Key men missing as Celtic suffer Marshall Cup exit

Cookstown Celtic got their league campaign underway on Wednesday night with an away game against White City and despite dominated the game had to settle for a 2-2 draw.

Celtic were quick out of the blocks and were unlucky not to take the lead when a thunderous shot from Maguire rattle the crossbar and bounced to safety.

The Cookstown men stayed on top and were again denied by the woodwork when O’Hares shot rebounded off the post and into the keepers hands. White City were dangerous on the counter attack and it took a fine save from O’Neill in the Celtic goals to keep the scores level.

The woodwork again came to White City’s rescue on two more occasions this time O’Neill was to be thwarted by the post and crossbar as the game remained scoreless at half time.

White City struck against the run of play when their midfielder came struck a long range shot that deflected off Harley and into the Celtic net. Celtic rallied and were almost level when McOscar’s fine strike was brilliantly saved by the White City keeper.

Celtic did get level from the penalty spot when Maguire was about to finish when bundled over in the box. The same player dusted himself down and dispatched the spot kick to level the scores.

Celtic were pressing for the winner but were caught out by another quick counter attack by White City although Celtic defence should have cleared the ball the nippy City winger twisted and turned in the box until he found enough space to fire past O’Neill.

Celtic responded almost immediately when a fine pass from McOscar found O’Neill who kept his cool as he slotted into the net. Celtic pushed for the winner and a great chance to get but the White City keeper came rushing out to stop Maguire and clearly carried the ball outside his area denying a goal scoring opportunity but to the surprise of everyone the referee awarded nothing and play continued.

Celtic couldnt conjure up a third goal as the game ended as a draw.

Cookstown hosted Intermediate A side AFC Craigavon in the second round of the Marshall Cup on Saturday and eventually lost 4-3 after extra time.

Celtic settled well and had early chances through O’Neill and McCloskey but couldnt beat the visiting keeper. Celtic took the lead when a fine delivery from O’Neill was met by Maguire who nodded into the net for Celtic to take the lead.

Celtic continued to press with Maguire in a more withdrawn midfield role alongside Muldoon dominated the midfield battle. Further chances came and went for Celtic and they were made to pay the price when Craigavon equalised after a goalmouth scramble just before half time.

Celtic fell behind early in the second half when Craigavon attacker was left unm arked and he headed past the Celtic keeper. Celtic never panicked and continued to create chances with McCloskey going close on two occasions then O’Neill though he had the equaliser only for the defender to miraculously clear off the line.

With time running out Celtic got the deserved second goal when a floated free kick to the back post was met by McCaffrey and he expertly looped his header over the keeper to send the game into extra time.

Celtic took the lead in the first period of extra time when a delightful ball from O’Neill found McGucken and he showed great composure to blast past the keeper. Celtic then conceded a third in controversial circumstances when Craigavon striker raced through on goal and made the most of a challenge with Celtic keeper which resulted in a penalty and a red card for Celtic keeper.

Craigavon made no mistake from the penalty spot and took advantage of Celtic’s reshuffle when they got their fourth goal to win an epic tie

Cookstown Celtic’s next game will be Saturday September 7, a home fixture against Armagh Blues in the league with a 2.30pm kick off at MUSA

The following Saturday September 14, Cookstown Celtic will travel to Newry to take on Finn Harps in the first round of the Irish Junior Cup. There will be a bus arranged for this fixture anyone wishing to travel to this game please contact any club member for further details

As there will be no fixture this week, there will also be no training. Training will resume Tuesday September 3 from 8-9pm and Thursday September 5 from 7-8pm at MUSA. Everyone is welcome to attend

This week’s winning Lotto Numbers were 13, 32, 30. Nobody matched all 3 numbers. 3 people won £10 and they were D McOscar (c/o D McOscar) Darren Callan (c/o J Harley) J McCaffrey (c/o J McCaffrey) Next week’s prize will be £225