A night in a luxury hotel failed to inspire Keith Brigg’s men as they made it six without a win after a turgid draw on the windswept East Coast.
The Celtic Directors shelled out to give the team the best possible preparation for what was a vital game but the team looked for all the world like they had just stepped off the bus after a five hour drive in what was a poor first half.
Chances were at a premium in a tense opening, with Lewis King saving well from Robert Eagle and Jake Reed at one end and Ben McKenna blasting the Celts’ best opening wildly over when he really should have done better.
The Trawlerboys took the lead in the 18th minute when Matty Hughes, who was fortunate to escape a red card for his part in a later fracas, fouled Shaun Bammant just outside the area. Eagle’s free kick was headed away but only as far as Adam Smith who curled a wind assisted shot into the top corner from 25 yards.
At this stage another goal for the home side could have been curtains for Celtic and they seemingly had cause to be grateful to King as he acrobatically turned away Eagle’s free kick…but it wouldn’t have counted because it was indirect.
With the howling wind and presumably Briggs’ howling half time talk behind them the Bower Boys started the second half in much brighter vein, and the majority of the second stanza was played out in the Lowestoft half.
The equaliser came on 64 minutes when Matt Regan latched onto a poor clearance from substitute Erkan Okay and simply hammered his shot in off the underside of the bar from fully 30 yards to ignite joyous scenes among the surprisingly large travelling faithful.
From then on, and despite the absence of any free flowing football from either side, it appeared that only Celtic had the wherewithal to win it and they were desperately unlucky when Regan’s cross took a wicked deflection off Sam Gaughran, crashed against the Lowestoft post and span across the line and away to safety.
This result has left Celtic four points adrift in the relegation zone and in truth the performance didn’t really warrant the win that was so desperately needed to set the platform for the upturn in results that is required if the dreaded drop is to be avoided. With the Champions elect Barrow up next these are desperate times at Bower Fold.
|5||Haynes-Brown, Curtis||> 52|
|7||Mason, Dean||> 67|
|9||Reed, Jake||> 84|
|12||Henderson, Chris||< 67|
|14||Woods-Garness, Bradley||< 84|
|16||Okay, Erkan||< 52|