Match Report -
Round 2: Celtic KO Droylsden
By Iain Benson
Celtic progressed into the next round of the Trophy with a tight victory over near neighbours Droylsden. Though the game was marred by a double sending off, it was an entertaining spectacle.

Droylsden had the first opportunity of opening the scoring in the opening minute as Cameron stride forward into an opening in the centre of the Celtic defence, lashing a twenty-yard shot over the bar. Fitzpatrick, the scorer of the equaliser in the match last week, got the next opportunity as Droylsden settled into rhythm fastest. He found himself with a bit of space in the corner of the box, but his shot lacked the pace to trouble Pettinger.

Celtic got back into the game with Prince providing an outlet, running at the heavily bandaged central defensive pairing of the visitors. With his route blocked, he pulled the ball back to Price, but his placed shot was inches too high, moments later it was Sykes providing Price with the ball, and this time hew was on target but too close to Worsnop in the Droylsden goal. Sykes? effort minutes later required a deflection off Sturdy to deny him, with Worsnop beaten by the twenty-yard screamer, Sturdy?s leg deflected it just enough.

The referee was blowing for any perceived contact for both teams, and this resulted in a lot of free kicks around the box, and a yellow card for Keeling for the slightest of brushes with Morris on the edge of the box. Fearns took the free kick, curling it over the wall and wide of the goal. Fearns showed a turn of pace beating the Celtic offside trap, only for Pettinger to take the ball off his feet, conceding a corner that Droylsden couldn?t convert. Eastwood then won a corner at the other end, playing the ball off Williams. The ball eventually came to Prince, but his shot from the edge of the box was over the bar.

By far and away Droylsden?s best effort of the half came from Morris, thirty yards out curling a shot through a narrow gap of players. Pettinger did well, acrobatically pushing the ball out for a corner. The game was flowing nicely, and Ellington, Price and Prince made mincemeat of the Droylsden defence, but got over elaborate and Worsnop caught an attempted lob to the back post. An individual mazy run from Prince got the home crowd going, but the ball ended up with them as it zipped over the bar.

In the second half, Celtic came at Droylsden with a purpose; Maxfield spinning a great ball across the face, but Eastwood?s header was wide. However, Eastwood made no mistake on the second attempt as Prince?s cross curled through the box he through himself at it, and when Worsnop missed it, Eastwood didn?t thumping his header into the back of the net.

The elation was short lived. Price was clearly fouled by Morris but when nothing was given he attempted to win the ball back and was blown for the foul. Morris reacted punching Price who got stuck in himself. Once the players had been separated, the referee showed them both a straight red. Having ignored the original foul, the referee had allowed temperatures to boil, and has to take some of the blame for the incident.

Droylsden didn?t adapt well to losing a player as influential as Morris, and proceeded to throw themselves at the floor at every opportunity. They got a series of free kicks around the box, with O?Brien getting the closest off the free kicks, curling his shot wide. Celtic, though, adapted quite well, and Smith made enough space for a shot from the edge of the box, but directed it straight at Worsnop. He was given another chance moments later with an inch perfect pass from Eastwood found him in the six yard box, but he got the ball tangled in his feet and Sturdy was able to clear. Eastwood forced a pair of saves from the keeper, the first from a tight angle, the second from a free kick routine.

Droylsden were getting increasingly desperate, and had replaced both fullbacks with forward players. One of which, Tandy, provided a cross for Fearns, but he headed wide. Fitzpatrick almost did it again when he took Fearns? ball in his stride, but Pettinger was up to the angled shot, pushing it away for a corner. The corner came in and Fearns? header came back off the cross bar and was somehow scrambled away by a compressed Celtic defence.

A second sending off should have happened as Brodie failed to catch Ellington after he?d beat the offside trap and cynically brought him down two steps from the box one-on-one with Worsnop. Just a booking though. The free kick worked its way through to Ellington; he rolled around Sturdy but had his geography wrong and rolled the ball wide. Celtic started getting guilty of trying to protect the one goal lead instead of doubling it, and they over elaborated in front of goal. Had their play been more direct the second half would have seen at least two more goals for Celtic.

Droylsden clearly made a tactical error after the sending off, leaving huge gaps in the defence to allow Celtic to hold the ball in the Droylsden final third. Fortunately for Droylsden Celtic didn?t want to kill them off. However, in a cup game 1-0 is just as good as 5-0 and it is Celtic that go into the hat for the next round.

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