Match Report -
Fifth clean sheet in nine fails to take all the points
By Iain Benson

Celtic faced ten men for most of the game, but failed to capitalise, nor overly test the stand-in keeper, leading to a frustrating, goalless but sunny afternoon in Harrogate.

The hosts started the brighter of the two teams, with Daniel Clayton’s volley from a corner striking the post, and Shane Killock heading the rebound wide before a Princce Haywood through ball sent Chris Hall one-on-one with Harrogate keeper, Jose Da Veiga. Despite coming out of his area, Hall tried to nod the ball past the keeper, only for Da Veiga to push it away with his hand. The referee had no choice, but to dismiss Da Veiga, and Matthew Bloomer took his place in goal. Kristian Platt’s resulting free kick was deflected over the bar, and Harrogate broke from the corner, Colin Larkin giving Alex Cairns the first of his saves of the afternoon.

Both Tom Buckley and Adam Parkhouse fired wide, both cutting across the face of goal, with nobody able to divert the errant shots on target, while Haywood spotted Bloomer in completely the wrong place and tried a chip from forty yards, but it lacked the pace and Bloomer was able to race across to catch. At the other end, it was as though neither side had lost a man. Larkin had a great chance, only to be denied by a great save from Cairns.

It was a double save during a mad scramble at the second half for the Celtic keeper, as first Larkin cut in from one side, with Cairns making the block, and as Celtic tried to scramble it clear, Clayton had a stab, only for Cairns to get something on it, and Callum Warburton to hack clear. Former Celt, Lee Elam, showed he still has it with a trick at the edge of the box, but the final effort was disappointing and straight at Cairns.

Chris Hall had a great chance, but his looping effort was deflected narrowly wide, and again Celtic couldn’t capitalise from the set piece. Kelvin Bleau was brought on for the injured Dylan O’Connor, and immediately had an impact, trading passes with Buckley to get in a fine position. His shot had power and precision, but the stand-in keeper, Bloomer, did very well to react and deflect the shot wide. Mitchell Austin, on for Adam Parkhouse, beat everybody and the far post with his effort, before Tom Buckley’s power drive from the edge of the box was tipped away with an athletic save for a fullback.

Although the last ten minutes were all Celtic, Austin and Hall’s efforts were disappointing when clean through, and both with be annoyed that they failed to test the temporary keeper more, and Celtic come away with a point, although it stretches the unbeaten league run to seven games.

1Da Veiga, JoseRed Card 
2Bloomer, Matthew  
3Merris, Dave  
4Elam, Lee  > 81
5White, AlanYellow Card > 68
6Killock, Shane  
7Samuels , Dwayne  
8Bolland, Paul  
9Larkin, Colin  
10Woods, Michael  
11Clayton, Daniel  > 58
12Allan, Jonny  < 81
14Radcliffe, Craig  < 68
15Hull, Danny  < 58
16Garbutt, Josh  
17Chilaka, Chib  
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