Celtic are still looking for their first away Saturday win since beating Bradford in October 2016 after going down to the only goal in a game played on a sticky mud-patch of a pitch.
The goal came after Barwell had already established they were the better team in the first half, Jake Whitmore’s early shot requiring an athletic push over the bar from Jack Walton, and doing well to deny Lee Hildreth’s thirty yard effort. However, when Luke Ashworth and Jack Walton clashed for a high ball, Matt Stenson capitalised, looping his header high into the air and into the net, with Walton lying on the floor.
Barwell were content to sit on the lead for the remainder of the half, but in the dying moments before the interval, Brady Hickey almost doubled the home side’s lead, first firing narrowly wide, before forcing Walton to two excellent saves, the first stopping a close range header after Mitchell Piggin had whipped in a cross, the second a full stretch save to keep Celtic in with a shout as the whistle blew.
The second half started in much the same fashion, Stenson and Piggin both should have increased the lead after getting into great positions one-on-one with Walton coming out on top. Just past the hour, Celtic finally got a shot on target with Liam Dickinson’s effort well saved down to Liam Castle’s left, keeping hold of the ball as Theo Bailey-Jones arrived. Craig Reade should have doubled the lead after Stenson’s pull back left him with a gaping goal, but though his shot was on target Alex Honeyball’s leg was in the way and Celtic were still only a goal down.
Oliver Roberts and Matty Wolfenden were brought on and immediately caused problems. Wolfenden cut to the corner and tried from an acute angle, requiring Liam Castle to twist acrobatically to push the ball over the bar. After Barwell struggled to clear a corner, the ball was played out to Roberts, who fired in a thirty yard dipping shot that Castle superbly tipped over the bar.
Sadly that was it in terms of attacking from Celtic; there were a couple of corners, a couple of free kicks around the box, none of which were used to full advantage and Barwell would have strolled to the one goal win, if the mud allowed it.
|8||Whitmore, Jake||> 73|
|9||Piggin, Mitchel||> 66|
|11||Staenson, Matt||> 78|
|12||Story, Owen||< 73|
|15||Reid, Craig||< 66|
|16||Heath, Jake||< 78|