Match Report -
Celtic back to winning ways and then some
By Iain Benson
Celtic got back to winning ways, and scored twice in stoppage time to put the gloss on a solid performance against former League 2 side, Boston United.

The early exchanges were fairly even, with Ellington seeing a solid strike well collected by Wright in the visiting goals. After Payne fouled Leabon just outside the Celtic box, Smith curled the shot around the wall and forced Gamble into an excellent save. Celtic took the initiative back, and after Keeling was fouled just outside the box, Ellington curled his shot narrowly wide of the target. Some good passing saw Wright forced to come storming out of his box, but Meechan took it off him, and from a terrible angle to score, fired into the side netting. James Dean showed great physical presence to get a scoring opportunity, but Ellender got in the way of the shot, blocking for a corner that Payne headed towards the top corner forcing an excellent reaction save out of Wright.

Boston should have taken the lead when Celtic failed to clear a corner, and the Boston hit-man got into a glorious position, with only Gamble to beat six yards out he blazed his shot over the bar.

Celtic started passing it well with the new boys Meechan and Dean combining well, before Dean squared to Winn who found Ellington unmarked coming into the box, his curling shot was top-drawer, beating Wright and crashing back off the bar. Bloomer hacked the ball over his own bar for a corner. From the corner it came to Payne who headed back across the face to Meechan, completely unmarked, he took his time, steadied his aim and fired low under the flailing keeper to open the scoring.

Celtic maintained their lead to the half time interval and came out looking the stronger side. Dean held off the attentions of Ellender long enough to see Winn steaming into the box, he put the ball into Winn?s stride and Winn?s shot looked unstoppable until Wright pulled off an outstanding save to deny him.

A foul from Green on Winn just outside the box was curled in by Ellington, but Talbot headed over his own bar for a corner, that Payne headed over the bar. Winn was everywhere, and he brought the ball from the middle of the park before providing a sixty yard cross to Barlow coming in from the wing, Barlow controlled with his first touch and fired narrowly wide across the face with his second.

A moment of panic from Smith at the back played Dean in, Dean struck the shot first time, firing narrowly wide across the face. Ellender shoved Dean over just outside the box conceding the foul, but the floated free kick was headed well wide by Payne. Another chance was soon forthcoming when Green fouled Ellington thirty yards out, Payne again got on the end of it, and was on target this time, but it was a comfortable take from Wright.

Excellent build up play from Celtic saw Ellington find Barlow, Barlow strike was sweet, and it took another outstanding save from Wright at full stretch to deny him.

Boston had to change something, and they brought Medine on, the nippy player was soon in the thick of the action, getting to the by-line, and it took fine reactions from Gamble to cut out the low cross aimed for Froggatt.

A foul by Ellender just outside the box on Dean saw Ellington?s curling free kick headed narrowly wide by Froggatt for a corner, but Boston easily contained the pressure from the corner and broke quickly, earning a free kick of their own at the other end as Keeling up ended Medine. Gamble punched the free kick out for a corner that Celtic hacked clear.

A moment of controversy came when Dean burst into the box and fired through a crowd. Wright was beaten but Smith was on the line and it was clearly his hand that he used to hook the ball away but no penalty was forthcoming despite the protestations. Celtic got back on with it and Dean was soon racing past Ellender back into the box, Ellender stuck out a leg and made contact with Dean?s shin-pad. Dean didn?t hesitate, but went down in a crumpled heap. It was definitely a penalty, and Dean made sure the referee knew that.

There was some disagreement about who would take the penalty and whilst Meechan and Ellington conferred, Medine was booked for foul and abusive language at the referee. Ellington put the ball down and Rowan stood just inside the penalty area. The referee ordered him out, and got a mouthful in return. The referee just took out the red card and got Rowan out of the box by sending him off.

After what seemed like an age, Ellington stepped up and powered an unstoppable penalty into the bottom corner, Wright guessed right, but just couldn?t get down and across far enough to keep out Ellington?s third goal of the season.

With the clock ticking away, Boston were looking like a team on the ropes and Dean topped off a fine home debut performance with a ball out to Hall (on for Barlow), completely unmarked in the corner of the box, and Hall struck a sweet low strike that Wright couldn?t get across to stop and Hall notched his ninth of the season with seconds left on the clock.

Coming on the back of five straight defeats, this was a superb way to get back into winning ways. The new players have slotted in perfectly, and Celtic looked good again.

1Wright, Chris  
2Matthews, Tom  
3Smith, Adam  
4Ellender, Paul  
5Bloomer, Matt  
6Talbot, Stewart  
7Thompson, Lee  > 65
8Green, Liam  > 57
9Froggatt, Jon  
10Leabon, Kieran  > 72
11Rowan, JohnRed Card 
12Stevenson, Jon  < 72
14OHalloran, Matt  < 57
15Medine, MblyeyeYellow Card < 65
16Nicholls, Ashley  
17Foulks, Luke  
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