Vauxhall were clearly dangerous off set-pieces, with Celtic getting two early let offs when Griffiths and Hannigan headed over the bar from corners, whilst Ellington dragged his first shot wide, before forcing Coates into a decent stop. Moments later and Battersby cut in from the wing and fired in low through a crowd, Coates did superbly well to get down and palm the ball out for a corner. Burke should possibly have done better when he raced past Meynell and Sykes to go one-on-one, but Phillips was out quickly and blocked at Burke?s feet.
With both keepers on sparkling form, it was going to take something special to break the deadlock, and Smart?s cross in from the wing provided it, with Holmes getting his head on it ahead of Ellington, only to see one of the finest own goals scored at Bower Fold send the ball flying past Coates outstretched fingertips.
In the second half Coates kept Vauxhall in the hunt with several top notch saves. Meechan was the first to see Coates in action, with a finger tip save, before Battersby had Coates flying to the top corner to deny him with a palm over. From the corner, the ball came out to Briggs, who fired in low, and Coates scooped up. After ex-Celt Field had seen a tame distant effort call Phillips into action, Newbold was brought on for Meechan, and was unlucky not to score his opening goal for Celtic. His first effort was a stooping header off an inch perfect Wilkinson cross, but Coates dived to his right to put the ball over the bar, before the corner was not cleared properly and Wilkinson again found Newbold only for Coates to save his best save for last with a close range reaction flying save keeping the score line respectable for the visitors who had been outplayed in the second half.
Although the play-offs are still mathematically reachable, the five point difference with nine to play for between ourselves and Telford is probably insurmountable.