Match Report -
Col-Don't-Wyn again
By Debbie Taylor

Stalybridge romped to yet another home win over what must be the poorest side to visit Bower Fold this season. A repeat of the 7-1 thrashing that the Blues handed out to the Welshman just a few weeks ago could easily have been repeated as Celtic laid siege to the Colwyn goal for most of the afternoon.

The Colwyn Bay defence was at sixes and sevens from the off and after they barely dealt with a cross in the opening seconds Kevin Parr got on the end of Derek Ward's 2nd minute cross, only to see his diving header saved by Hill.

Minute's later McNeil should have put Celtic ahead but he miskicked in front of goal from Parr's cross. Only brave defending by Williams denied the Blues again, firstly he somehow reached ahead of Jones to head the ball away, then threw himself in front of McNeil has he followed up with a goal-bound effort. The in-form Steve Jones then swivelled on the edge of the area only to see Hill drop to his right to save again. A goal was inevitable.

It finally came in the 15th minute. Celtic won yet another corner, which found its way to Jones just outside the box, and his shot deflected off the back of Pickford to wrong-foot the keeper and flash into the net. The next ten minutes saw Stalybridge constantly rip the Bay's defence apart, with the superb Matty McNeil constantly involved.

Jones, with a volley, and Parr, with a header, both missed the target after McNeil had crossed from the left. Then McNeil powered past his marker and forced Hill to make yet another good save with a fierce drive. Moment's later McNeil was again on the rampage through the Bay defence but fired wide.

In the 26th minute Jones managed to poke the ball through to Sullivan who raced clear of the defence. While the Colwyn defenders appealed for offside Sullivan calmly rounded the keeper and stroked home his 20th goal of the season from a tight angle.

The Welshmen eventually came out of their own half and for 5 minutes or so threatened to get into the Celtic area. The hard-working Graham saw a shot deflected wide with their only chance of the half.

Bauress only just cleared the bar with a 20yd free-kick and the ever-dangerous Kevin Parr headed just over as Celtic sought to wrap the game up before the interval. With just two minutes of the half remaining Tony Sullivan galloped down the right leaving two Colwyn players in his wake before picking out Jones 18yds from goal, who slammed home his 23rd goal of the season.

The second half began as the first ended with constant Celtic pressure. Sullivan was denied a second goal by another fine save from Hill, diving full length to his right to keep out the low drive. A minute later Bauress crossed the ball and Crookes saw his header turned away for another corner, from which Jones thought he had scored but the assistant referee somehow failed to spot the ball at least 2 feet over the line before it was cleared.

From then on, with the points in the bag and a gruelling schedule ahead, the Blues eased up and were content to knock the ball around and wait for openings to appear rather than force them. When one did appear in the 82nd minute McNeil deservedly got himself on the score-sheet. Bauress found Pickford on the edge of the area and his lay-off to McNeil was converted in style, Hill given no chance as the ball zipped across him onto the far corner.

The Colwyn Bay keeper was forced into just one more save before the final whistle…by his own player. A long ball forward by Celtic posed no danger but defender Jardine slipped the ball past him as he came to collect, forcing him to scamper back and clear it inches before it crossed the line.

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