Match Report -
Celtic have the answer to Droylsden's jibes...
By Iain Benson
A comprehensive victory from Celtic over a Droylsden side possibly with one eye on next weekend's FA Cup game, but it was a full team that Droylsden put out and that were swept aside by Celtic, the team Droylsden's manager publicly claimed would be "relegated by Christmas".

The opening period of the game was cagey, with Celtic prodding and probing at a resolute Droylsden back line until Callum Warburton's precision pass unlocked it, allowing Phil Marsh to race through and slide the ball beyond the fingertips of ex-Celtic keeper, Paul Phillips.

Celtic continued to look to get balls behind the Droylsden back line, but were unable to breach it again in the half, which ended without any sign of what was to come.

The second started with Droylsden's first attempt on goal, a disappointing thunderbolt from Lee Roche that never looked like going in. Celtic responded immediately, with Marsh racing in on Andy McWilliam's through ball only to see Phillips pull off a good low stop; the rebound came to McWilliams who had continued his run and he smashed it into the goal to give Celtic a cushion and allow them to run rampant.

Lee Elam was brought on for Connor Jennings, and Droylsden handed Elam the freedom of the park by moving to three at the back by taking off the man who would have marked Elam, Liam Brownhill for Jody Banim. Elam immediately set about the back three, playing a neat passing game with Phil Marsh and Jack Rea, before smashing a shot towards goal that hit Nat Kerr's head and looped over Phillips and into the far corner.

Elam continued to terrorise the Droylsden back line, forcing a top notch one handed flying save from Phillips and pulling the ball back for Marsh who saw Phillips fly the other way across his goal to deny him his second. Phillips was again on hand for a well placed shot from substitute Craig Hobson, scooping it up.

Banim went close for the visitors, but was forced to shoot from an awkward angle by excellent defending by Kristian Platt, sending his shot well wide in the end, whilst Steve Connors completed Droylsden's attempts on goal with a distance effort that was narrowly over the bar.

Glenn Rule overlapped with Elam, but fired just past the post as the game went into stoppage time. Elam unlocked the Droylsden defence twice more in stoppage time, first lifting the ball over the defence for Warburton to bring down for Marsh to smash across Phillips and just past the far post, and then again sending Marsh past an overworked Droylsden defence to go one-on-one with Phillips, Marsh drew the visiting keeper, before lobbing him from an acute angle to send the home crowd wild and himself to the top of the league's goal scoring chart.

1Phillips, PaulYellow Card 
2Roche, LeeYellow Card 
3Brownhill, Liam  > 55
4Byron, Mike  
5Hardiker, John  > 45
6Brown, Alex  
7Killeen, Lewis  
8Connors, Steve  
9Kilheeney, Ciaran  
10McNiven, David  
11Holden, LukeYellow Card > 68
12Banim, Jody  < 55
14Rouse, Domaine  < 68
15Gardner, Dan  
16Cryan, Colin  
17Kerr, Nat  < 45
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