Celtic faced a team two leagues below, who played with ten men for the majority fo the match, but failed to capitalise during their dominant periods, with Stocksbridge forcing a replay on Tuesday night. For Stocksbridge, that was a good outcome, Celtic will feel they could have done better.
Ten minutes into the match, Joe Lumsden lunged in on Danny Wisdom, leaving Wisdom requiring a hospital trip with ligament damage to his ankle, and Lumsden seeing red. Celtic restarted in the ascendancy, and worked an excellent goal, Gary Gee’s ball to Liam Dickinson flicked on for Aidan Chippendale to run onto, which he did, going one-on-one with David Reay in the Steels’s goals. Chippendale drew Reay, knocked the ball past him and slid the ball in from an acute angle.
Andy Owens nearly made it two, when he battled through from an attacking throw, forcing Reay into bundling the ball around the post in a crush of defenders. Stocksbridge were by no means cowed by the gulf in divisions, and shortly after a comfortable save from Adam Hinchliffe, Stocksbridge equalised. After Aaron Chalmers, pushed into an unfamiliar left back role, lost the ball on the wing near the Steels’s box, it was pumped down field for Scott Ruthven to chase, he held off Matty Hughes and smashed his shot across the face of Grant Shenton right before the half time whistle.
Celtic came at Stocksbridge from the outset of the second half with pace and urgency. Darren McKnight picked up the ball in the middle of the park, skipped past a clumsy challenge feeding the ball out to Chippendale, who took on Josh Meade, a lovely knock and run to give the space for the cross. Liam Dickinson flicked the ball over Liam McFadyen to Danny Wilkins, who drilled the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
Andy Owens nearly made the game safe when he took the shot over the pass, but a mass of bodies at the near post saw the ball bundled round the post for a corner that Stocksbridge struggled to clear, but eventually were let off when Danny Wilkins was just offside.
An innocuous foul by McKnight some thirty yards out warranted a wall, but that didn’t stop Harrison Biggins who curled a superb free kick from the left up and over the wall and into the top corner beyond Shenton’s reach.
Both teams could have gone onto win the game: Andy Owens flicked his header past Reay and was turning to celebrate when it hit the base of the post and was cleared, whilst at the other end, it took a great save at full stretch from Shenton to deny Benjamin Rhode’s speculative drive. To top off the night, some outright acting from Matt Reay saw a foul given against Keil O’Brien, who’d nicked the ball past the Steels’s defender. A foul was given, O’Brien was walking away and was booked for dissent, after already having had a booking.
And so the game goes to a replay on Tuesday, where Celtic will have to be much more ruthless when on top.
|7||Hinchliffe, Adam||> 79|
|11||Crofts, Nathaniel||> 66|
|12||Rhodes, Benjamin||< 79|
|14||Poulton, Jack||< 66|