Match Report -
Dootson's the Man!
By Mike Brierley

A heroic performance from Craig Dootson produced the perfect result. Celts looked the better side for the opening twenty minutes playing some neat attractive football and it was no surprise when Denham smashed home for the opening goal on 7 minutes. Marine then took command and pressurised the Celtic end with lots of crosses peppering the box. Dootson made at three excellent saves, and commanded his area well during this period to keep Celtic's slender lead, and his distribution was good, allowing Celtic to counter effectively.

Denham broke free from the defence for the umpteenth time, and hammered a shot against the bar from the edge of the box with the home keeper well beaten. It looked as though Celtic were going to end the half with just the one goal in it. However, just before half time, a glorious move swept the ball from one penalty area to the other, culminating in Mayers prodding home from two yards past the despairing keeper. Celtic had every reason to be pleased with their first half performance.

The second period began with Marine applying pressure from the off, but without much penetration. A great deal of this lack of goal-scoring opportunity for the home side was down to the outstanding performance of Dave German, filling in as a central defender.

After weathering the storm, Celtic took the initiative again and produced more flowing football that threatened to put the game beyond Marine, but they couldn't find the killer touch, either the passes were cut out, or the final ball was poor.

Slowly but surely the tide turned again, and Celtic dropped deeper and deeper looking to hang on to 2-0. Dootson again produced several fantastic saves to deny Marine attacks. Dootson blocked a ferocious, close-range shot with his chest that surprised the forward so much that he poked the ball wide when it rebounded to him. Celtic's young side showed lack of experience at this point, repeatedly giving the ball straight back to Marine and causing themselves unrelenting pressure. Finally, with two minutes remaining, the valiant Dootson was beaten as Taylor nicked the ball past him from two yards. Celtic had to endure excessive overtime from the referee but managed to hang on for their first away win. Probably Marine will feel robbed but it was a gritty performance from the lads and a great result. Man of the match was undoubtedly Craig Dootson!

It will have done his confidence the world of good.

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