Match Report -
Comfortable
By Debbie Taylor

Celtic were expected to win this game, though they did not have any divine right to do so. However, such was the level of attacking football that Celtic displayed, the only way that the result could have been different, would have been Celtic winning by a larger margin.

Almost from the kick off, the flowing attacking football saw Celtic snatch the ball off the visitors, and race up the field. Foster put in a perfect ball into the heart of the box where Mayers performed an acrobatic scissors kick to put the ball into the corner beyond Corbett. Such was the ferocity of the attack that it looked like Celtic would hammer Guisborough.

But that was not going to be the case. Having gone a goal up, Celtic relaxed slightly.

This resulted in Guisborough mounting an instant reply that saw Osborne cross from the wing after beating Bowman, and Dootson having to be brave to clutch the ball out of the air ahead of Bishop.

Potts repeated the act seconds later at the other end, though Corbett was by no means as comfortable, palming the ball off Mayers' head. Potts was terrifying the visiting defence. During one run, Booth could only launch himself across Potts conceding a free kick not far from the box. Potts took it quickly, straight at Corbett. Celtic continued their attacking with Bowman sliding an inch perfect ball through the defence for Mayers. Corbett came out and made himself as big as he could, saving one-on-one with his legs as Mayers tried to slide the ball past him.

Kasonali thought that he would try his luck from outside the box, and give Dootson something to do, but though his shot was powerful, it was right at Dootson who caught at the second attempt.

This was all about Celtic though. They had a specific game plan which was to overwhelm the visitors fragile defence. From a corner won by Potts, Wharton slipped the ball to the winger, who jinked his way into the box and struck a sweet drive that thudded into the base of the post. Bowman almost got lucky when he crossed for Eastwood, miscuing his shot somewhat. Corbett was alert, and scrambled across to catch what had become an excellent shot! Keeling had better luck in finding Eastwood with a simple square ball into his path. Eastwood struck the ball cleanly forcing Corbett into a save. Eastwood was going to keep trying though. Mayers won a corner off the previous games' goal scoring hero, Sunley. The keeper punched the corner clear as far Eastwood, but his shot whistled narrowly over the bar. Moments later Eastwood got another go when Sunley conceded another corner, this time needlessly. Potts delivered the ball straight to Eastwood this time, another clean strike, and another millimetre of paint taken off the crossbar.

Eastwood's plugging away got it's just reward ion the stroke of the half hour. Heald strolled past McMahon and whipped in a classic cross to the edge of the six yard box. Eastwood's thumping header was so well placed that had it been a tap, it would have gone in, with the extra power though, Corbett had no chance.

Guisborough almost got an instant reply when Osborne won a corner off Bowker that Foster headed clear almost off the line but only as far as Ryan. Ryan's header was straight at Dootson and the danger passed.

Wharton, it seems, cannot win! Normally he lifts his shots and the sail over the bar, but when Eastwood dropped the ball to him at the edge of the area, a sweet left foot drive was kept low, striking Booth and deflecting clear.

Somehow, Eastwood managed to shoot wide from exceedingly close range when Potts twisted and turned his way to the by-line leaving Osborne and Mowbray bemused in his wake before slipping a square ball to the Celtic hit-man stood on the six yard line, unmarked.

Just before half time, Eastwood got caught offside stood an inch into the Guisborough half and Booth floated the free kick into the box. Dootson punched it clear cleanly milliseconds before Sankey barged straight into him, reminiscent of a quarter-back sacking in American Football. After a couple of minutes of treatment, Dootson carried on, denying Ian Senior his first game of his current spell at Celtic. Possibly, much to Ian Senior's relief!

A blatant penalty was missed as the half began to run out. Potts and Sunley tangled on the floor. Somehow, whilst prone, Potts tried to feed Mayers running in. Incredibly, the ball stopped dead just before it could leave the area and be picked up by Mayers. Even more incredibly, the referee did not see Sunley's hand stop the ball in its tracks! Osborne retrieved the ball but conceded a corner under pressure from Bowker. The corner went to Eastwood, who again scraped the paint off the crossbar as he volleyed over.

Mowbray conceded a corner seconds before half time, under pressure from Mayers (who was outpacing him), and then volleyed high over his own net before clearing the second corner as far as Wharton who tried to feed Eastwood. Brodie very cleverly dummied Eastwood allowing Cornett to scoop up the ball.

As the fans were wondering if the half time whistle would never come (in Glasgow, the other Celtic were kicking off their second half before we finished the first!), Foster was clattered by Osborne. The free kick was knocked down by Mayers to Potts who turned and shot, beating the keeper but also beating the far post. Moments later, Mayers gave the ball to Foster, who mimicked Potts with the ball again skimming narrowly wide.

After eight minutes of stoppages, the referee called a break after which Guisborough attacked Celtic from the off, with Booths' ball into the box eventually falling to Sankey who half-volleyed wide of the mark. After Booth won the ball by bodily shoving Mayers over and spreading it to Ryan, the Guisborough striker went one-on-one with Dootson. Dootson made himself big, and Ryan skied his shot.

Celtic made the game safe when Heald put a low cross into the edge of the box. Corbett came to claim, but Potts was a split second faster, sliding bravely in and knocking the ball under the body of the keeper where it trickled into the back of the net.

Celtic went into cruise mode after that. Eastwood turned and shot on the edge of the box, just over. Heald tried his luck from the wing with a looping shot that went narrowly wide (it could have been a cross!). Potts slid the ball between the defence and the keeper, and only a last second tackle from Sunley denied Eastwood his second goal of the night. The corner saw Mayers drag the defence to the edge of the box, and Foster at the near post tried to flick it into the net, but he put Potts' corner just over the bar. Potts then went on his own after nipping in onto Kasonali's lax pass. Potts beat Sunley, enjoyed it so much, he beat him again, before heading into the box and shooting wide.

Foster showed his other side quarter of an hour into the half when he latched onto a Wharton through ball and Corbett floored him with a midriff challenge nowhere near the ball. The referee gave Corbett the benefit of the doubt, and it looked like Foster might take matters into his own hands. Dave Pover escorted him from the pitch for treatment before it could escalate, and moments later, Wheatcroft was on in his place.

Wheatcroft's first touch was from a free kick after Eastwood had been flattened by substitute Gill. He dallied over long looking for a target for a pass, and Osborne stole the ball from him.

Guisborough gave themselves a life line from a corner won off Bowker. Super-sub Mitchell latched onto Lee's corner, unmarked to thump the ball into the back of the net. But it was merely consolation.

Wheatcroft could have returned the three goal margin when he raced into the box. After doing the hard work he went for glory, putting the ball into the stand.

It didn't matter, the two goal margin was, in the end, as good as a ten goal margin. Celtic had made Guisborough look like they were over fifty teams below them in the league pyramid with a comfortable, competent display. Celtic march on to Gelding Town near Nottingham next, a team who have already disposed of Alfreton Town. Alfreton had put it down to the shock of visiting the Riverside ground, which lacks any amenities, such as a changing room for the players. Celtic must not make the same mistake. Victory would put Celtic one step closer to a league club tie in the first round proper.

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