Celtic are still looking for their first win of 2012 after handing the initiative to Colwyn Bay.
Celtic easily looked the most likely winners in the opening half hour, with Greg Wilkinson cutting through a crowd to fired down Chris Sanna's throat before testing his reaction with a zipped in shot from the edge of the box that Sanna saw late. Chris Lynch was unlucky when he found himself in the six yard box still up from a previous corner, beating Frank Sinclair, but heading wide. Greg Wilkinson almost broke the dead lock with a low diagonal shot off Craig Hobson's lay off, with Sanna spilling the shot, only for it to roll agonisingly wide.
The game changed just past the half hour mark when Andy McWilliams was running up the pitch with a trademark run, only for John McKenna to look more likely to reach the ball. McWilliams launched himself to reach the ball first, and did take the ball, but with McKenna right on top of it, the referee decided it was dangerous play and dismissed McWilliams. Celtic re-organised, and though Steve Brogan saw his wicked curling free kick well stopped, Colwyn Bay took advantage of the extra man and the lack of cover at full back for Luke Denson to get forward and cross a simple cross to the near post. Nobody dealt with it and Rob Hopley popped up to nod home the opening goal.
Lynch nearly got an equaliser from an in-swinging Brogan free kick, as he turned and shot, but Matty Hughes got in the way in a goal mouth scramble, and it was the visitors who got the next goal right on half time, Hopley again, lofting the ball over Craig McGillivray in the Celtic nets.
The second half got no better. Hopley got his hat-trick minutes after the restart with a looping header over McGillivray from Sheldon Payne's floated cross.
Jack Rea went marauding forward, but with Colwyn Bay picking up his pass options, he chose the shot, and twice went close with Sanna again spilling the shot and having the good fortune for it to trickle wide, and on the second dropping it, but smothering before substitute Steve Brogan could pounce. A late challenge by Wilkinson just outside the Celtic box saw Luke Denson produce a superb curling free kick straight into the top corner to give Colwyn Bay a fourth goal from their fourth on-target shot.
After this, Colwyn had the wherewithal to keep it tight, play it about and leave Celtic looking off the pace. Celtic did force the occasional chance, but wwith Frank Sinclair mopping up most of the balls into the defence, the only real chance fell to Greg Wilkinson from a corner, firing the ball back in, and Sanna doing well to block the ball, leaving Celtic goalless and with one point from four games. The torrid start to 2012 continues.
|7||Evans, Gareth||> 75|
|9||Hopley, Rob||> 82|
|11||Payne, Shelton||> 77|
|12||Noon, Karl||< 77|
|14||Davey, Lee||< 82|
|16||Benson, Liam||< 75|