Former Rangers player Liam Burt was the match-winner for Celtic Under-21s but they needed penalties to overcome Queen’s Park in the first-round of the Challenge Cup at Airdrie.
Burt’s transfer to Celtic was confirmed yesterday following his release by Rangers and he had an immediate impact.
The young Celts looked to be coasting to victory over Queen’s when they were two goals ahead with less than half an hour played. But it ended 2-2 and they had to rely on a 4-3 penalty kick shootout success to move through to a tie against Falkirk next week.
Jack Aitchison fired past Spiders’ 16-year-old debutant goalkeeper Jacques Herraghty on 16 minutes and Armstrong Oxo-Flex skipped past two challenges before drilling in the second for Celtic.
Queen’s pulled a goal back six minutes from the break when Salim Kouider-Aissa sent a low drive into the net. Adam Martin fired home an equaliser with 18 minutes left after the Celtic defence failed to clear their lines and it was left to Burt to hit the deciding penalty kick.
Rangers Under-21s are also through after a 2-1 win at Berwick where Dapo Mebude’s penalty put the Ibrox youngsters ahead midway through the first half.
On 31 minutes Josh McPake ran clear to double Rangers’ lead with home keeper Sean Brennan preventing a third goal early in the second half when he tipped over a fine strike by Mebude. The hosts were reduced to ten men with 23 minutes left when Yaw Osei was shown a straight red card after clattering into Jamie Barjonas but they forced themselves back into the game when Dan Purves netted.
St Mirren Under-21s saw off visitors East Kilbride 1-0 thanks to a stunning Cammy Breadner goal from 25 yards.
East Kilbride had a terrific opportunity to equalise with 20 minutes left after Matthew Grant was penalised for handball. However, Dean Lyness saved Sean Winter’s spot-kick.
Kelty Hearts saw off the
challenge of Kilmarnock’s Under-21s with ease at New Central Park, Barry Ferguson’s Fife side running out 4-0 winners.
Murray Carstairs touched in a free-kick on 25 minutes and Nathan Austin doubled the lead when he tapped home eight minutes from half-time .
Kelty took the game out of Kilmarnock’s reach three minutes after the restart when Ross Mutch shot home with Scott Linton’s free-kick providing the icing on the cake.