Little Big Shot Youth Cup Final
Celtic 5-2 Rangers
Thursday 21st May, kick-off 7.30pm
Hampden Park, Glasgow

Wardrop 20, Donnelly 33, Nesbitt 27, 72, pen 74; Waters OG 21, Dyke 90

Aidan Nesbitt was Celtic’s hero at Hampden as the Scotland Youth International scored a hat trick to help defeat Rangers in the 2015 Little Big Shot Youth Cup Final.

Goals from Sam Wardrop and Luke Donnelly added to Nesbitt’s haul to ensure a comfortable victory for Stevie Frail’s young team who fully deserved their win over the cup holders.

Five of last year’s cup-winning side started for Rangers who also boasted the experience of Fraser Aird and Ryan Hardie.

Celtic opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation with Paul McMullan leading the line and places for Eoghan O’Connell and Kieran Tierney both of whom have featured for the senior side this season.

The final started in a typically nervous style with neither side able to keep possession. Rangers Darren Ramsey came closest with a long-range strike that flew just wide of Jordan Hart’s top right corner.

Then with 20 minutes on the clock the final burst into life. Celtic were first to rustle the net when Kieran Tierney’s corner was prodded in by Sam Wardrop who pounced on the loose ball.

The lead didn’t last for though. A mix-up in the Celtic defence led to Calum Waters nodding past his own keeper to level things up at Hampden Park.

There might have been a bit of fortune in that goal but there was no luck with the next one. Celtic’s Aidan Nesbitt cut in from the right and waltzed past three defenders before bulleting a shot past Liam Kelly to give his side the lead. The Scotland Youth International will certainly be viewing that one again on YouTube.

Things went from bad to worse for Ian Durrant’s young team who went 3-1 behind on 33 minutes to another well-taken goal from Celtic. This time it was Luke Donnelly’s turn to showboat, taking two great touches in a crowded box with his right foot before netting with his left.

Ten minutes after the re-start Celtic missed a chance to increase their lead when Donnelly darted a dangerous ball into the Rangers box. Jamie Lindsay was lurking at the back post but his teammates cross was just too fast.

The scrappy nature of the first ten minutes returned with an hour played as Rangers pushed for a way back into the final. Unfortunately for the Ibrox youngsters their Glasgow rivals weren’t finished scoring and added another two in the space of a few minutes.

A great lay off from Donnelly released Nesbitt on 71 minutes and the 17-year old stayed cool under pressure to blast in his second of the game.

The excellent Nesbitt made sure he was taking home the match ball - and the cup - two minutes later when he converted a penalty past Kelly after a foul on Tierney.

Rangers were able to grab a late consolation through Dylan Dykes but the damage was done and it was Celtic who would be bringing home the trophy.

Celtic: (4-2-3-1) Hart; Wardrop, O’Connell, Findlay, Waters; Lindsay, McManus (c); Nesbitt, Donnelly, Tierney; McMullan. Subs: McCabe, McCart, Kelleher, Miller, Hill

Rangers: Kelly (GK), Sinnamon (c), Mills, Halkett, Gasparotto (Burrows 45), Mbabu, Aird, Walsh, Hardie, Ramsey, Ross McCrorie (Dykes 45) Subs: Robby McCrorie (GK), Roberts, Stoney.