Match Report -
Penalty heartache
By Iain Benson
Celtic faced the lottery of penalties and crashed out of the Setanta Shield at the first round in front of the TV cameras. Penalties looked destined as both sides struggled to convert their chances.

Celtic?s first chance came early after Barlow was fouled thirty yards out. The free kick went for a corner as Leeson diverted the ball from goal. Bartlett claimed the corner well in a crowd ? as he would continue to do all evening. After a handball from Christensen just outside the box, there was Bartlett again to claim at the head of Hall. Barlow was sliced down by Snowdon at the edge of the box, the free kick struck the wall, but Keeling pulled it back for Winn, who lofted it across for Ellington, who slid the ball through to Hall, unfortunately, Hall had to clamber around Forster to get to the ball and conceded a foul.

Nor were Blyth taking advantages of their chances, with Bell firing wide after doing well to get past Haran. Bartlett was well placed when Garner?s quick centred cross found the head of Hall, but the Celtic striker?s header was straight at Bartlett. Ellington lifted the ball over the defence for Barlow to run onto, but he had to snatch at the shot with his left foot, and Bartlett made a simple save. From a free kick, Haran pulled the ball back for Ellington, but his shot was parried around the post for a corner. Haran got his head on the corner forcing a fine save out of Bartlett.

Dale tried a distance shot, after Blyth had struggled to get into the Celtic box, Gamble had to save it, but it was a comfortable catch. Dale did get past Garner and fired in a powerful shot; Haran tried to get his hand out of the way, but succeeded in making better contact with the ball, conceding a penalty to Blyth. It was a goal that the game desperately needed, but Dale?s penalty smacked against the foot of the post and Celtic cleared.

Some good build up play from Celtic resulted in Garner striking a powerful drive from the edge of the box; it took a deflection making Bartlett?s save even more impressive. Roca was up ended on the edge of the box, and played the resulting free kick short to Ellington, but his shot struck the wall.

Blyth started the second half with a corner, but it was too high for everybody, and Celtic came forward. A great cross through the six yard box by Roca, but neither Barlow nor Hall could reach it, and it went narrowly wide. Winn was scythed down by Gildea just outside the box, Ellington took a curling free kick, but Bartlett made the catch look routine.

A loose ball towards the Celtic box gave Logan a glorious chance and he latched onto it and has Gamble advanced tried to lob the Celtic keeper, but Gamble got a palm on the ball and allowed Haran to hack it clear. Bartlett was equally sparkling when called upon: a thunderous shot from Winn from thirty-five yards dipped and swerved as it flew through the air, but Bartlett leapt well and punched the ball over his bar. Keeling then forced Bartlett into a full stretch save with a low drive from the corner of the box as Celtic carved out more chances. Next up Roca wriggled through the defence and smacked a top corner shot, again Bartlett was on hand to palm around, and from the corner, Sykes headed over the bar, relieving the pressure on Blyth?s goal for a moment, until Garner powered up the line and fired in a looping cross. A superb header from Ellington was met by an equally superb save from Bartlett. Gildea conceded a corner; the short routine came to Roca who struck the shot first time, but over the bar. A Burbeary free kick again forced Bartlett into a save. From the corner, Ellington headed narrowly wide.

Just before the final whistle, Roca was provided with a perfect ball from Hall, lifted over the defence into his stride, one-on-one and he fired over the bar to send the game into extra time.

The first period saw McCabe head tamely into Gamble?s arms, and Roca fire a looping shot over the bar after doing all the hard work to carve the space, before Gamble was beaten by Bell?s powerful low drive, only for Haran to block on the line. The second period saw both Barlow and Keeling fired shots over the Blyth bar to put the game into penalties.

A floodlight failure meant the end where the penalties were taken was switched, and Williams stepped up first, neatly tucking it away. Winn was up for Celtic, and kept the scores level. Both Bell and Barlow scored, followed by Forster scoring and Burbeary seeing his spot-kick saved. Thompson converted his kick, and Roca needed to score and did. The Blyth keeper took the last kick for Blyth knowing a goal would send Blyth through, but Gamble saved well down to his left. Oakes came up to take Celtic?s final penalty, a goal would have sent the penalties into sudden death, but Bartlett pulled off the save so send Celtic out, and Blyth through.

1Bartlett, Adam  
2Christiansen, Ben  
3Leeson, Andrew  
4Snowdon, Peter  
5Forster, Richard  
6Williams, Gareth  
7Webster, Adrian  
8Gildea, Alex  
9Dale, Robbie  
10Bell, Phil  
11Logan, Steve  
12McCabe, Chris  
14Thompson, Andrew  
15Johnson, Craig  
16Hedley, Steve  
17Boyle, Jamie  
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