It was ten minutes before Celtic could break out of their own half, and Briggs dragged his shot wide after a corner wasn?t cleared. Just before the half hour and Alfreton should have been in front but for yet another superb stop from Phillips off Clayton?s low drive that spilled into the path of Curtis, but the Alfreton man blazed his shot wide. Minutes later, and the miss was rectified. Once again it was a low shot that Phillips parried extremely well, but with the Celtic defence watching, the ball span across the face of goal to Howell stood alone and unmarked at the back post for the simplest of tap ins. There were shades of off side, but the flag stayed down.
Alfreton seemed content to defend the goal lead, with the Alfreton defence mopping up every high ball into the box. Meechan tried a low drive that flat footed the visiting defence that looked to have gone wide, but Dickinson must have got the slightest of touches, because Celtic won a corner. Ellington was brought on, and when Alfreton failed to clear the corner, it was Ellington who had Celtic?s first real chance, blasting low to the near post, with Dickinson spilling almost into the path of Meechan, but narrowly escaped.
In Celtic?s best period, a foul by the side line saw Hardiker sneak in, but his looping header over Dickinson smacked against the crossbar falling to Meechan who had a tap in but lifted his shot over the bar. With Celtic chasing the game, a couple of gaps started to open at the back, and Howell raced past the offside trap, but Phillips made an excellent save, putting the ball out for a corner, which Butler sent well over the bar.
Five minutes before half time, and Celtic?s play-off hopes looked to evaporate when a low cross into the box from Howell saw a defensive mix up, when the ball was stopped by Keeling in the six yard box, with Phillips also sliding to catch, leaving Brown the chance to steal in tap in from inches with the goal at his mercy.
Celtic cannot complain about the 2-0 score line.