Match Report -
Lack of imagination costs Celtic three points
By Iain Benson
Celtic put out a below par display against a physical and overbearing Gainsborough side. There was just no answer to their pattern of play and it was always going to be a struggle to get any chances in front of goal, especially as there was a lot of high balls that the giant Trinity centrebacks mopped up throughout the entire game.

It didn?t help Celtic?s game plan when Keeling was lost in the first minute to a heavy challenge from Anson that left him unable to continue and stretchered from the field to be taken to hospital. Another heavy challenge saw Maxfield hacked down as he ran past Ellis. The free kick couldn?t be converted. For a short while, Celtic played the ball along the deck, and this allowed Brodie to put Sykes through on goal, his shot was well blocked by Sollit.

Set plays looked likely to be a source of goals for the tall Gainsborough side, and Hume conceded a needless corner midway through the half that he then put out for a second corner. This came as far as Graves who struck a thunderous shot over the bar. Parker turned Hume to give himself space for a shot, but it lacked power and Pettinger was behind it all the way.

When Celtic played the long ball there was no joy, but when balls were played to feet, Celtic did look dangerous, with Prince turning Purkiss inside out to whip a cross to the back post, but Brodie?s header was wide. Prince proved it was no one-off when he managed to get another cross in, Sykes came powering in to thump his header just over the bar. After Ellington was fouled by Wood, just outside the box, Prince tried a different free kick, running the ball along the edge of the box for Maxfield, who powered his shot just over.

Just before half time, Sollit was on hand to tip Smith?s cross in meant for Morris to keep the scores level at half time.

The second half saw Gainsborough look more and more dangerous. Lancaster got behind Hume with a burst of pace, and Brodie had to come back to slide in and put his shot across the face out for a corner. Morris turned provider at the other end, sliding the ball through to Ellington, but Pell was there to block at the expense of a corner. After Morris was pulled down just outside the box, Prince whipped the free kick towards the top corner, Parker blocked on the line to concede a corner.

The goal that Gainsborough had been threatening came as Trinity cleared the corner. Hume was left trailing behind Trout. Pettinger came out to make himself big, but Trout won the one-on-one, firing across Pettinger into the corner of the net.

Sykes almost got the equaliser straight away, when Hume put the ball to him in the box, but though he struck it well, it zipped just over the bar. It looked certain that Ellington would score against the only team in the Conference North he has yet to score against when a well weighted ball from Sykes put him one-on-one with Sollit, but Sollit made himself big, and did very well to parry Ellington?s low shot away. The loose rebound fell to Brodie, he tried to roll it into the bottom corner, but somehow Sollit got back to his feet and threw himself across his six yard box to put the ball out for a corner.

Celtic were denied a certain penalty when Prince whipped a ball to the back post, and Sykes? header was tipped around the post by Pell?s hand, but a corner was all that Celtic were awarded. Trinity tried to break again, with Anson trying a distance shot, but Pettinger was behind it all the way.

Ellington went looking for the equaliser with twenty minutes left, but Anson charged down his powerful shot. It came back to Ellington who flicked his header towards Sykes. Sykes nodded it towards goal from close range, but a superb reaction save from Sollit denied Sykes. Morris knocked down a free kick to Ellington, but again Sollit was in top form to deny Ellington?s toe poked shot. Parton (on for Turley), lifted the ball to the back post as Morris came stooping in, but Sollit was there again, snatching the ball off Morris? head.

Parker wrestled Jones off the ball inside the box and pulled the ball back to Graves at an acute angle, as Celtic looked to the referee for the foul, Graves smacked a low drive past Pettinger to double Trinity?s lead.

The second goal left Celtic looking a dispirited side, and no further chances were fashioned whilst Gainsborough played possession football.

Gainsborough had never won at Bower Fold prior to this game, but facing a Celtic side that lacked imagination in the final third, it was always going to be Trinity?s day, and the loss leaves Celtic perilously close to the relegation zone, with the play-off places looking ever more distant.

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