Match Report -
Celtic struggling for goals
By Iain Benson
Celtic have surely left too much to do to get into the play-offs this season, and the defeat at Southport has left a nine point gap to breach with four games remaining.

Southport set out their stall early, front man Daly causing problems up front for the Celtic defence, Davis and Flynn at the back denying most of what Celtic could create. Daly had the first chance of the game, with a low drive that Phillips saved well. At the other end, Briggs fired wide from outside the box, before Barwick latched onto a corner and forced McMillan into his first save of the day. McMillan did even better when Briggs was put through with some neat one-touch football, but the Southport keeper did well to save with his legs as Briggs sent him the wrong way.

That miss was rued moments later when Southport had the freedom to head the ball around the Celtic penalty area before it landed at Daly?s feet who made no mistake with the lashed in close range volley.

Ellington did have a skidding effort stopped just before half time, but Southport were in the driving seat.

It was a busy performance from Celtic in the second half, with much better play. Sykes nodded a free kick over the bar, before Bowler fired in through a crowd, with McMillan seeing the ball late, but making the stop at the second attempt. It should have been two for Southport when Daly?s looping effort smacked against the crossbar, and was cleared. Both Kilheeney and ex-Celt Prince found Phillips in sparkling form as he kept his team in with a shout with a pair of fine saves from edge of the box volleyed efforts.

That hard work was undone when Kilheeney?s scissor kick struck Keeling?s hand. Having already been booked, it was surprising to see Keeling stay on the pitch for a deliberate handball. Daly stepped up and fired low straight down the middle to give Southport a 2-0 lead.

With ten minutes to go, Celtic did try to reduce the areas, but Bowler dragged his shot wide, and Meechan?s curling effort was caught by McMillan. On Monday Celtic will face one of the league?s surprise teams this season, Vauxhall Motors.

1McMillan, Tony  
2Lever, Chris  
3McGinn, Matty  
4Flynn, Adam  
5Davis, Earl  
6Gray, Shaun  > 45
7Winn, Ashley  > 72
8Lee, Kevin  
9Daly, Steve  
10Kilheeney, CiaranYellow Card 
11Powell, Michael  > 45
12Prince, Neil  < 45
14Atkins, Ross  < 72
15Moore, Peter  < 45
16Booth, Robbie  
17Mitchley, Danny  
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