The quality of the football remained as high as ever, but Gainsborough started both halves the stronger of the two sides with James Clarke's low drive blocked by Steve Woods after Jan Budtz was left stranded punching out a cross, and Paul Mayo fired a free kick wide of the mark. As the game went on, Celtic got into stride, and pushed Trinity back into their own box.
There was still a little too much football played in the box by Celtic, but Phil Marsh had perfect placement when Lee Ellams shot crashed between Andrew Boyce's legs putting the Celtic striker into a great position to strike, rolling it just beyond Phil Barnes's fingertips.
Marsh could have added to it at the near post moments later, trying the repeat the trick after some good work by Lee Elam put Marsh in, whilst Lloyd Ellams forced a super diving save from Barnes with a snap shot from the edge of the box. Seconds later, and Celtic were back at the Trinity box , this time Ellams putting a half volley off a super Connor Jennings cross narrowly wide.
As Celtic pressure continued to mount Leon Hibbert's tackle as Elam burst into the box was mistimed and brought the Celtic man to the ground. Straight penalty, and Phil Marsh dispatched it with ease.
Barnes continued to be the busiest keeper, as he denied first Ellams with an excellent full stretch dive from an angled drive, and then Marsh after Marsh was put through with an intelligent ball from Greg Wilkinson. There was just enough time before the half ended for Ellams to have a shot from the edge of the box, but it was straight at Barnes.
Trinity started the second half strongly, with a super diagonal ball from Mettam freeing his strike partner, and Jefferson Louis got full blooded contact, but Budtz was perfectly placed to make the save look straightforward. Louis then put a header over the bar from a corner, and Mettam blazed wide from a good position as Celtic struggled to get back into the game against the vastly more experienced side. However, get back into it they did, and Ellams tried a cheeky shot from the corner of the box, but Barnes had read it well. Connor Jennings ran onto a seemingly hopeless cause and Paul Mayo got back to make the tackle, sliding in from behind and he looked to have put the ball out for a corner, but it was seen differently by the officials, who pointed to the spot. With it a dubious penalty, perhaps justice was done when Barnes guessed correctly and pushed the spot-kick away, only for Marsh to be right there, forcing the Trinity keeper into a near post save at the expense of a corner.
The corner routine was well worked, and it came back to Wilkinson who had the space to shoot, taking it but lacking the power to trouble Barnes.
With ten minutes to go, Mark Hume was brought on to add muscle up front, and immediately set about causing problems for the Celtic defence, with Sam Aiston blazing wide after Hume held the ball up for him. However, the Celtic defence quickly contained Hume and tho the pressure was all on the Celtic back line, they held firm to take a well deserved three points.
|7||Clarke, James||> 64|
|10||Metham, Leon||> 78|
|12||Davies, Josh||< 64|
|17||Hume, Mark||< 78|