Match Report -
Gulf in class
By Debbie Taylor

There was a huge gulf in ability between Hollinwood and Celtic, as evidenced by the score-line. Despite the consolation goal, Hollinwood rarely got past Shepherd and Sykes at the heart of the Celtic defence to trouble Celticís unknown keeper. The game saw the return of Kevin Parr, with a surprise addition of Mark Atkins in the centre of the midfield. He didnít do much running, but his range of passing and lay-offs more than compensated. A Premiership Champion playing at Chadderton!

Celtic quickly got hold of the ball, Parton running at the defence, Steve Smith was in support and Parton found him with the perfect square ball. Smith struck it well, leaving the home keeper no chance. Parton was again involved moments later when his cross-field pass allowed Hayward to strike a thunderous volley. Denham stuck out a heel, diverted it past the keeper and made it two-nil inside the first five minutes.

It could have been three moments later, when Hayward evaded the challenges from the defence, and worked an opening that forced a good block from the keeper. It came back to Hayward, and from a narrow angle, he struck the post.

It was three when Parton outpaced the defence, got to the by-line, pulled a curling cross back to the penalty spot where Denham had the simplest of finishes. Immediately, Celtic made it four when Parton again powered past the defence, back heeled it to Smith, who provided a powerful low-drive into the bottom corner.

Half an hour in, and Hollinwood got a chance. A poor pass back from Wheeling left Gareth Payton, Celticís stand-in keeper in a world of trouble with Park closing him down. Parkís shot struck the Payne and spooned into the air, for Sykes to clear.

Celtic continued playing flowing football, pulling Hollinwood out of position, and playing the ball into the spaces created. Shepherd provided one of those passes, and Parton latched onto it with a good header, finding a decent save from the home keeper waiting. Atkins played a well-weighted ball into the box for Denham to chase Ė he reached it first, pulled it back for Hayward who lifted it over the keeper to make it five.

Denham turned provided again, moments later, sliding the ball through to Parton, who got a deserved goal, side-footing the ball with the keeper going the wrong way. Parton grabbed his brace seconds later, just running past the defenders, one-on-one with the keeper, and slotting it under him. The keeper looked a little dejected at that one.

With moments left in the half, Park switched the play to Adams, on the far side. Adams couldnít control his shot, putting the ball wide.

The second half saw a few changes, one of which was Hadland on for Smith. Hadland picked up the ball from the kick-off, danced past the defence, Hollinwoodís new keeper closed him down, forced him wide, and Hadlandís shot when it came was into the side netting. Wharton was another of Celticís substitutes, and he increased the score line when Hayward looped a cross past the whole defence for a simple tap-in at the far post.

Hollinwood got some reassuring pressure at the start of the half, and Park won a corner out of Whealing, which was put across to Hall, but his shot was extremely high, lodging high in one of the trees behind the ground. Park then chased down a back pass from Parr, forcing Payne to put the ball out for a corner, which was comfortably cleared.

Celtic got back on track with another fine through ball from Atkins. Hadland raced onto it, one-on-one with the keeper, Hadland finally got his debut goal for Celtic and made it nine-nil, with double figures in site. Hadland almost grabbed his second Celtic goal when he again latched onto a defence splitting pass, this time from Hayward. One-on-one with the keeper, the keeper made a good save to deny him. The new keeper was having somewhat better luck against the Celtic front line, and when Hadland freed Denham to run one-on-one, as Denham tried to round him, he took it off Denhamís feet.

With Celtic looking for double figures and being thwarted, there were gaps appearing at the back. Gizzard took a powerful dipping shot from distance that zipped narrowly over the bar. Adams then got a chance, his shot struck Gizzard, came out to Hall, and that shot was wide. Park was then put through by Gizzard. Caldecott, on for Shepherd, put the ball out for a corner. The corner came in, and Whealing did what their front line couldnít, and put the ball in the back of the net with a sliding shot. Hollinwood kept coming, and Sykes conceded a corner under pressure from Park.

Sykes cleared to Parr, Parr lofted the ball to Wharton, he brought it down well, went one-on-one with the keeper and gave Celtic double figures with a delicate chip over the advancing keeper with virtually the last kick of the match.

This was a match in place of training, and it did its job, trying out various moves, the majority of which came off. The score line reflects the work that Celtic put in, and Hollinwood were not willing participants in it. They probably got as much out of the game as Celtic did.

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