Match Report -
Celtic throw away a two goal lead.
By Iain Benson
A disastrous final few moments saw Celtic throw away a two goal cushion. This was after Celtic had got themselves back into the game after Lawless advanced on the Celtic line before lobbing a distance shot over Pettinger for an opening goal inside two minutes. There was almost an instant reply, when Smith chased down a loose ball, beating the advancing Vauxhall keeper, Lake, to the ball and putting an inviting cross through the box, with nobody running in on it to convert. Moments later Hume converted a chance from Brodie, but was offside.

Celtic got more and more into the game, pushing and increasingly beleaguered Motor?s side to the edge of their own six yard box. Finally on the half hour mark, Hume was brought down by Griffiths right on the edge of the box. Ellington?s free kick was wicked, and palmed over by Lake. Ellington was not to be denied, and from the corner powered a header into the back of the net. Obviously not learning his lesson, moments later, Griffiths fouled Parr in a similar place. The wall wasn?t back ten yards, so Ellington put the ball square to Brodie who lashed in an unstoppable drive from the edge of the box that the keeper could only watch.

Ellington almost immediately doubled it when Hume nodded down a cross for him to volley only narrowly over. Ellington returned the favour with a delicious lob over the keeper to Hume at the back post, but McNulty just got a fringe to it to deflect it away from Hume.

The second half saw Motors change to a more attacking formation, and try and take the game to Celtic, leaving just three at the back. It almost worked straight away with Martindale shooting into the side netting from distance. However, they were light at the back and Brodie flicked on a Prince cross into the path of Hume, who volleyed it past a stranded Lake.

Vauxhall really went for it, pushing Celtic onto the back foot. Parr got a yellow card for kicking the ball at the same time as Lawless before substitute Rooney snapped off a shot that required Pettinger to be on his toes. Wright?s shot moments later was more comfortable for the Celtic keeper.

At the other end, Smith was having some joy without as many defenders and he skinned Dames before firing a shot across Lake that required the Motor?s keeper to make an athletic tip around. Parton was brought on for the limping Hume, and showed glimpses of his former genius. First he danced around three defenders before feeding the ball to Ellington, only for Griffiths to deflect a certain goal away for a corner, before chasing down a lost cause and pulling it back for Brodie, only for Vauxhall to throw men into the path of the shot.

Celtic were made to rue the missed chances when a floated ball into the box saw Rooney emulate his more famous cousin and grab a goal with a flicked header past Pettinger. Black then blocked on the line to deny Rooney the equaliser after the Vauxhall man had successfully lifted the ball over Pettinger. Pettinger was called into action to make a good stop off Garrity?s low drive from the edge of the box, before Dames had a warm up shot well over the bar.

The traditional contentious decision saw Black penalised for a foul on Rooney just outside the box. Three attempts were made by different Vauxhall players as first Pettinger and then the post denied them. The ball fell to Dames at the edge of the six yard box, and this time his shot was on target to break the hearts of the Celtic faithful.

Celtic will have a chance for revenge next week as the return match is played, but unless more chances are taken, a repeat of last season could be on the cards.

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