Warrington started well, as Celtic struggled to cope with uneven pitch with extra long grass. It was Jan Budtz who was the busiest of the two keepers with a good stop from Andy Potter off a free kick, with Connor Millington's effort straaight at Budtz for an easy catch. At the other end, Celtic were creating the chances, but without any great accuracy. Craig Hobson had the best of the efforts, with a thirty yard shot that saw former Welsh international youth goal keeper Paul Pritchard flying across his goal.
After a foul from Glenn Rule on Salmon near the corner flag, Warrington's pressure finally told, and Tom Hardwick got a telling touch on the cross into the box to put the ball beyond Budtz for the opening goal. It could have been two almost immediately afterwards, but when Chris Gaghan broke free out wide, but put his shot across the face and out with his striker partner unable to get any kind of touch on it.
A low shot from Marsh started the Celtic revival, as he burst into the box, his curling shot flashed wide of the far post, whilst Craig Hobson beat the offside trap, brought a cross down and rolled the ball beyond the outstretched fingers of Pritchard, but also beyond the post. Alan White came up for a free kick and got his head on the ball, but saw his thumping header blocked on route to goal. However, Celtic's pressure was telling and right before half time, Connor Jenings beat Michael Duffy and provided an inch perfect cross for Craig Hobson arriving at the back post. Hobson did not disappoint, putting his header into the top corner.
The second half started with Celtic on top. This translated into Craig Hobson playing a great ball through for Phil Marsh to chase onto, and with only Pritchard to beat, Marsh showed great composre flicking the baall over Pritchard and into the top corner beyond the keeper's reach. Callum Warbuton found some space at twenty-five yard but his cracking effort was straight down Pritchard's throat, whilst Craig Hobson was unlucky not to add to his own tally with a swearving dipping effort that Pritchard met near the post, lifting the ball awkwardly over his bar. Connor Jennings got into two excellent positions just inside the box, but both times flashed wide.
As time started running out for Warrington, they started pushing forward and Jan Budtz had to save at the second attempt on his line as Salmon knocked a low shot in from the left. Budtz thought quickly and bypassed the entire team leaving Phil Marsh to outpace Michael Tomlinson and go one-on-one with Pritchard, as the Town keeper raced out, Marsh leant back and lifted the ball over the advancing keeper and into the back of the net. Jennings could have added a gloss to the scoreline, but his scorching shot was fisted away by a flying Pritchard as the game entered stoppage time.
Warrington through everything forward and did carve chances, with Tom Hardwick nodding a free kick straight at Budtz and Connor Millington firing low with a shot that Budtz put past his post. From the corner Tom Rutter put over the bar, and there was no more time for Warrington to get back into it.
Celtic must await until Monday lunchtime now to see who they face in the fourth qualifying round.
|6||Wade, Adam||> 85|
|7||Hardwick, Robert||> 74|
|15||Anderson, Connor||< 85|
|17||Hickey, Anthony||< 74|