Celtic edged towards a play off place with a vital win at Gloucester City, with the goals having welcome, but unlikely sources.
The opening goal came three minutes in, Jack Rea have the time and space to take a rare rocket of a shot and grab his first ever goal for Celtic despite making appearances in every game of the season.
Celtic never really looked like releasing their grip on the game, though Tom Hamblin went close from a set-piece. Rhys Meynell and Greg Wilkinson saw efforts fly over the bar, and Steve Brogan couldn't get the pace on the ball to beat stand-in keeper Chris Humphries, whilst Hamblin got closer from a set-piece just before the interval, but Jan Budtz was alert and well positioned.
Right at the start of the second half, the Tigers were back in the game when a mix up among the attackers and defenders saw Darren Mullings get his head to a ball, and have it roll comically slowly towards goal. Despite the balls speed, Jan Budtz was unable to get back to keep the ball out.
Celtic needed to regain the lead, and after Greg Wilkinson had crashed his shot wide, Dennis Sheriff was brought on. Within seconds of replacing Wilkinson, Sheriff found himself in the box, inches from goal, waiting for a simple header to put Celtic back in the lead, but the ball crashed off the bar, and a relieved City defence hacked it clear.
Sheriff made up for the miss with as clinical a finish as possible, moments later, put through by Brogan, the Celtic substitute kept his nerve and slotted his one-on-one effort low past Humphries.
Celtic fashioned several more chances in the final quarter of an hour, keeping Gloucester on the back foot. Matt Lock received his marching orders for a two footed challenge, making City's climb even steeper, but they had Humphries to thank for keeping the score-line respectable with an excellent stop off Chris Lynch. Arthur Gnahoua also got a chance after doing the hard work in the box, but the shot lacked the drive, and Humphries scooped it up. Darren Edwards tried a speculative effort as the game went into stoppage time, but Budtz didn't have to move, and Celtic took the welcome three points.
Celtic are keeping the pressure on the play-off teams going into the last game of the season when we face Hinckley at home, Other results mean that reaching the play-offs is now out of our hands and relies on Nuneaton, Gainsborough or Halifax fluffing their last game of the season.
|2||Rawling, Sam||> 80|
|10||Wilson, Scott||> 80|
|11||Bird, David||> 80|
|14||Lloyd, George||< 80|
|15||Webb, Tom||< 80|
|16||Liddiard, Matt||< 80|