Dalbeattie Star boss Chris Jardine says there were positives to take from Saturday’s defeat to Celtic youngsters.
The Islecroft side had trailed 4-0 at one stage before a couple of late goals put a fairer reflection on the game.
Jardine said: “We were happy with quite a lot of it. I’m really glad we got those two goals at the end because I never felt it was a 4-0 game at any point.
“We were decent for long spells. There was a spell in the first half for maybe 15 minutes where they scored a poor goal from our point of view and we sat off them for 10 or 15 minutes. They caused us a lot of problems and we could maybe have gone in more than two down.
“We recovered at half-time, changed things, put Dylan Cairnie up top with Ross Irving, got more bodies forward and caused them a lot of problems second half. They changed their shape to cope with it.
“You don’t like losing games but there were a lot of positives and I was really proud of the performance they put in. I was really glad we got those two goals to put a fairer reflection on the game.”
Celtic took the lead when Johnny Kenny’s effort crossed the line with a bit of help from the woodwork and Star defender Jack Dickinson, a tremendous strike from Owen Moffat doubling the advantage.
Lewis Sloan was desperately unlucky to see his tremendous volley hit the post as Star looked for a way back into the game in the second half, Dickinson’s header being cleared off the line.
However, hopes of Star mounting a comeback were dashed when Adam Brooks got Celtic’s third, the same player quickly adding a fourth to kill things off.
Star rallied late on with goals from Dan Orsi and Russell Currie ensuring the scoreline painted a more accurate picture of proceedings.
Star’s hopes of getting something from the game were disrupted by injuries and substitutions which saw Jardine have to bring assistant Peter Watson off the bench.
He said: “I hadn’t even planned to have him on the bench but thankfully we did as Adam Gordon had to work. It was a last minute call off. When I brought him in I never thought about using him but thankfully he was there.
“Liam Douglas had to come off with a head-knock and it was a pretty straightforward change – if he wasn’t there we would have had to move a few boys about positionally.
“We also had to make a double substitution that was a wee bit enforced. Ryan Muir went down with cramp and I had to make the change earlier than I’d have liked.
“I really wanted to get Harry Emmerson and Connor Potts on to give them experience. The changes maybe upset us a wee bit and that’s on me – if we’d got a goal to make it 2-1 it might have changed it but we didn’t get that rub of the green.”
Star have a student double header this week with a defeat to Stirling University on Wednesday before they go to Edinburgh University on Saturday.
Jardine added: “They are good opportunities for us to pick up some points and try to get a bit closer to Caledonian Braves.
“Liam Gordon got the all clear – he went to hospital and they said it wasn’t a concussion so that’s a blessing.
“Ryan Muir was only cramp, not his hamstring, and Steven Degnan will be back.”
Dalbeattie Star’s Connor Potts has been cited by the SFA following an incident during last month’s defeat to Berwick Rangers.
A hearing will be held on April 14.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.