An early goal gave Celtic the upper hand, but Gainsborough Trinity went for it in the second half, getting close, but running out of time.
The opening ten minutes saw both teams creating great chances with both keepers on top form. Scott Bakkor’s finish onto Chris Sharp’s excellent cross was a good one, close range, but Jon Stewart’s save was top drawer. At the other end, Alex Byrne’s cross was rapidly turning into a shot that threatened to creep under the bar, but James Aspinall’s reflexes kept it out, and he was well placed for Ashley Worsfold’s header. It was going to take an exceptional goal to open the scoring and it got one. James Caton showing speed and agility to evade the tackles and whip in a cross. Scott Bakkor was curving in from the edge of the box meeting the header perfectly, looping it over Stewart to give Celtic the lead.
Trinity looked to be well contained, but Celtic didn’t really open up Gainsborough either, with the best chance being an excellent run from Bakkor, but under pressure scooped his shot the wrong side of the post.
The second half saw Gainsborough change tactics and it almost worked: twice. Simon Russell’s effort from twenty-five yards after a half-clearance sailed back in over the defence and over Aspinall. It hit the underside of the bar, bouncing down away from goal, Liam Tongue getting the ball clear. Celtic didn’t get lucky once, they got lucky twice, with Ashley Worsfold’s acute shot also hitting the bar. Celtic weren’t quite so lucky when Neil Kengni evaded a lunging tackle from Russell to get into a shooting position, curling his shot around Stewart, only for Kelvin Lugsden to slide in and hack the ball off the line.
Celtic made their luck to grab that crucial second goal. During a spell of a pressure from the visitors, Kengni’s pace allowed him to break, avoid the tackle and find Chris Sharp with an excellent ball. Sharp’s shot was blocked by an excellent save from Stewart, but the ball came out to Matty Wolfenden arriving in support, the clearance rebounding off Wolfenden into the net and giving Celtic a cushion going into the last five minutes.
It was a cushion that prevented the game from ending in a draw, when Gainsborough got a last second corner. It was a good corner, with just about everybody in the box. Ross Hannah got his head on it, powerful and accurate and though Aspinall got his hand to the ball he couldn’t keep hold of his clean sheet and Gainsborough got a consolation with the last kick of the match.
|4||Clarke, Shane||> 65|
|10||Reeves, Damian||> 81|
|16||Hannah, Ross||< 65|
|17||Wilson, Elliott||< 81|