Match Report -
Celtic Crash out of the Cup
By Iain Benson
Celtic crashed out of the FA Cup in spectacular style as Workington beat us for the third successive time.

In truth, the only difference between the two sides was finishing: Celtic were profligate with their chances, and Workington didn?t miss theirs.

The early chances fell Celtic?s way; a handball by Hewson on the edge of the box saw Workington defend in numbers, the ball coming eventually to Roca, who set up Winn for a blast of a shot that sped narrowly wide. Barlow and Roca stretched the Workington defence with a criss-cross move, with Roca lifting a seemingly dead ball back for Ellington, but Collin did exceptionally well to catch on Ellington?s head. Ellington turned provider to set up Winn with a fine through ball, but Winn?s goal-bound effort was deflected wide for a corner that Haran headed wide.

The longer Celtic went without scoring, the more confident Workington looked, and Reed was handed a couple of glorious opportunities, both of which he blasted across the face of goal and out. A loose pass from Winn was quickly latched onto by Hopper, who tried to catch Gamble unawares, but his distance shot was over the bar.

As half time rapidly approached, Winn?s cross to Roca at the back post was punched by the keeper, spinning across the face, but Hewson got there first to put it out for a corner, which Haran headed wide. Barlow raced onto a Sykes through ball and as Workington found themselves struggling to get back, he put the ball across the face to Ellington. Ellington had a lot to do, but he brought the ball under control and took the instant shot from just outside the box, firing narrowly wide with Collin beaten.

Right before half time, Hewson cut inside past Garner. Haran slid in and took the player not the ball conceding the penalty. Johnston put the ball down, took very little run-up and slotted the ball to Gamble?s left. Gamble kept the deficit down to just one as Hopper got between Garner and Haran and snapped off a shot, which Gamble did will to push around the post.

Celtic needed a goal early in the second half, but they didn?t get it. Instead, a Garner conceded corner was whipped into the near post, where Johnston was stood with two defenders and Gamble, but somehow forced it across the line.

Hall should have pulled one back when Barlow nodded down a Garner cross, Hall got a great contact on the ball, but Collin was well placed and took the volley into his midriff. Celtic were pushing forwards, with nothing to lose, Hall crossed to Barlow who had switched to a more central role, Barlow nodded it back for Winn, but Winn couldn?t wrap his foot around the shot and it went wide. Some great build up play saw Barlow freed by Burbeary?s ball he took the shot that was blocked on route by one of several defenders, it came back to Winn, he created some space, put the ball through to Barlow who curled a top corner shot that Collin claimed well. Barlow then cut around the back of Rowntree and tried to loft the ball into the box, the ball struck Gray?s arm and went out for a corner.

The corner was cleared and Garner tried to pass the ball back to Gamble. There was no where near enough pace on the ball, and freshly on substitute Gullen latched onto it, tried a speculative shot, Gamble was off balance and fumbled the shot into the back of the net. From Workington?s point of view, a great time to score as Celtic had clawed their way back into the game.

Celtic were really up against it now, but still kept at it, Roca won a corner out of Rowntree, the corner half cleared to Winn who?s lifted shot was deflected narrowly over his own bar by Hopper, Workington couldn?t get it clear and Dudgeon won a corner, this time it came to Burbeary who struck a powerful shot into Derbyshire.

With Celtic committed forward, it was only going to take a lapse at the back to be punished, and that is what happened. Gullen picked up a loose pass, a pin point pass through the defence, Berkley was onto it in a flash, one-on-one with Gamble, and his control was excellent to slide it under the advancing keeper. Once again, Workington scored just as Celtic looked to be getting back into the game.

To make matters worse, Winn blocked Gullen?s shot from distance at the expense of a corner. Gullen wasn?t to be denied and was completely unmarked at the corner of the box from the corner, and produced the best volley of his career, dipping, powerful and top corner with Gamble unable to get near it.

Celtic still kept going, either through pride or stubbornness, and Hall could have grabbed a late consolation in stoppage time when Ellington put a through ball into the path of Hall, he lifted his shot over Collin, but the Workington keeper got a hand on the ball to put it out for a corner that Celtic wasted.

In terms of possession, Celtic probably shaded the match, but possession doesn?t win football matches, goals do, and Workington got their goals at the right time to put a humiliating face on the final score. Whether it was 1-0, or 5-0 Celtic are out of the cup. They need discover the holes that Workington exploited, close them, and move onto the next match. They say that one learns more from one?s defeats than victories, Celtic learned a lot in that match.

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