Rhys Meynell got the first chance from a set piece, curling the ball up and over the wall, but Phil Barnes was well placed to catch comfortably. However, Barnes had to show his metal as Lloyd Ellams turned his markers inside out and unleashed a cannonball that Barnes did well to parry away, with Craig Hobson unlucky to see his header loop over the bar. Celtic kept coming, and Barnes was at full stretch to deny Wilkinson’s shot, and then slid in to block Hobson on the follow-up.
Celtic always looked likely to score, and when Dominic Roma’s late challenge on the box on Phil Marsh as the Celtic striker left the Trinity defender behind saw the official point immediately to the spot. Marsh stepped up and sent Barnes completely the wrong way to give Celtic the lead.
Ellams nearly added to it with a thunderous shot after Marsh played him in, but Gavin Cowan got in the way. Gainsborough got to half time without a shot on target.
Trinity started the second half the stronger, and Jamie Yates’s free kick was caught by Jan Budtz from Gainsborough’s first shot on target in the game. Budtz was there again to deny Yates from another free kick. Callum Warburton was brought on, and he immediately gave Celtic the upper hand. Lloyd Ellams set Warburton on his way, and he placed the ball perfectly beyond Barnes’ fingertips within seconds of him coming on.
The game could have swung in Gainsborough’s favour when Shane Clarke’s top corner shot came flying in, but Jan Budtz pulled off the save of the match to deny him.
That save gave Celtic the impetus to take control of the game, and they did so with gusto. Ellams turning in the box before firing wide, and Connor Jennings forcing Barnes into another stop before seeing shot lifted over the bar by Roma. Such was the comfort level, Chris Lynch, a defender, brought the ball all the way from the edge of his own box, dodging tackles, nutmegging a player and then firing a rocket narrowly wide. Celtic finally unlocked the creaking Gainsborough defence as Callum Warburton’s diagonal ball found Phil Marsh who showed great skill and composure to round two defenders and curl a shot over Barnes.
Minutes later and it was four for the Celts, when Jennings laid off to Greg Wilkinson and he looked up and hit the ball hard enough to set the post rattling as it bounded off it and into the back of the net with Barnes rooted.
Four up, and cruising, Celtic were content to avoid injury or suspension, keeping Gainsborough at bay fairly easily, the closest they came was a Gavin Cowan header over the bar from a corner. And it could have been five when Phil Marsh struck a free kick with bend and pace that Barnes did well to lap across and bat away, keeping the scoreline fairly respectable.
|2||Roma, Dominic||> 75|
|6||Leary, Michael||> 65|
|12||Clare, Daryl||< 65|
|15||Waterfall, Luke||< 75|