Leeds Friendly – March 13th Away Versus Leeds Titans
The Leeds Friendly at Football World Leeds on Sunday 13th March proved to be a reality call for the Vintage Celtic team with an 8-1 defeat. We all know that we have a half decent squad of players for tournaments, the biggest problem is getting the players to turn out.
With only 8 players, including a guest player from the Leeds Titans team and the game time at 60 minutes it didn’t leave many substitution options for Vintage Celtic, with 6 players on the pitch at any one time. With an injury to Brian Lavin in the second half we were then down to 1 substitute.
The Leeds Friendly started well enough with the Titans taking early control of the play and it seemed only a matter of time before they scored a goal. Celtic held out for around 15 minutes but eventually the constant pressure paid off for the Leeds side who took the lead.
Sterling defensive work from Lee Shedwick and some great goalkeeping from Ian Parker stemmed the tide but eventually the greater class of Leeds Titans began to show itself. Their movement, marking and quick passing was too much for Celtic and inevitably the goals started to flow.
The age difference between the two sides in the Leeds Friendly became evident later in the game as Celtic began to tire but disregarding that factor it cannot be denied that the Leeds team were far superior in all departments and it will take a great side to beat them in competition.
The game was refereed by the Leeds manager Eddie Gibson, who did an excellent job, with even some of our own players saying he favoured us in many of his decisions. Eddie kindly sent the following email and his comments give us some consolation.
Thanks for your kind words and for coming to Leeds. Of all the friendly games we have played, your team gave us our sternest test during the first half and I had thought what have we got to do to beat this lot. It’s a pity that the age difference between our players began to tell in the second half but I think that that was the only difference between the teams. Your goalkeeper was brilliant and voted by my lads as man of the match. I was also particularly impressed by your guy who played at the back in the number 10 shirt, I would have liked to have seen him defending in his hey day, but I could tell that towards the end of the game he was absolutely shattered – he’d given everything, well played sir. Looking forward to coming to Stalybridge for the return.
Thanks to Leeds for their hospitality and to all the lads who turned out on Sunday, Tony Birtles, Brian Coll, Derek Drabble, Brian Lavin, Ian Parker, Lee Shedwick, Tony Wade and not forgetting Dave Coulson the Leeds player who helped to make the numbers up for Celtic.