Match Report -
Celtic keep the pressure on
By Iain Benson
Celtic are now just five points behind Harrogate in the final play-off spots thanks to a victory not only against Workington but also against the weather. In mixtures of sunshine, showers and very heavy hail, with a blustery cold wind both teams did well to produce any football at all.

Celtic started the better of the two sides, and on their first attack, Ellington knocked down a cross to Turley who curled a twenty-yard screamer off the crossbar and into the back of the net. Maxfield almost doubled the lead when Sykes? ball from the touchline found him in space, but he put the ball over the crossbar. Parr, making his first start for many a month, got the next chance after Garvey won a corner and floated it in, where Parr bulleted it towards goal, only for Henney to unwittingly block.

Celtic looked the dominant team, and Ellington skipped past a challenge along the touchline before pulling it back for Sykes. It took a great block by Collin in the visiting nets to deny Sykes, the rebound coming out to Parr who forced Collin to make a double save tipping the rasping drive over the bar. Sykes got another chance moments later when Parr slipped the ball through to him, but he scuffed his shot wide. A foul by Birks on Garvey twenty-five yards out was only inches over before Black crossed brilliantly for Ellington racing in, but Ellington put his header just over the bar. With second left in the half, Workington got into the game, and Hopper tried a twenty-five yard shot that took a deflection out for a corner Workington couldn?t convert.

The second half started with Goulding pulling the ball back for Birks, but Birks? tame effort was straight at Pettinger. After Turley won a corner at the other end, it took some scrambled defending to deny Celtic a second as Ellington, Turley, Parr and Sykes all had efforts blocked as they tried to force the ball over the line.

The game got bogged down in midfield for a while, eventually Turley broke clear and raced towards goal, firing off a twenty-five yard drive that dipped just before reaching the goal, and required Collin to tip it over. A goal was coming for Celtic, and it duly arrived in the guise of Ellington. Prince (on for Garvey), found Turley in acres of space, as Workington switched sides, Turley put the ball to the back post, and Ellington nodded into an empty net.

Workington replied instantly, Johnston taking advantage of a Keeling slip to go one-on-one and slot the ball past Pettinger. Maxfield almost gifted them a second straight off the kick off, his pass back getting nowhere near Pettinger, and Johnson latched onto it, producing a superb block from Pettinger.

Celtic went looking for a third, but Prince and Ellington both put their efforts over the bar, before Ellington put Sykes through one-on-one, forcing a fine save from Collin. With ten minutes remaining, Workington won a corner out of Black, and Hoolickin headed it onto the crossbar and Pettinger took the rebound. Not wanting to risk it, Celtic played safe for the remainder of the game, keeping possession well, though in stoppage time, Workington won a few free kicks, but Celtic were able to keep them at bay.

A good result, but with Kettering, Moor Green, Droylsden and Worcester all winning, the table remains as it was. A win against Lancaster on Tuesday though, could see Celtic return to sixth, a mere two points behind Harrogate.

Match Sponsor
Brother UK/
Usher Spiby
Ball Sponsor
In memory of
Bryan Cross
Man of the Match Sponsor
Mike and Lesley
Elliott
Programme Sponsor
Ian Keefe
Sponsors
Site Sponsor
Football Accumulators - Official Site Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Site Sponsor
MG Domestic - Official Site Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Main club sponsor
Works4U Official Shirt Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic