Match Report -
Home Loss To Curzon Ashton
By Debbie Taylor

Celtic put in the effort, put in the ability but two lapses in defence gave Curzon a two goal half-time lead. The woodwork and good goalkeeping meant those two goals were enough for Curzon to take the points in the first of the Festive double headers.

Celtic knew that this game would have a big bearing in our place in the Conference North next season, and pressed the visitors from the off, Gary Gee and Kieran Dunbar both testing Cameron Mason early doors. The save from Dunbarís rising drive was especially impressive, pushing the ball around the post. A free kick taken by new signing Lee Gaskill was wicked, curling beyond Masonís fingertips crashing back off the post. Celtic kept coming, Dunbarís effort deflected just past the post and Gary Gee heading just wide from Danny Wilkinsís corner.

Somewhat against the run of play, Curzon turned their first chance into a goal, a floated in free kick met with a powerful header by Niall Cummins that Grant Shenton couldnít reach. Moments later, and a corner caused all kinds of problems for Celtic as they tried to hack it clear before eventually Jamie Stott got the telling touch to force the ball under Shenton.

Danny Wilkins had a glorious chance to grab a goal back just before half time, when he wriggled free to go one-on-one with Mason. The ball got stuck in his feet as he put the ball onto his favoured foot, allowing the defence to crowd back in on him. Even so, on target and it was a goal, but he screwed his shot wide.

Celtic had a let-off at the start of the second half, when James Baillie shot from distance, only narrowly missing the target. Celtic looked to be now up against a team that was settling for the two goal lead. However, that was halved when Gaskillís inch perfect curling pass behind the defence to the back post wrong footed Curzon and Aidan Chippendale came steaming in to smash in Celticís goal.

Shenton was required to pull off an exceptional stop at the other end moments later, as Curzon went looking to restore their cushion. A close range half volley was blocked, Celtic scrambling clear. Just past the hour mark, Iain Howardís last chance was a half-hearted low shot straight at Shenton.

From that point on Celtic were in control. The last twenty minutes saw them lay siege to Curzonís goal. Chippendaleís free kick cleared the bar, as did the overhead from Liam Dickinson from Da Silvaís cross. Wilkins too cleared the bar, but from a corner, Alex Honeyball came within an inch of equalising, his towering header from a corner crashing back off the bar. In stoppage time with Celtic camped in Curzonís box, Mason pulled off the save of the match from Keil OíBrienís header, Liam Dickinson flicking the ball off the back of his heel over the bar from the rebound.

1Mason, Cameron  
2Rowney, ChrisYellow Card > 80
3Guest, Joe  
4Hunt, Jonathon  
5Stott, Jamie  
6Hampson, Connor  
7Baillie, James  
8Tomsett, Liam  > 74
9Cummins, Niall  
10Brown, AlexYellow Card 
11Howard, IainYellow Card > 84
12Ennis, Paul  
14Jennings, Ryan  
15Wright, Jordan  < 80
16Clarke, Luke  < 74
17Hall, Ryan  < 84
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