Rectory Rangers 1 Cookstown Celtic 3-
Cookstown Celtic kicked off their Division 2 league campaign with a trick away tie to Rectory Rangers but they emerged with all three points after a comfortable victory.
Celtic started the game well and went close with efforts from Loughran and McCloskey. Celtic took the lead after 15 minutes when a long throw from Devlin evaded everyone except Bates at the back post who stabbed the ball home to open the scoring.
Celtic were aggrieved not to double their lead soon after when Loughran raced through on goal only to be hauled back by the defender.
The referee could have played an advantage as Loughran eventually broke free from the tussle but instead the referee awarded a free kick without issuing a red card to the defender despite him preventing a clear goal scoring opportunity.
Celtic’s misery was further compounded when the hosts got an equaliser soon after. The referee allowed play to continue after a clear foul by the hosts attacker on Hughes at the heart of the Celtic defence which allowed him to have an easy finish to level the scores.
This goal give the hosts a boost and Celtic had to weather a ten minute spell before bursting back to life.
A fine catch by Maguire in the Celtic goal allowed him to release the marauding McGahan who played a lovely one two with McCloskey before his cross was met by Bates who flicked the ball past the keeper for his and Celtic’s second of the game shortly before the half time whistle.
Celtic started the second half were they left off with efforts from Loughran and Devlin testing the home keeper. Celtic thought they were denied a stonewall penalty when Devlin was taken out in the box after a good run.
Celtic were awarded a spot kick soon after when a clear ball by the home defender left the referee no choice. Up stepped skipper Muldoon who made no mistake as he sent the keeper the wrong way to give Celtic a two goal lead.
Celtic were now content to take the sting out of the game and control possession and only for a few questionable offside decisions would have added further to their tally.
Cookstown Celtic have no fixture this coming week. They will return to action on Saturday 6th September when they tavel to take on Moneyslane in the second round of the Marshall Cup. A bus will be leaving Mulligans Bar at 12.15pm.
Any supporters wishing to travel please contact any club member for further information.
There will be no training this week. Training will commence again next Thursday 4th Sept at MUSA 7-8pm.