Match Report -
Nwadike own goal sinks Alfreton
By Iain Benson
Celtic finally got back into winning ways with a win over struggling Alfreton Town. However, Celtic had to come from behind after Alfreton took the lead inside the first five minutes. A free kick for an innocuous challenge by Winn in the middle of the park was floated in, and Rawle had a free header to put Alfreton one up.

Celtic got into gear and played some good stuff, with a Maxfield ball into Hume nodded goalwards, but for Roberts in the visiting goals to scramble across and catch. Ellington won a corner out of ex-Celtic defender Barnard which Prince whipped in. Hume nodded across to Ellington who back-flicked an instinctual volley that had goal written all over it until Roberts pulled off an equally instinctual close range one handed save onto the bar and out.

Roberts undid all his hard work when Hume charged down a loose back pass and Roberts knocked it sideways to Ellington who avoided the sliding challenge of Barnard to smash into the empty net.

Nwadike slid right through Maxfield conceding a free kick. The ball was floated across to Ellington who put it into the path of Hume sliding in at the back post and Hume slid the ball into the back of the net to give Celtic a deserved lead. Alfreton almost had an equaliser when Nwadike lifted the ball over the defence and Rawle nipped through and lobbed Pettinger and the bar. Celtic weren?t content with a one-goal lead, and Prince split the defence with a well weighted ball, but with Winder leaning on him, Ellington screwed his shot wide.

Reeves shoved his way past Winn and slid the ball through to Rawle. Pettinger was off his line quickly, but Rawle?s lob cleared the bar. Celtic could have gone in two up had Winn, Ellington or Hume got onto Smith?s blasted low cross through the penalty box, but all three missed.

Ellington started the second half with another shot screwed wide, this time off Black?s low cross. He was wide again moments later when Prince put him through with Barnard keeping him company. Prince then wasted a couple of free kicks in good positions, the first after a nasty challenge by Tiday on Smith, the second on Winn from Nwadike. Celtic were looking increasingly likely to score and when Hannington nodded Black?s cross out for a corner, the goal duly came.

The corner was half cleared, and Ellington brought it back in, taking the ball towards the corner flag. Going nowhere he conjured a low cross from nothing, Nwadike stretched out a leg and provided the perfect finish for the shot, volleying past his own keeper.

Roberts redeemed his first half error with a string of sensational saves, the first coming after Ellington slid the ball through for Smith who smashed it goalwards only for a full length stretch by Roberts to deny him. From the corner, Ellington smashed the ball towards the top corner, but Roberts denied him again with another superb save tipping the ball onto the bar, as it came down, Hume tried only to be denied by another great save, and Alfreton struggled it clear.

Celtic kept going but when Ellington denied a penalty after being fouled not once, but twice by different players, the reprieve gave Alfreton impetus and they pushed Celtic back and back. The pressure eventually told, and with eight minutes remaining, from a long throw Alfreton pushed everybody into the box. Celtic struggled to clear and it fell to substitute Burbeary who volleyed it into the top corner.

Celtic tried to play for time and were quite successful, but when five minutes of stoppage time was announced it put wind in the sails of the visitors. However, it was Hume who came closest to scoring with a low drive deflected out for a corner that Celtic were happy to keep there. As stoppage time started to run out, Alfreton got a long throw, but Celtic stood firm to collect a valuable three points.

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