Match Report -
A pulsating game
By Iain Benson

Celtic had three good shouts for penalties waved away in a pulsating game against Guiseley. The visitors had the lion’s share of the chances, but our blank against the Lions continues.

In the first attack of the game, Celtic moved swiftly forward, it looked as though last ditch defending from Guiseley had thwarted Phil Marsh, but Greg Wilkinson got onto the spinning ball, drove it back in and smashed a shot off the outside of the post. Connor Jennings, fresh back from his England scoring début, flashed a diagonal shot across the face narrowly wide, and Marsh went close with a header, as Celtic camped in the Guiseley half. With the home side not having a sniff of a chance it was Guiseley’s defending game that kept them in it, a sliding block from Simon Ainge denying what would have been a Lloyd Ellams screamer, Joel Bembo-Leta getting the highest from the corner but putting his bullet header over the bar. Steve Brogan collected a clearance and ran to goal before misfiring and sending his shot the wrong side of the post, before Steven Drench was finally tested on the half hour mark when Celtic took a quick free kick and Jennings forced the Guiseley keeper into a good low stop. The home keeper was tested again moments later when Phil Marsh fired toward he near post, but Drench was well placed.

Just before the interval Gusieley finally breached the Celtic rear-guard, Dave Merris’s zipped cross finding Danny Forrest, but the Guiseley striker fired into Rhys Meynell at the edge of the box.

The second half was more of the same, Guiseley pressed back with some last ditch defending, Ellams looping a shot over the crossbar, before Marsh’s header to the back post was comfortably caught in the end by Drench. Celtic’s first penalty shout came when Gavin Rothery slid across the box to deny Wilkinson, taking the ball with his hand on the way past, plain as day and denied.

It was always going to be the way that Guiseley would grab something against the run of play, and after a harshly adjudge foul by Wilkinson just inside the Celtic half, the ball was floated into the box, where there was a mad scramble, and Michael Brough got the killer touch firing jubilantly past Budtz. A ten minute spell of Guiseley pressure followed, with some good defensive play on show from Celtic, and a sensational point blank stop from Jan Budtz to deny Danny Forrest from a corner.

Celtic looked disjointed during that period, but the introduction of Craig Hobson steadied the ship once more, and Celtic looked likely to score again. Marsh firing into Drench’s midriff before being unceremoniously pushed off the ball by Merris almost sending him through the perimeter fencing. Again no penalty was awarded despite protestations from the Celtic players. The game ebbed and flowed from end to end as Guiseley pressed and Celtic countered. Jennings went close, before substitute Mitchell Austin burst past Jamie Clarke only to be upended five yards outside the box. Brogan took a sublime free kick over everybody’s heads and into the far top corner with Drench able to just watch it fly in.

Despite being on a yellow card for that foul, Clarke did the exact same thing two minutes later, this time taking out McWilliams. Clarke walked, but Brogan was unable to repeat his feet. A Marsh effort was blocked by an outstretched hand from Ainge in the box; but the ball was travelling at such pace, that despite having his hands out to the side, Ainge had no way of getting them out of the way, and no penalty was awarded.

As time was running out for Celtic to finally break their Nethermoor duck, Phil Marsh had a glorious chance from a free kick, stealing into the near post to Brogan’s free kick, and firing inches the wrong side of the post, before firing straight at Drench in stoppage time.

And that was all the time available. Celtic’s, at times constant, pressure, failed to break a steely Guiseley defence and came away with the share of the spoils.

1Drench, Steven  
2Clarke, JamieRed Card 
3Merris, Dave  
4Toner, Ciaran  
5Brough, Michael  
6Ainge, Simon  
7Baldry, Simon  
8Boshell, Danny  
9Gall, Kevin  > 82
10Forrest, Danny  
11Holdsworth, AndyYellow Card 
12Rothery, Gavin  < 82
14ONeill, Joe  
15Ellington, Lee  
16Burns, Michael  
17Giles, Jacob  
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