What started off as a beautiful hot summer's day (even though we’re in autumn) ended as a missed opportunity for Celtic Beijing to announce their intention to the rest of the league, and get collect their first three points of the new season.
Having watched Beijing Celtic’s lose to Barbarian A’s, Celtic Beijing were hoping to win the remaining fixture of the day and lift the doom and gloom.
The Celtic’s started the match very well and created decent opportunities within the first 10 minutes, with Kieron Nolan having a goals chalked off for a very “controversial” offside decision and another effort that crossed the goal line.
The Celtic’s were free flowing in the middle of the park with Jeff Young pulling the strings alongside Jack and Finn Todd. With Daryl Harkin surprized how well the brothers knew each other’s game – really!
The goal was coming and with 10 minutes to go before half
time Kevin Sault sprinted after Jeff Young’s fine through ball and lifted the ball over the on-rushing Barbarians goalkeeper. A great finish with an old fashioned toe knob - leaving the away team's keeper with egg on his face!
The Celtic’s went from strength to strength in the second half and had chances to kill the game off, however they were made to pay with ten minutes to go when Frank gave away a penalty with a mistimed tackle just inside the area. The Barbarians made no mistake with their spot kick – James Martin was very close to saving it, having guessed the right way though.
With the home team looking more likely to score the referee ended proceedings still with two minutes left on the clock. This was due one of seven first team players on show from the Barbarians needing treatment on a minor injury.
On a positive note: it was Celtic Beijing’s first point on the board, but at the end of the game it felt like a loss and two points dropped. Two players making their debut: Henry Matheson & Koffi Kanbargo made good starts to their Celtic's career with solid performances upfront and in defence respectively. Also a special mention to David Mahon who produced a solid performance in his first game for the B team.