Match Report -
Celtic self-destruct Solihull Capitalise
By Iain Benson

Solihull had to work for the points today, but they were willing to put a shift in, and deserved the three points with three well taken goals.

Jasbir Singh did his bit for the side, catching Kristian Platt’s free kick early on, but the vast majority of the play was around the Celtic box, with Dior Angus putting the ball wide when it looked easier to score, and Junior English will be kicking himself for putting his shot into the grateful arms of Alex Cairns. Prince Haywood saw his twenty-yard effort saved fairly comfortably by Singh, whilst neither Chris Hall nor Greg Wilkinson could keep their efforts down.

It was of little surprise when Solihull took the lead. A free kick was pumped into the box, and Celtic completely failed to deal with it properly as it bounced around, until it bounced nicely in front of Junior English, and he hooked the ball over his shoulder with his back to goal, wrong footing Cairns from close range and opening the scoring.

Mitchell Austin could have got a goal back for Celtic as he burst past his defender, but he hesitated allowing Singh to advance, and for Stuart Pierpoint to get across. Pierpoint took Austin’s feet, but the Celtic man kept his feet and trying to dink the ball over Singh, the Moors’ keeper getting a hand to the ball.

The second half continued to be Moors pressure, and though the Celtic defence were dealing admirably with the threat, they were undone with Omar Bogle received the ball off English after English had intercepted a woefully underhit pass from Wilkinson and sent his striker partner on a run that culminated in a second goal for the visitors. Moments later and it was three, a long throw causing confusion in a packed box, and Reece Fleet’s angled diving header diverting the ball past Cairns.

Celtic looked short of ideas for getting past the physical Solihull side, and it took two excellent saves from Cairns to keep the scoreline respectable, the first a point blank reaction save from Pierpoint’s header off a corner, and later a reaction block from Bogle as the Moorsman was through.

With five minutes left on the clock, and Celtic throwing the kitchen sink at the Solihull defence, the entire team earned the clean sheet with stonewall defending; Platt’s effort from an uncleared corner striking Pierpoint, the ball coming out to Jack Laird who smashed the ball goalward, only for Dominic Langdon to hurl himself across the goal-line and block. Joel Bembo-Leta, pushed up front, couldn’t get the power on his effort to beat Singh, and Solihull were able to run down the clock, and even have one final effort ; Ryan Beswick’s free kick caught comfortably by Cairns.

Celtic can have no complaints at the result. Solihull worked harder.

1Singh, Jasbir  
2Pierpoint, Stuart  
3Blackwood, Michael  > 76
4Fleet, Reece  
5Broadhurst, Karl  > 80
6Langdon, Dominic  
7Angus, Dior  > 76
8Denny, Dior  
9Bogle, Omar  
10English, Junior  
11Beswick, Ryan  
12Connolly, Luke  < 80
14Spencer, Danny  < 76
15Knights, Darryl  < 76
16Hayden, Lewis  
17Acton, Darren  
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