At McKenna Park this afternoon the St Mirren Under-19 side kicked off the post winter-break section of the season against Celtic in a Clydesdale Bank U19 League fixture which the young Saints lost 2-1.
St Mirren started the game really well as they passed the ball around with confidence but the Glasgow side were 2-0 up after 11 minutes. St Mirren lost possession which Celtic pounced on quickly with the end result being Tony Watt opening the scoring for Celtic.
Shortly afterwards the Saints’ defence was caught out with a long ball that John Herron ran on to before slipping it past Saints keeper, Michael McKinven.
This flying start by Celtic seemed to rock Saints but David Longwell changed the side’s shape and they battled their way back into the game. Shortly before the half-time break 15-year-old Kieran Doran fired in a shot from the edge of the penalty-area to pull a goal back for the home side.
Saints gave as good as they got in the second half and towards the end of the game it looked as if Jon Scullion was going to knock home an equaliser but the youngster slipped just before he made contact with the ball.
Saints line-up: McKinven, Meechan, Cole, Hughes, Kelly, Naismith, Owens, Reilly, Smith, Scullion, Doran.
Subs used: McGinn, McAlinden, Wood.
David Longwell, Head of Youth Development, said after the game, “Generally I was really pleased with how the boys did considering the team we had out. We still have some boys out injured and Mark Lamont is out on loan to Dumbarton so we gave 15-year-old Kieran Doran a start, welcomed back Under-17 player Jon Scullion from injury and Declan Hughes got a start too so overall it was a pretty young group.
“It was disappointing to lose two early goals, one coming from losing possession and the other from a long ball we failed to deal with. But credit to the boys as they came back into the game and just before half-time Kieran Doran scored a fantastic goal.
“The boys played really well and matched Celtic in the second half but despite having a few chances they couldn’t get an equaliser. We were probably due a share of the points for our work-rate and endeavour, and considering the boys were playing a more experienced side they gave a very good account of themselves.
“Overall there were a lot of good performances and the work-rate from the side was really good, so there is a lot to be positive about.”
The Under-19′s next game is this coming Friday (January 27th) when they will face St Johnstone in a Clydesdale Bank U19 League fixture at McKenna Park, kick-off 1:00pm.
For more news on the Clydesdale Bank U19 League directly from the SPL please click here.
Pictures © John Millar