Match Report -
Penalty!? No.
By Deborah Taylor

Prescot Cables maintained their recent unbeaten run, but required a lot of luck to do so as Celtic, lacking talismanic winger Aaron Dwyer and defensive rock Connor O’Grady, made the table toppers look ordinary.

Darius Osei headed a corner over the bar and Obua Mugalula came closer still, firing into the side netting with both Jack Irlam and Ose available in the middle for a pass. Celtic’s first penalty shout was declined as Liam Hollett brought Osei down in the box, but it wouldn’t be the last. Irlam was brought down just inside the box by Alex McNally, but a free kick was all Celtic got. Cole Lonsdale came close, curling his resulting free kick, which Mitchell Allen could only palm away. Celtic were undone with a quick switch-around. James Foley’s initial low drive was blocked on the line by Scott Wara, but the rebound fell to Cable’s top scorer, John Murphy to smash home. The slender lead didn’t last as a box-to-box goal got Celtic level. Max Leonard out to Jordan Burton, across the field via Michael Brewster and Joe Robbins, before Osei took it to the Cable’s box where he found Irlam arriving to fire in the equaliser.

The second half saw end-to-end football, with both defences hardly putting a foot wrong. The best chance for either team was Osei’s lob of Allen clipped the crossbar. Both Burton and Sam O’Halloran got insufficient power on their headers to worry either keeper and it looked like the game would go to a draw. Until stoppage time, when Mugalula broke through the defence and was dragged down by Francis Smith. Although Mugalula staggered to his feet, he couldn’t get a shot off. A clearer penalty will never be denied again, and for questioning the decision, Brewster was booked and will now miss the next match.

1Allen, Mitchell  
2McNally, Alex  
3Devine, Matthew  
4Koehler, Nathan  
5Hollett, Liam  
6Smith, Francis  
7Goodwin, Jack  
8Foley, JamesYellow Card 
9Murphy, John  
10Donaldson, Anthony  > 89
11Sambor, KyleYellow Card > 76
12OHalleron, Sam  < 76
14Devine, James  
15Pritchard, Luke  < 89
16Owens, Tom