CELTIC 2 ROSS COUNTY 0
CELTIC eased to victory over their Highland opponents this afternoon in their first game at Parkhead since beating St Mirren 5-0 in the Premiership on March 7.
Neil Lennon played a full-strength side as he continues to prepare his squad for the Premiership kick-off against Hamilton Accies in the east end of Glasgow a week today.
The opening goal arrived in only two minutes when Coll Donaldson diverted a cross beyond Hoops youngster Ross Doohan, who was listed as a trialist by the Dingwall outfit. Greg Taylor flashed in a dangerous cross from the left and the unfortunate defender sliced the ball into his own net.
Taylor and Jeremie Frimpong were creating problems on the flanks for their opponents and the Dutch teenager set up the second goal in 14 minutes.
He combined well with James Forrest before whipping over a cross that was slotted away by the impressive Mohamed Elyounoussi.
The Hoops came close to netting a third moments later when Frimpong set up Forrest, but the Scotland international winger’s drive was deflected onto the woodwork and rebounded to safety.
It took the visitors until the half-hour mark to threaten, but Connor Randall’s 25-yard shot was well held by Scott Bain.
Taylor took a knock after a wayward challenge by Randall and young Kerr McInroy came on just before the interval.
The champions came close on several occasions in the second-half, most notably with efforts from Ryan Christie that produced a couple of good saves from Doohan and just missed the target.
Bain was brought into action to test his reflexes and the shotstopper responded to deny Josh Reid, Lee Erwin and Ross Stewart.
Odsonne Edouard had a shot deflected over the bar with Doohan scrambling and then the young keeper made an excellent save from Forrest.
Now Celtic take on Hibs tomorrow afternoon to complete the double-header before the real thing a week today.
TEAM: Bain; Frimpong, Jullien, Ajer, Taylor (sub: McInroy 43); Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Christie, Elyounoussi; Edouard.