After going down to an early goal and losing a man, Celtic battled back into the game deserving something from the tie, until stoppage time goals against the run of play allowed Matlock to leapfrog Celtic in the table.
The hosts came out of the blocks with all guns blazing, scoring with their first attack, Craig King’s whipped in cross to the far post where Matlock’s danger man, Marcus Marshall, came in to nod the ball in under the bar from close range. Marshall should really have made it two minutes later when he found himself unmarked at the back post to meet Luke Hinsley’s cross, but from three yards out, the goal at his mercy, he blazed over.
Celtic started to get into the game and looked dangerous from set-pieces. Danny Brady headed narrowly over the bar from a corner, outjumping his marker by a good two feet, whilst Scott Bakkor interchanged with Liam Tongue off another corner, getting the space for a shot that was the wrong side of the post. After Liam Tongue’s skimmer of a shot needed a out-stretched foot from Danny Wiley to lift it over the bar, Olly Marx headed the corner over. Just as Celtic looked to be getting control of the game, a long ball down the middle of the park set Marshall off on a run. Marx tried to shepherd it back to Wharton, but Marshall was too quick, nipping round the youngster who dragged the Matlock man back right on the edge of the box. Marx had to walk.
The free kick went for a corner that came to Adam Yates. Joshua Solomon Davis was on the line to deny Yates, seconds after coming on for Chris Sharp, and getting Celtic to the interval only one goal down.
Celtic were liked a team possessed in the second half. Ross Durant quickly knew he was in a game right from the off. Tongue’s lashed in shot palmed away and then knocked for a corner as Matty Wolfenden came looking. Moments after Wolfenden had seen his shot deflected up into the keeper’s arms, Wolfenden got another chance, turning on the edge of the box and forcing Durant into a full stretch save. Tongue came angling in for the loose ball, smashing in the equaliser.
Despite being a man down, Celtic were on the hunt for a winner, pressing the home team back into their own box. But the goal wouldn’t come. Solomon Davis was almost through, before being brought down, the Matlock defence was panicking and conceding needless corners. Somewhat against the run of play, on the ninetieth minute, Matlock got a corner. There has to be something cosmic in Celtic’s oppositions and ninetieth minute corners, because after it had been overhit, the ball was put back into the mix by Cleveland Taylor and Jamie Jackson scrambled the ball over the line.
With Celtic looking for an equaliser and Scott Wilson replaced for Neil Kengni, there were holes at the back. Jamie Jackson sent a long ball down field, Jake Green’s fresh legs outpaced Michael Clarke to go one-on-one with Wharton. Green went for the power shot and though Wharton got a hand on the shot, the ball still ended up in the back of the net leaving the score-line a poor representation on the balance of play.
|7||Hare, Taron||> 90|
|9||Hinsley, Luke||> 77|
|10||Marshall, Marcus||> 83|
|12||Harrad, Shaun||< 83|
|15||Jackson, Jamie||< 77|
|17||Green, Jake||< 90|