For much of the first half, it was a cagey game, with Solihull looking happy for a point, and Celtic probing for a way through. Andy Smart had an early effort fly wide, and Briggs headed a corner wide of the mark in a half that was waiting to ignite. That came through Jody Banim. A bursting run with five minutes left in the half that span just wide seemed to get the team moving, and when Andy Smart lifted the ball over the defence for Keith Briggs, the irrepressible Celtic captain lifted out a leg and lobbed the ball at full stretch over Danny Crane in the Solihull nets. Right before the interval, Junior English saw Dave Carnell tip his speculative effort over the bar it was probably going to hit, conceding a corner, but Celtic defended it well and went in a goal to the good.
The second half saw Solihull attack from the off, and it required Carnell to be on his toes as both Ryan Beswick and Junior English tested him, with the latter?s shot parried out to Beswick to rifle into an empty net and pull the visitors level. Jody Banim again ignited the Celtic side, seconds from the restart, he threw a throw-in to Michael Twiss, who saw Banim?s run and provided an inch perfect pass for Banim to latch back onto and curl exquisitely into the top corner. Twiss seemed to have found his role in the team, and moments later provided another inch perfect ball, this time a cleverly disguised diagonal ball that split the Solihull defence and Matty Barlow full of confidence latched onto it, and lifted it over Crane as the keeper went down.
Celtic lowered the tempo, conscious of another game forty-eight hours away, unwilling to pick up injuries or suspensions. However, Briggs was desperately unlucky to see his acute angle shot pass Crane, only to be hacked off the line by Theo Streete. Tim Gould had to hang his head in shame when he was put through one-on-one with Dave Carnell, and completely fluffed his chance in front of goal, but as Junior English did the same, he wasn?t alone, Solihull?s top scorer missing a virtual open goal from ten yards out.
Warren Peyton curled a free kick too much, and Joe O?Neill skied his only chance after coming on for Banim, but it was that man Twiss again, who provided an inch perfect corner to Connor Jennings to nod superbly in at the near post to ensure that there was no way back for Solihull. Twiss got a chance himself to get on the score sheet right at the death as Jenning?s returned the favour, but though he had the time to set himself, he couldn?t get enough bend on the ball to put a gloss on the score line.
|9||Edwards, Jake||> 69|
|10||Lea, Dean||> 74|
|11||Beswick, Ryan||> 51|
|12||Gardner, Matt||< 51|
|14||Dempster, Ross||< 69|
|16||Downes, Lee||< 74|