Celtic didn’t play poorly, but were unable to break down a stubborn Barrow defence, and as with the game at Holker Street, one goal separated the two sides.
Celtic started well, putting Barrow under pressure, so much so that Niall Cowperthwaite had to slide in last second to divert the ball past his own post to deny Tom Bentham a goal within seconds of his Celtic debut. Celtic were the more dominant team in the first half, and this showed with a corker of a shot from Matt Regan that Aaron Taylor did well to reach. Ben McKenna was the next to try his luck, but when he eventually tricked enough space, he lacked the power to trouble Taylor. Bentham again came close when he fired back across the face putting the ball out only just past the far post. It wasn’t until just before the interval that Barrow got a chance. Lewis King went down after a long free kick, having twisted his knee ligaments, so Barrow tried their luck, Lewis Guy heading a free kick straight at King, and Paddy Lacey fired narrowly over from thirty-five yards out.
Barrow came out with more intent in the second half, whilst Celtic came out with Olly Martin between the sticks, King’s knee too painful to continue. Barrow had an early effort from Paddy Lacey again from distance, again not on target. However, Celtic were undone from a corner. Nobody able to stop Andy Cook as he powered through onto a corner, heading down with Martin spread and unable to reach.
Barrow didn’t sit back trying to hold the league, withg Lewis Guy getting to a long cross he had no right to reach, and heading back across the face, Martin thankful ot see it go wide, whilst Cook’s snap low shot was well stopped at the second attempt by Martin. Dan Pilkington’s lobbed ball back in was comfortably gathered by Martin. Both Andy Haworth and Anthony Wilson tried from outside the box, but couldn’t keep their efforts on target.
As the game entered the last ten minutes, Celtic regained control of the game, and went looking for the equaliser. Michael Potts had a great dipping effort that Taylor was grateful as it cleared the angle of post and bar. Despite some good quick play though, Celtic just couldn’t find that final ball that would unlock the Barrow defence, and the game rolled into full time, though both Wilson and Alex Ray-Harvey lacked any kind of power and Martin collected both late shots easily.
All in all, a hammering at the hands of the table topping visitors did not occur because Celtic did play well. A continued improvement on this game will see us safe despite our precarious position. And our rivals for the bottom spots all lost too, so all in all, this is a difficult hurdle cleared without too much damage.
|7||Pilkington, Dan||> 82|
|9||Guy, Lewis||> 66|
|10||Cook, Andy||> 86|
|12||Wilson, Anthony||< 66|
|15||Sheridan, Sam||< 82|
|17||Gorman, Johnny||< 86|