Celtic stormed through to the semi-final of the Cheshire Senior Cup against a talented and committed Runcorn Linnets team, fresh off the back of a ten game unbeaten run.
The game started with Celtic possession being used to create chances. Jack Laird twice made Adam Judge work in the Linnet's nets, with half chances that he got power behind. A goal was on the cards, and it came from a set piece. Callum Warburton whipped in a great free kick, and Corey Gregory added to his two goals already in the competition with a great finish.
It could have been two moments later when Gregory was through again, but Judge denied him with a flying save.
Celtic's lead lasted ten minutes, when Runcorn pulled a goal back from a corner. The Celtic defence struggled to clear as Runcorn kept banging the ball back in, with bodies hacking the balls clear, only for Michael Tomlinson to finally get a clean contact on his shot and send it spinning into the back of the net.
The second half started off as a battle, and it looked like a battle Runcorn would win, but Celtic kept them at bay, and tried to create chances of their own. Runcorn defended well also, and kept slamming the door as chances looked to open up. One such chance for Mitchell Austin resulted in Celtic winning a corner. It was fitting therefore that it was Austin that got onto Warburton's corner and diverted it into the back of the net.
The game ran to a conclusion with the chances mainly falling Celtic's way as Runcorn started to run out of steam. Adam Pepper tried to poke the ball past Judge, but the Linnet's keeper was down quickly, and even Joel Bembo-Leta got forward and tried to place the ball past Judge when one-on-one, but again Judge kept Celtic at bay. Right at the death, Gregory's effort was palmed away with a decent stop, before Jack Laird came less than an inch away from adding to Celtic's tally with a twenty-five yard curling dipping volley that flew over Judge and smacked against the crossbar.
Celtic now face Northwich Victoria in the semi-final; the tie to take place on Tuesday.
|9||McDowell, Ross||> 67|
|10||Houghton, Mark||> 82|
|12||Cross, Matt||< 82|
|14||Salmon, Gavin||< 67|