Tuesday 12 December 2017

Matthews the saviour for Bhoys

Arbroath 0 Celtic 1
Scottish Cup 4th round replay

Adam Matthews' first goal for Celtic proved just enough to send Neil Lennon's team into the fifth round but their replay win also owed much to a controversial disallowed goal by Steven Doris.

Matthews fired a wonderful strike from 20 yards in the 19th minute but Celtic subsequently failed to take control at Gayfield.

And they were grateful for a 66th-minute decision by referee Craig Charleston, who presumably ruled out Doris's close-range finish for an earlier infringement on Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster, but a foul did not appear obvious.

Forster himself averted extra-time when he saved a one-on-one with Connor Birse as Celtic edged through to set up a trip to Raith Rovers.

Celtic made three changes following their 3-1 win at Kilmarnock on Saturday but retained the 3-5-2 formation and a strong team.

Mikael Lustig and Beram Kayal came in for Joe Ledley and Victor Wanyama, the Swede's introduction allowing Efe Ambrose to push into a holding midfield role. Georgios Samaras replaced Gary Hooper to start up front alongside Lassad Nouioui.

Arbroath manager Paul Sheerin, who was part of the Inverness team that shocked Celtic in 2000, started for the hosts, who had earned the replay after a late deflected free-kick from Doris earned a 1-1 draw at Parkhead.

Samaras got the first effort on target with a header from Lassad's cross but it was straight at home goalkeeper Scott Morrison.

The Greek soon returned the favour after a backheel from Scott Brown, sending over a low cross that Lassad swept home but the offside flag was up.

Arbroath were the architects of their own downfall though when Matthews won the ball off left-back Colin Hamilton following a pass from Sheerin.

The Wales international burst away but still had plenty to do, and lashed a powerful strike that flew over Morrison's outstretched hands and into the far top corner.

Celtic appeared to take their foot off the gas in an attacking sense and Arbroath were able to push play away from their penalty box but some decent attacks all broke down on the edge of the Celtic box, and they failed to trouble Forster from several set-pieces.

Sheerin soon caused more problems with the corner that led to the contentious decision to chalk off a goal.

The Arbroath player-manager delivered the ball right into the heart of the goalmouth and Forster could not collect. Hamilton won the high ball and headed down towards goal with Doris forcing the ball home on the line. But Charleston, who was standing on the edge of the box, signalled for a free-kick.

Irish Independent

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