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Match Report -
Defensive Problems
By Ian Barker

Dave Miller showed his exasperation with Celtic's defence at last Tuesday's training session. The lads would surely have got another earful at half time tonight after conceding two goals that would have embarrassed a Sunday league side.

Terry Bowker in particular had an uncomfortable first half. He's a powerful enough header of a ball, but he was caught flat footed on several occasions and gifted Bangor's 27th minute equaliser when he slipped on and over the ball allowing Paul Roberts an uninterrupted view of the goal. The Bangor striker fired home with Dootson helpless.

Ten minutes later Lee Hunt put Bangor ahead when he volleyed in from point blank range as the entire Celtic defence allowed the ball to curl in from a long way out on the left.

Bowker was replaced at half time , but substitute Steve Wyan fared little better leaving the Celtic boss with three weeks to find someone to work effectively alongside Chris Timmons.

Another disappointment on the night was Dave Ridings who couldn't seem to pass accurately even over short distances. He was clearly out of sorts, and he too was withdrawn early.

So how then did Celtic manage even a draw against a physically strong and surprisingly competitive Bangor team?

The answer is that there were some encouraging performances amongst the rest. Dootson in goal looked far more assured than he did last Saturday. He came off his line well, punched when he had to , and gave lots of vocal support to the whole team , sometimes from 30 yards out of his own goal.

Dave German, fresh from Rhodes and with a suntan to prove it, played out of his skin. He is a powerful runner down the left wing and a constant menace with his swinging crosses.

In midfield Nathan Wharton found the tough-tackling visitors quite a handful , but as the game went on , he began to assert himself more. He topped off his display with a brilliant individual goal. Finding the ball at his feet on the edge of the box, he took on and beat no fewer than five dizzy defenders before hitting a blistering drive through the keeper's grasp and into the net for an 80th minute equaliser.

Up front there were debut appearances for Philip Eastwood and Dean Butterworth. Eastwood in particular caught the eye. He plays through all forward channels and looked a class apart. He was denied a 7th minute goal only by a linesman's flag to signal another Celtic player offside.

And Gareth Williams got his third goal in two games ( well actually one game , since he played only 45 minutes in each ) when he linked up with the effervescent Colin Potts to stroke in the opener after 10 minutes.

In summary there's plenty of fizz about Celtic's attack , and with Mayers , Wharton and Parr lined up for the midfield berths, there remains only the nagging problem of building a more solid and cohesive defence before the Motors put it to the test.

So on to Mossley...

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