With both teams intent on playing football, defending well and passing the ball, it was always going to be an error that led to a winning goal, unfortunately, it was a Celtic error.
For the opening ten minutes, South Shields were clearly on top, with Celtic barely able to get a touch of the ball. Gavin Cogdon got the first chance of the match during this period, cutting in from the edge of the box and forcing Jake Turner into a decent stop. It wasn’t long before Celtic managed to show the visitors what they could do, building from the back culminating in debutant, Chris Sharp, getting a decent chance, whipping in a curling shot that Liam Connell palmed around the post. Scott Bakkor’s low shot from the edge of the box was deflected straight into Connell’s arms, whilst at the other end, Turner had to be on top form when Josh Gillies showed a remarkable turn of pace to race down field and go one-on-one with the Celtic keeper. Liam Tongue and another debutant, Steven Irwin, both went agonisingly close with their efforts as the half came to a close leaving the game goalless at the break.
After the restart, Celtic started quickly, with John Marsden’s lifted shot a straightforward catch for Connell, whilst Sharp twice went close, his outside of the boot curling effort the better of the two, but wide. In the final twenty-five minutes, the tide turned in South Shield’s favour. Joachim Mouanda picking up a half-cleared corner twenty yards out and firing straight back in, the shot smacking against the crossbar.
Moments later, and it looked like the woodwork had come to Celtic’s rescue again when a long punt up field came between Danny Brady, Michael Clarke and Josh Gillies. Clarke and Brady both backed off allowing the South Shields winger to latch onto the ball and power towards goal. Turner stood up well and palmed Gillies effort onto the woodwork. South Shields had advanced in numbers, overwhelming the Celtic backline as the rebound came out to Cogdon, who fired in over the prone Celtic keeper into the back of the net despite the efforts of Tongue on the line.
Celtic just couldn’t find that killer pass to open up the South Shields defence through the next quarter of an hour and were thankful to Turner for keeping Celtic with a chance of doing so as he athletically reached Cogdon’s powerful strike to palm it around the post and made catching John Shaw’s effort off a corner look straightforward.
With South Shields edging the play, a narrow victory for the visitors was deserved.
|8||Briggs, Robert||> 71|
|10||Pattison, Matty||> 71|
|14||Lough, Darren||< 71|
|15||Wright, Danny||< 71|