With Celtic matching high-flying Altrincham all over the park, two well organised defences and atrocious conditions, this was always going to be a tight affair, made more so thanks to a sending off.
Celtic survived an early scare when James Poole beat the offside trap, and the Robins striker should have done better. At the other end, with Altrincham tying up the strikers, it fell to Alex Honeyball to latch onto a set up ball from Liam Dickinson, his shot taking a big deflection to go wide of the mark. Altrincham were struggling to find accuracy, with no time in front of goal, Poole and Jake Moult both failing to hit the target from half chances, whilst Shaun Densmore fired a free kick beyond everybody, with Jack Walton alert, the loanee keeper got well behind the ball.
The second half was more of the same, though Celtic looked to have upped the tempo a little. Liam Dickinson got his head on a corner, flicking it towards the bottom corner, it was an awkward one for Anthony Thompson to deal with, but he got down and pushed the ball out for another corner. John Cofie used his pace to get into a good position and tested Thompson. Jordan Hulme came the closest in the half for the Robins, but didn't test Walton at all.
Then came the traditional moment of controversy for a Celtic v Altrincham game. Tom Hannigan looked to have come in second for a waist high ball to Sebastian Julien, taking the Celtic man out. Julien had already been booked for an innocuous looking challenge just outside the Celtic box, and to the amazement of the blue contingent, the referee not only gave the foul Altrincham's way, but gave Julien a second yellow. After asking for the justification, Dickinson got a yellow instead. Celtic's defence went into overdrive after the dismissal, and though the visitors tried to keep up their high scoring form, they couldn't break Celtic down. Right at the end, there was a chance for Celtic to snatch one, but the Altrincham defence got back behind the ball and snuff out the chance.
A goalless draw that was probably a fair result.
|3||Densmore, Shaun||> 64|
|8||Sheridan, Sam||> 67|
|11||Hancock, Josh||> 71|
|12||Richman, Simon||< 67|
|14||Short, Lewis||< 64|
|15||Amis, Josh||< 71|