An own goal from Daniel Devine and a Patrik Twardzik effort helps the Hoops comeback to claim a point in the NextGen 'Battle of Britain' against the MidlandersAn own goal from Daniel Devine and a header from Patrik Twardzik helped Celtic to come back from two goals down to claim a point at home to Aston Villa in the NextGen Series.
The English side had gone into the half-time break with a commanding lead after goals from Jordan Graham and Michael Drennan, but were ultimately forced to settle for a point.
Both teams came into the game on three points after the opening three fixtures, with this being the last chance for Celtic to claim points at home before they visit both PSV Eindhoven and Sporting Lisbon to round off the group.
The first chance went to the home side as Twardzik played a long ball through the Aston Villa defence for Behrudin Atajic, but as the winger took the ball round Craig Hill in the visitors goal, he narrowed the angle for a shot and ultimately the defence were able to clear.
Aston Villa, however, did open the scoring midway through the first half when Graham got onto a cross from the left wing by Brad Lewis and diverted a header beyond the helpless Glenn Daniels in the Celtic goal to give the English side the advantage.
Just before the break the visitors extended their lead, as Graham whipped in a cross from the right, with Dreenan getting in-between the Celtic defence to bullet home a header past Daniels to put his side in a commanding position.
On the stroke of half-time Celtic almost got a goal back as Twardzik’s swinging cross from the right was punched out by Hill, but only into the path of Jackson Irvine, who unleashed a thunderbolt from 25 yards, but fortunately for Aston Villa, they managed to deflect the effort away for a corner.
With just over a minute gone in the second half Celtic missed a glorious chance to get back into the game as Stuart Findlay somehow managed to divert the ball over the bar from inside the six yard box after Atajic had swung a corner in from the left.
They did finally got back into the game with a helping hand from the visitors as Devine could only divert a header from a powerful Twardzik cross from the right wing into his own net, leaving Hill with no chance.
Celtic continued to pile on the pressure as they looked for an equaliser, with Atajic and Jamie Lindsay both having efforts that went close, but neither of them could find a way past Hill in the Villa goal.
The equaliser finally did arrive with just over a quarter of an hour left as Joseph Chalmers sprinted down the left wing and whipped in a cross which Twardzik guided beyond Hill in the Aston Villa goal to bring John Kennedy’s side level.
Both sides pressed for a winner in the remaining minutes, but they were forced to leave Firhill with a point apiece.