Match Report -
Goal drought continues despite the return of Chris Hall
By Iain Benson

Despite putting in a decent display, the Celts couldn’t overcome a solid Brackley side that are chasing promotion this season.

Brackley set out their stall early, and did well to keep Celtic at bay, despite some good possession football from the home side, and the visitors got their just rewards eleven minutes in, when Jefferson Louis had just enough space in the box to fire in a rocket of a shot that Alex Cairns could not reach, opening the scoring. From this point in, it was going to be hard for Celtic to get back into the game, against one of the best defences in the league.

There were still chances for the Celts, with Greg Wilkinson’s quick free kick seeing Billy Turley having to scramble across his goal, and Tom Buckley’s cracker of a shot from the edge of the box tipped over by the athletic Turley. Corey Gregory’s effort was deflected over the bar, and from the corner Wilkinson’s goal-bound shot was blocked on the line. At the other end, Steve Diggin’s effort was too weak to worry Cairns, and Izak Reid fired wide when through on goal.

It looked likely that Brackley would score again, and it came from an acute angle when Tom Winters threaded the ball to the unmarked Izak Reid, who had the composure to put his narrow-angled shot past Cairns just before half time.

Celtic started the second half well, with Callum Warburton’s free kick stinging Turley’s hands, and Corey Gregory’s shot on the turn going into the side netting. At the other end, Diggin’s effort lacked precision to cause problems for Cairns, but Reid’s bolt required a great full stretch save from Cairns, putting the ball out for a corner. Mitchel Austin used his pace to get past Turley, but found himself too wide to be able to curl his shot into the unguarded net, although he got a lot closer with his next effort just past the hour mark as he fired in from thirty yards with a powerful strike that Turley did well to reach.

Just when it looked like Celtic might get a goal back, with the mercurial Adam Pepper curling his effort wide, and Austin stopped as he tried to run the ball into the net, Brackley hit back after dalliance at the back let Reid in on goal, and he finished calmly.

Celtic brought had brought on Chris Hall (making his fiftieth appearance), and he found some space in the box, but his shot was blocked by Reid, Buckley getting to the loose ball, but unable to beat Turley with his solid effort. Adam Pepper tried to lift the ball over Turley, but the Brackley keeper was on his toes, and right at the death, Hall managed to work another chance with pure tenacity, but fired wide of the mark, and Brackley returned home with three goals and three points.

1Turley, Billy  
2Clifton, James  
3McDonald, Curtis  
4Odhiambo, Eddie  
5Sharp, Tom  
6Austin, Ryan  
7Reid, Izak  
8Cocoran, Michael  > 15
9Louis, Jeferson  > 74
10Walker, Glenn  
11Winters, Tom  > 66
12Nisevic, Eddie  < 66
14Story, Owen  
15Diggin, Steve  < 15
16Robinson, Marvin  < 74
17Brady, Jon  
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