Match Report -
Celtic go top of the league
By Iain Benson
Celtic continued their record of one hundred percent wins at Redditch, started the opening game of the season with an away win for the first time since 1988, and went top of the table on goals for.

O?Neill and Barlow both went agonisingly close to opening the scoring in the opening few minutes, before Hankin traded passes with Barlow and diverted the ball across Lewis in the Redditch nets for the opener twenty minutes in. Peyton forced Lewis into a great reaction save, and O?Neill?s run and shot onto Barlow?s cushioned header went just past the upright. After Carr volleyed a good try, but ultimately well wide, Barlow got onto a Battersby free kick, turning past the wrong footed Redditch keeper and into the bottom corner.

Just before the break, a free kick was pushed to the touch line by Peyton and whipped in by Smart, Hardiker and Spittall both got there at the same time, with Spittall?s touch being the most telling, pushing the ball into the back of his own net. Redditch had not registered a shot on target all through the first half.

Harsh words were obviously used in the Redditch dressing room and both Bridgewater and Clark saw decent efforts stopped by an imperious Phillips. Hankin was denied a second cutting in and firing low, before Carr was sliced right through by Charlton with only the keeper to beat. With some baying for red, Charlton got off lightly with a booking. Smart took the penalty, and it was a good penalty, but Lewis chose correctly and got a strong fist on the ball. Peyton could have added to the total with a fine curling effort that Charlton blocked on the line.

From the corner, Redditch cleared, and Byrne proved to be the quickest on the pitch when he raced up field and had the presence of mind to round Phillips and get one back for the home team.

The two goal cushion became three again within six minutes, when Barlow latched onto a Briggs through ball, and lobbed Lewis, who got a hand to the lob, but not enough to keep it out.

Redditch, buoyed by the goal, had a glorious opportunity to pull one back when Hay curled the ball past Phillips, only for Carr to hack off the line, the ball landing at Clark?s feet, who fired straight back in and into Phillips?s hands. Keeling planted a header into the top corner from a corner kick, but Lewis made the save, as he did when Barlow attempt to knock it past him for a hattrick, and as he did again when Jennings came on for O?Neill and outpaced the defence before trying to slide the ball past Lewis, but the Redditch keeper kept the score line respectable.

1Lewis, Danny  
2Spittal, Lucan  > 83
3Charlton, AsaYellow Card 
4Dickinson, Chris  
5Francis, Francino  > 46
6Francis, LiamYellow Card 
7Byrne, JackYellow Card 
8Bridgewater, Dave  
9Hay, Gary  
10Clark, Joe  
11Cooper, James  > 66
12Sheldon, Jamie  
14Ball, Richard  < 46
15Ducross, Andy  < 66
16Bullimore, Brad  < 83
17Weyman, Mat  
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