Match Report -
Gainsborough Trinity FA Trophy
By Debbie Taylor

Stalybridge looked a tired side in the first half, allowing Gainsborough to dictate the pace of the game. Even though they had the upper hand, Gainsborough seemed intent on walking away from this game with a draw. They put little pressure on the Celtic defence throughout the first half an hour.

On 36 minutes, a long hopeful ball was nodded across the pitch to Fothergill, who tapped it past the full stretch Ingham.

This goal had a rather strange effect on both teams. Celtic picked up the pace, and Gainsborough looked shocked that they had actually scored. At the half time interval, Celtic looked to be perking up.

This was evident in the second half, when Celtic came out with a determination to win. Plenty of pressure was applied, but the final ball was lacking. Steele had a couple of very good chances, narrowly missing on both occasions.

On the sixty five minute mark, Filson and Sullivan were sent on to replace Mason and Pickford. Filson's first touch resulted in a fine athletic save from Trinity's (short) goalkeeper. Filson had only been three yards out, and the 'keeper had to hold onto the ball.

Five minutes later, a long cross field ball from Scott found Tino in plenty of space on the left wing. With Marginson, Filson and Steele racing into the box, Sullivan launched what looked like a poor cross. In fact, it was a carefully crafted lob over the full stretched keeper into the top right corner of the net.

As is becoming increasingly common, there was controversy. On eighty minutes, the Trinity keeper came off his line when a long ball from Johnston put Steele through one-on-one with the keeper. The keeper left his area and flapped the ball away. At first it looked like the referee was not going to give anything, until he saw the assistant flagging like a maniac. Under current FA rules, the 'keeper, who had been the last man, should have walked with an instant dismissal. However, he escaped with a yellow card. From the resulting free-kick, while the defenders and keeper were barraging the referee Martin Filson took the free kick early and scored. The referee disallowed the goal, although in my opinion, as there was no reason to prevent a quick free-kick, the goal should have stood.

Persistent and increasing pressure from Celtic failed to result in an allowed goal, but at least Celtic went off the pitch looking more fired up than they came on.

The replay is on Tuesday 30th of November at Gainsborough.

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