Match Report -
Dubious penalty costs Celtic two points
By Iain Benson
Celtic were robbed of the points at the final whistle with a late equaliser from Gainsborough?s big signing, Beckett.

The game started with Gainsborough on the front foot and the two week hiatus in football evident from Celtic?s slow start. Gainsborough flew out of the traps, and within a few minutes had been awarded a penalty when Woolliscroft raised his arm to block Hall?s cross in.

Beckett stepped up to take the penalty and blasted low to his right. Phillips guessed right, diving to his left and palmed the ball away for a corner that Celtic didn?t clear. Seconds later, and Hall fired in a low shot, Phillips parried and there was Beckett to smash home the opening goal.

It didn?t stop there: Ross fired wired before McMahon?s shot was cleared off the line by Sharpe. It was beginning to look like a rout was on the cards as Celtic struggled to get it together, but slowly they got into it, and Battersby?s ball into the path of Meynell allowed the Celtic man to fire narrowly over the bar before Williams was up ended on a mazy run just outside the box. Smart stepped up and fired under the unison jumping wall to grab the equaliser.

Beckett should have put Gainsborough back in front when he was given the freedom of the defence to curl a shot from the corner of the box, but fired wide of the mark as Celtic started to play the way they can, and pushed Gainsborough further and further back. Joynes didn?t get the power he needed in his shot just before the interval, with Jameson comfortably taking the ball, before a defensive mix up allowed Joynes to head towards goal, Jameson fumbling the ball onto the crossbar and scramble the ball clear.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first, but with Celtic haring out of the blocks, and Woolliscroft fed the ball through a flat-footed defence for Joynes to race onto, he turned superbly and fired across Jameson into the bottom corner to give Celtic the lead.

Battersby saw red after he mistimed a tackle, and Drury broke several records in ensuring the ref knew it was a foul. Having already been booked, he got a second yellow and left the field. Both had been mistimed tackles, and another official may have left it at that.

Just after the hour mark and a moment of controversy. Beckett blasted the ball towards goal and Meynell just could not get out of the way, the ball striking the top of his arm. Astoundingly the referee awarded a penalty, though quite how Meynell was supposed to get out of the way of the ball is a mystery. It was definitely not handball and for telling the referee this, Keeling and Meynell were booked.

Substitute Mallon took the penalty, firing right, with Phillips going left. It was all square again, and Gainsborough took heart from it, with Beckett and Anson both testing Phillips before a defensive howler saw Celtic take the lead with seconds left on the clock. A terrible back-pass from Lukic was chased by substitute Barlow, Jameson reached it first, but sliced his clearance straight up, Barlow still had a lot to do and out jumped Jameson to head over him and the ball to trickle into the net.

It looked like Celtic had done enough, until five minutes of stoppage time were announced.

Gainsborough piled forward, and forced a corner out of an overworked Celtic defence. It was a near post corner, and there was Beckett to nod home a soft goal.

Many of the travelling fans would have taken a draw at the start of the game, but the nature of Gainsborough?s second goal left a bitter taste in their mouths.

1Jameson, Aaron  
2Greenwood, Ross  
3Drury, Martin  
4Spafford, Neal  > 60
5Lukic, James  
6Anson, Danny  
7Davies, Garreth  
8Ross, IanYellow Card 
9Beckett, Luke  
10McMahon, Lewis  > 86
11Hall, Chris  
12Bird, Simon  < 86
14Marrison, Colin  
15Mallon, Ryan  < 60
16Ellis, Nicky  
17Austin, Matty  
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