From the first moments of the game Celtic looked better than Vauxhall. In the past this hasnít translated into results, but Celtic leapt from the bottom three convincingly.
Inside the first ten minutes, Celtic carved Vauxhall open, with Paul Ennis on the end of a cross field move and he tried to curl the ball just past Zak Jonesís fingertips, snicking the outside of the post instead of the inside. Josh Green followed suit moments later, but his shot was slightly further out, curling round the far post. Celtic had a strong penalty appeal turned down as Ryan Croasdale was bundled over, bu a free kick on the edge of the box. Celtic had a couple of set pieces that caused Vauxhall a world of trouble. A floated free kick was won by Liam Dickinson, but Jones made the stop, and everybody watched breathlessly as the win caught Ennisís corner, only for it to hit the side netting.
It wasnít all Celticís own way, and Vauxhall had a strong patch midway through the half, with their best chance a Steve Tames shot that had Danny East beaten, but Oliver Crowley (in for the injured Kelvin Bleau) stuck out a leg and diverted the ball away. The chance kick started Vauxhall, and from a corner they tried to smash the ball through a crowded box, winning a couple of corners, but not breaching the resolute rear guard that put bodies on the line to deny the home side a goal advantage.
After weathering the storm, Celtic stormed back themselves, and Sean McConville came within a whisker of opening the scoring, his shot across Jones thudding back off the post and into Jonesís welcoming arms. McConville was then put through by a flicked header off Dickinson, but the ball was a fraction of an inch to far forward and he couldnít get the power to beat Jones. An Ennis free kick was well stopped by Jones, whilst Vauxhall were forced to shoot from distance. With Lloyd Ellams in the team this isnít a problem, and he unleashed a trademark looping shot Danny East did very well to fly across his goal to and tip over the bar.
A goal was coming, and it came from a set piece. Sean McConvilleís perfectly flighted ball through the swirling wind was away from Jones, and fell at the back post where Matt Regan stuck out a boot and diverted the shot in at the bottom corner.
The second half wasnít more of the same, it was just more. Celtic battered the home side, straight from the off, Sean McConville was forcing Jones into a straightforward save, but one he had to make, and was generally causing a whole lot of grief for the home side so it was ni surprised when McConville wriggled around Andy Nicholas only for the Motors defender to clumsily bundle McConville over.
Kristian Platt stepped up and powered the ball into the bottom corner, Jones left looking at it from the other side of his goal.
Celtic continued to press Vauxhall all over the park, and McConville was again at the heart of things when his lifted pass freed Liam Dickson to race down on goal. Jones was positioned well for the bearing down of the big striker, what Jones didnít expect was Dickinsonís awareness of other players around him, and there was no strike, instead he played a square ball into the path of Ryan Croasdale to slide in and turn home.
There was a moment of relief for the home side when Lloyd Ellams put in a sixty-five yard diagonal ball to the fresh legs of Adam Hughes. He wrong footed Crowley and fired across East and into the far corner. With fifteen minutes left, Vauxhall made it uncomfortable for Celtic, with plenty of pressure, but East was hardly tested, collecting what needed collecting, and distributing from the back.
Celtic were well worth a three goal victory. The win lifted Celtic two places, thanks to fortuitous results elsewhere. Hopefully they can now push on with renewed confidence.
|3||Davies, Owen||> 85|
|8||Williams, Matthew||> 68|
|12||Hughes, Adam||< 68|
|14||Johnstone, Bram||< 85|