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Late show sees Celtic break Alloa brave resistance

Betfred Cup Quarter Final: Celtic 2-0 Alloa

By Ronnie Esplin

Published 22/09/2016

Celtic's James Forrest celebrates scoring his side's first goal against Alloa
Celtic's James Forrest celebrates scoring his side's first goal against Alloa
Hard work undone: Alloa’s players show their dejection as Celtic winger James Forrest breaks the deadlock in the closing minutes at Parkhead

Brendan Rodgers declared it was a case of job done and no more after Celtic beat Ladbrokes League One side Alloa 2-0 at Parkhead with two late goals to book a place in the Betfred Cup semi-finals.

The Hoops missed a host of chances with left-back Kieran Tierney hitting the bar and visiting keeper Neil Parry making several saves before James Forrest got the breakthrough in the 83rd minute with Moussa Dembele adding a second in the final minute.

Manager Rodgers said: "The main objective tonight was to qualify.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game for us.

"In the group stages Alloa beat Inverness and Ross County so we knew they had great resilience in the team, great mentality and character to defend and they proved that.

"We had a lot of chances in the first half and didn't take them and of course when you don't take them as the game moves on you can become a little but edgy but we showed great patience in the end and scored two.

"I wasn't pleased at half-time. We have to be more clinical than that.

"We had 13 shots on target and probably another 13 which weren't on target so to score only the two goals was disappointing. You have to be more ruthless than that.

"The name of the game was being patient but we needed to be much better.

"Credit to Alloa to come here and defend the way they did and play the way they did was fantastic.

"We deserve the credit for the patience but performance-wise we will obviously play much better."

Rodgers, aware of Celtic's relentless schedule, made five changes to the side which started the 2-2 draw at Inverness on Sunday.

A goalless first half was characterised mostly by poor finishing from the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders while returning Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon was perhaps fortunate only to get a yellow card for his high challenge on Wasps striker Greig Spence outside the box.

After the interval, Parry thwarted Forrest twice before the Scotland winger eventually beat the goalkeeper from the edge of the box after drifting in from the right, allowing the Hoops fans to finally relax and enjoy Dembele's powerful drive high into the net in the last minute.

CELTIC: Gordon, Lustig, Toure, Simunovic (Christie, 70 mins), Tierney, Armstrong, Brown, Rogic (Sviatchenko, 85 mins), Roberts (Sinclair, 46 mins), Dembele, Forrest. Unused subs: De Vries, Bitton, Gamboa, Henderson

ALLOA: Parry, Taggart, Gordon, Graham, Waters, Cawley (Holmes, 78 mins) Goodwin (Longworth, 84 mins) Robertson, Kirkpatrick, Flannigan, Spence.

Unused subs: McDowall, Wilson, Hoggan, Marr, Scullion.

Referee: Alan Muir

Man of the match: Neil Parry

Belfast Telegraph

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