry drilled in a cutback.

Jack Aitchison headed in the third before half-time and Nesbitt grabbed his second goal of the evening 20 minutes from time. Paul Joseph Crossan lashed home the fifth six 
minutes from time.

Kilmarnock’s under-20 side got off to an even quicker start at Queen’s Park, but they went on to lose 5-2.

Killie’s Dean Hawkshaw took advantage of a short Bryan Wharton passback and shot-home after 12 seconds but, within a minute, it was 1-1 as Queen’s Liam Brown levelled.

Wharton atoned for his error by heading the hosts in front after 15 minutes and Ryan McGeever nodded in a third for the Spiders.

Taylor Queen’s fine strike gave the Ayrshire youngsters hope before half-time, but David Galt thumped home for the hosts and Ewan MacPherson netted a late penalty.

Partick Thistle’s under-20 crew defeated hosts Clyde 5-0, Kevin Nisbet hitting a hat-trick after a goalless first half. James Penrice and Neil McLaughlin also scored.

Motherwell’s Fir Park babes saw off Edinburgh City 2-1 thanks to Dylan Mackin’s goal on 37 minutes and Thomas Fry’s close-range strike in the second half before with Dean Cummings pulled a goal back.

Lowland League Spartans saw off hosts Berwick Rangers 3-0, the Edinburgh side taking the lead after 11 minutes through Scott Maxwell. Jamie Dishington drove in the second and Craig Stevenson added a third six minutes after the break.

Stirling Albion stung Hearts’ under-20 side by taking a two-goal lead, but the Edinburgh side roared back to win 3-2.

Marc McKenzie hit a first-half double before goals by Leon Jones and Ally Roy had restored parity, Russell McLean hit a superb winner from distance midway through the second half.

Aberdeen’s young Dons got the better of Formartine 5-2 with Scott Wright grabbing a treble. Aaron Norris and Joe Nuttall also scored before Neil Gauld and Graham Rodger replied.

Cove Rangers came from behind to defeat Dundee’s under-20s 2-1, Kevin Buchan and Ryan Scully netting in the last 12 minutes to cancel out Greg Warwick’s opener.

Turriff United also recovered to win 2-1 at St Johnstone, Cameron Booth’s second-half double overturning Greg Hurst’s opening goal for the Saints.

Omar Kader put Arbroath in front against Inverness Caley’s young Highlanders and Colin Hamilton doubled their lead four minutes later. Martin Scott completed a 3-0 success.

Brora Rangers defeated Ross County’s youths 3-2 after extra time, Craig Campbell hitting the winner after 103 minutes. Alan Pollok had given Highland League side the lead, but Greg Morrison equalised at the start of the second half before James Wallace put the Dingwall men 2-1 ahead. 
Steven Mackay forced extra time when Campbell popped up with the winner.

Montrose defeated East Stirling 3-0 at Ochilview thanks to Terry Masson’s long-range strike and goals by Graham Webster and Ryan Ferguson. Shire’s cause was hampered by Scott Buist’s dismissal for dissent.