Match Report -
Celtic keep a clean sheet in an even game
By Iain Benson
With the top three all winning, it was vital Celtic took something from their away match with Hinckley, a ground at which Celtic have never lost. A single goal from Ellington was enough to ensure that the top three stay within reach.

The game opened sedately in warm sunshine, with Ellington getting the first chance of the match but putting the ball over the bar. With chances few and far between, both set of attacks coming up short against both set of defences, with debutant Tom Sharpe in the back line for Celtic and playing well.

Both Ellington and ex-Celt Kelly put efforts wide of the mark before the first shot on target came just past the hour mark, with Williams cutting inside and firing into McKenzie?s midriff. Celtic looked to be slowly gaining the upper hand, and after a free kick wasn?t cleared, only a last ditch block by Lavery denied Smart, before Barlow slipped the ball between two on-rushing defenders for Ellington to chase, and he did. One-on-one with McKenzie, he made no mistake sliding in the ball for the opening goal.

Hinckley came back strong, and it took a smart stop from Phillips to deny Gooding, before a low cross from Williams to the far post where Barlow was sliding in saw the Celtic man divert the ball into the side netting taking a layer off paint off the post along the way.

Just before the interval, and Webster got full bloodied contact with the frame of the goal, when he curled the ball past Phillips only for the ball to strike the upright and fall back into Phillips?s relieved arms.

Hinckley played a high line in the second half, switching to three at the back, pressing Celtic further and further towards their own goal-line. It was no surprise when Webster found the space for an angled drive across the face, that Phillips did well to get down and smother, holding on with substitute Taylor right their for a spill.

Ellington could have put Celtic two up mid way through the half, but his angled low shot flashed wide past the far post, but with Hinckley pushing, it was a rare breakout. Hall fired into Phillips?s arms before firing wide.

As the game sped towards a conclusion, a great run by Torpey saw him carry the ball from the half way line with Ellington coming in at the back post completely unmarked. A square ball past the defender and keeper would have allowed Ellington to double Celtic?s lead, but Torpey saw the chance for glory, beat the defender, and as the keeper advanced, tried to place it past him, but put the ball past the post.

Celtic were very nearly made to pay for that, as Hinckley threw everything forward, and Hall capped off a fine performance, diverting a low cross towards goal from close range, but somehow, Phillips got down to make the block, and Celtic scrambled the ball clear and tried to work the ball into the corners.

With the trainer on several times, four minutes of stoppage time turned into five, but Celtic hung on to record another Victory at the Marston Stadium and move into fourth in the league.

1McKenzie, Chris  
2Roma, Dominic  
3Franklin, Conner  
4Lavery, Richard  > 82
5Platenaur, LeighYellow Card 
6Bonner, Tom  
7Hall, Andy  
8Gooding, Andy  
9Webster, Adam  
10Kelly, Leon  > 52
11Lloyd, Callum  
12Taylor, Alex  < 52
14Murphy, Gez  < 82
15Birch, Tom  
16Giddings, Stuart  
17Storer, Stuart  
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