Beijing Celtics prevailed in this old Beijing derby with a slightly uncomfortable 4-1 victory. The hectic match provided many exciting moments however the lasting memory will undoubtedly be newlywed Kieron Nolan’s long awaited first official goal for the Celtics.
Despite the windy conditions the Celtics struck first early on. A long range effort from Dom Lytwyn forced the sexy keeper to parry the ball into the path of James McSweeney who neatly headed the ball in from short range.
After many close calls a penalty was eventually awarded for a handball ten minutes into the second half which Dom Lytwyn coolly converted.
Shortly after, Demus kept up his impressive record of either scoring a free kick or conceding a penalty as he brought down the sexy striker in the box. Luckily for the Celtics, Warren Eben proved once again his goalkeeping abilities by pulling off a fantastic bottom corner save. This relief was short lived as Sexy eventually pulled one back through a half volley inside the area.
Alan Kelly made his eagerly anticipated return to the Celtics midway through the second half and made an immediate impact. After picking the ball up from deep he drove at the Sexy defense before rolling the ball into the back of the net from a tidy one two only to be called back for offside. Luckily for the linesman the Joker’s Belief vocalist was too busy trying to catch his breath rather than express his colorful opinion of the late decision.
Simon Holland made it 3-1 after latching on to a through ball allowing him to nip past the stranded keeper. Some say his decision to stop the ball on the line to kill some extra seconds was the real difference between the teams regarding both ability and arrogance.
With Sexy still on the hunt for a draw the Celtics needed some inspiration. Jeff Young scanned the bench at the rest of the Celtics misfits before making the ingenious decision to bring on the experienced Stockport import Kieron Nolan.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. After only being on the pitch for a short while the despicable me look alike went sniffing around the area. A ball was pulled back around the edge of the box which Kieron, as a result of his hard work in the gym, athletically leaned back and wrapped his foot around the ball. The ball took flight for what seemed like an eternity before finally nestling in the top right corner. The goal was met with ecstatic celebrations on the pitch whilst fans began chanting “One more year! One more year!”
A deserved man of the match was awarded to Daryl Harkin who covered every piece of grass for the 90 minutes and had an influence in several of the goals. Throughout the squad things are looking and feeling very optimistic about the second half of the season.