Celtic came into the game with a hundred percent start to maintain. And they did, with another outstanding display despite going two goals down.
Lloyd Ellams tested Aaran Taylor early on with a shot that the Workington keeper bundled round the post for a corner, whilst at the other end, Gareth Arnison lofted a high ball into Jam Budtz’s arms. The game was evenly contested, with Ellams, Craig Hobson and Adam Kay all firing wide of the mark as the Workington defence was prodded and probed, although it needed a sliding goal-line block by Kristian Platt to deny Arnison with Budtz beaten.
The game burst into life on the half hour mark when Jakes Simpson and Gareth Arnison interchanged to get behind the Celtic back line, with Arnison pulling the ball back for Simpson who fired low and hard at the near post, with Budtz unable to get down quickly enough. Minutes later, and it was two. Workington poured forward and passed the ball across the face of goal with the Celtic defence at sixes and sevens, before Phil McLuckie found fullback Hewson with enough space to fire Workington into a two goal lead.
It was going to take something special if Celtic were to get back into it, and it did. Greg Wilkinson freed Andy McWilliams to pound down the wing, and he whipped in a superb cross for Adam Kay coming in. Kay had the presence of mind to lift the ball over the advancing keeper and in under the bar to drag one back. Seconds later and Kay fired low into the box, and Marsh’s powerful strike took a slight deflection off Kyle May to lift the ball the extra inch onto the crossbar.
The crossbar was still vibrating when Ellams tricked his way into the box, and as the keeper moved off his line fired for the near post only to smack the base of the frame, whilst at the other end, Budtz pulled off a super stop when Wright’s effort was deflected off Chris Lynch towards the top corner, with Budtz reacting superbly to keep the score at 2-1 at the interval.
The second half saw Celtic turn on the style.
Ellams’s lofted shot was an easy catch for Taylor, but when Adam Kay rounded the Workington keeper, it needed a sliding goal line clearance from Lee Andrews to deny Kay his second of the match. Connor Jennings eventually received the corner, but his powerful drive was an inch the wrong side of the post. Workington were throwing defenders in the way of Celtic, with May getting in the path of an Ellams rocket, and Marsh putting the rebound wide, but a goal was coming. The first was Marsh’s chalked for a dubious offside, but that didn’t stop Celtic.
Wilkinson set Marsh off on a run, he skipped past one challenge before smashing the ball into the back of the net to draw Celtic level and thirty seconds later, McWilliams found Jennings who coolly lifted the ball over Taylor to put Celtic in front.
Some of the football was excellent to watch, and Celtic were opening up Workington at will, with Marsh’s overhead kick and Ellams’s placement shots both going close, and Jennings rounding the keeper only to be unable to bend his shot enough, and it set the other post vibrating. Celtic finished the game off in style, when Mark Boyd gave the ball away cheaply in the middle, with Taylor hopelessly out of position and racing back as Warburton’s interception fell into Marsh’s path to run into the box, and slot home Celtic’s fourth.
Workington continued to try and play football, and did win a corner with minutes left on the clock, that Arnison met with a header at close range, but Budtz reacted again exceptionally well to tip the ball over the bar.
When Warburton again intercepted a loose pass, this time it was Jennings on a run, and the sweeping ball opened up the Workington defence, and Jennings made no mistake firing across Taylor and in off the post to give Celtic a glossy score line.
|8||Dillon, Sam||> 65|
|10||Wright, Jonny||> 75|
|11||Simpson, Jake||> 75|
|12||Hopper, Tony||< 65|
|14||Murray-Jones, Andy||< 75|
|15||Sloan, Mark||< 75|