In a game of two halves, Celtic were under the cosh in the first half, but regained the upper hand in the second thanks to a spectacular volley from Michael Powell.
Celtic were without the formidable presence of Chris Simm up front, and both Matt Regan and Stefan Galinski at the back, and this looked to have told when the game got off to the worst of starts. Celtic’s back lines uncleared from a long throw allowed Marc Newsham to thread the ball to the near post where Scott Garner sneaked in ahead of Matty Hughes and Ross Etheridge to side foot home from inches away.
It could have been worse, as Kane Felix saw his effort tipped away and Dayle Southwell saw his effort flash agonisingly across the face of goal. In what was generally one way traffic, Carl Piergianni flashed a header wide from a corner, and Felix blazed over from distance. Both Southwell and Zak Mills got into great positions, but their shooting was wayward, allowing Celtic to reach the interval still in with a shout at just a goal down.
Celtic had a roasting in the dressing room, and came out rejuvenated. A Michael Powell free kick zipped harmlessly wide, but Celtic were now shooting. At the other end, Celtic were still in the game thanks to Ross Etheridge, snatching off the feet of Southwell, and pulling off a good stop from Felix who had found space. The loose ball came out to Southwell, and his shot got trapped in the legs of Etheridge, but the young keeper reacted well and scooped up the rattling ball.
Celtic made a triple substitution, bringing on Ben McKenna, Jamie Allen and Charlie Ennis to use their pace against a defence left ragged by Tom Bentham’s hard work in the first hour. And it immediately started to pay dividends. Aidan Chippendale went very close with a free kick, before Celtic did something they’ve done rarely over the past few years: Scored from a corner. Chippendale’s floated corner curled into the back post, and a scissor kick from Powell flew into the top corner.
There were only a couple of chances for either side as the game battled towards a close, Matty Hughes headed a corner over the bar, and Rene Steer ran out of options as he brought the ball from his own box, and fired waywardly as a last resort.
With Colwyn Bay winning away at North Ferriby, Celtic drop a place, but still retain a game in hand over Colwyn Bay, and Brackley and Leamington. With Brackley’s win, Celtic’s one place over them is now down to goal difference only.
|7||Felix, Kaine||> 85|
|10||Newsham, Marc||> 56|
|11||Roberts, Grant||> 67|
|12||Hall, Jake||< 85|
|14||Saebe, Louis||< 67|
|16||Dixon, Kyle||< 56|