Docherty (14), Easdale (22), R. Lyon (44) – Benyu (23 pen)
John Sutton’s development squad recorded their first home win of the SPFL Reserve League One season with a fantastic 3-1 victory against Celtic at Cappielow this afternoon.
First-half goals from Blair Docherty, Alexander Easdale, and Reece Lyon proved enough for a young Ton team that played with an intensity and vigour that was a joy to behold to claim a fully-deserved three points.
They showed another side to their game in the second half as they defended well, ably supported by goalkeeper Derek Gaston between the sticks, as they kept the Parkhead side at bay despite some sustained pressure.
But it was the Ton who pinned back a Celtic side boasting two full internationalists in Manchester City loanee Daniel Arzani and Kundai Benyu as they came roaring out of the traps early on.
Striker Ben Armour threatened to do real damage with his pace in the opening minutes as he continually got in behind only to be foiled by visiting goalkeeper Reece Willison.
But the 19-year-old shot-stopper was beaten all ends up on 14 minutes after a stramash inside the Celtic box ended with Docherty doing superbly well to squeeze a low drive under Willison and between the posts.
In-form winger Docherty is currently combining Ton reserve duties with a loan spell at his hometown club Largs Thistle, and this strike took his tally to a combined three goals in his last four outings.
The hosts were playing with a swagger and looked lethal in the final third, and some smart passing exchanges between the likes of Ben Eardley, Easdale and Armour saw them slice through the Celtic defence.
And the forwards combined to double the Sinclair Street side’s advantage on 22 minutes when Armour blazed into the box down the left.
He would have been entitled to go for goal but demonstrated real intelligence to pick out his well-positioned strike partner in space, and Easdale was equally assured as he placed a controlled side-foot finish into the net.
Morton would, however, have their mettle tested after Benyu picked himself up following a Gavin Watt foul inside the box and fired an emphatic penalty low past Gaston’s dive into the bottom-left corner.
But they showed what they were made of by adding a killer third on the stroke of half-time, the impressive Lyon sending a looping header inside the right post after meeting Lewis McGrattan’s dangerous free-kick.
With the dynamic Lewis Strapp an inspiration at left-back and experienced goalkeeper Gaston approaching unbeatable, Ton successfully managed a second half that saw the Glasgow outfit beat a path towards their goal.
Even going down to 10 men late on when tenacious midfielder Eardley was shown a second yellow card could not take the shine off of what was a wonderful afternoon’s work for the Cappielow kids.
2. Hynes (c) 5. Durham 4. Watt 3. Strapp
7. Eardley 6. McGrattan 8. R. Lyon 11. Docherty
10. Easdale 9. Armour
Subs used: 12. Rodgers (for Armour, 73), 16. J. Lyon (for Easdale, 79), and 17. Brophy (for Docherty, 82).
Subs not used: 14. Purdue, 15. Martins, 20. Farrell (gk).
Booked: Eardley (56), Strapp (63), McGrattan (90+1).
Sent off: Eardley (90).
Celtic (433): Willison; Ralston, Duffy, Welsh, Church (Bell, 46); Hill (Crossan, 64), McInroy, Benyu; Henderson, Oko-Flex, Arzani (Caffrey, 64).
Subs not used: Hendry, Savoury, Mazis, Mullen (gk).
Booked: Arzani (62).
Referee: Craig Napier
Images: Gary Bradley