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Match Report -
Celtic see off hard working Burscough
By Iain Benson
Celtic's penultimate home game saw them come out on top to a Burscough side that had come to take the points themselves.

Right from the off Burscough showed their intentions, and Hine really should have done better when the offside flag stayed down and he went one-on-one with Phillips, but the Burscough striker lost his composure and sent the ball well wide in the end. A few minutes later and it was Roberts turn to break the offside trap, taking advantage of Keeling losing his footing, only to roll the ball across the face and wide.

At the other end, Smart cut inside and fired low, only to warm the hands of visiting keeper Clancy. Ellington and Newbold interchanged before Ellington smashed a shot towards the top corner that the flying Clancy watched whistle just past the upright. Another chance minutes later saw Ellington dart onto Briggs? ball into the box, and try to turn the ball towards goal only to send the ball over the bar. A Briggs surging run off a Smart lay off was put past the upright, but when Briggs picked up the goal kick and thundered into the box, evading challenges and shrugging off defenders, there was only going to be one outcome, and he placed the ball inch perfect just beyond the grasping fingers of Clancy.

Clancy kept his team in the hunt with a sensational save when Ellington latched onto a free kick inside the six yard box, and tried to flick it past the keeper, but an instinctive save denied Ellington Celtic's second, but it came seconds later when Smart lifted the half cleared ball straight back in and beyond the clawing fingertips of Clancy into the top corner with a sensational goal.

Burscough started brightly in the second half and it required a full stretch save from Phillips to deny Yates off a low cross goal shot, with Wade getting onto the corner, but heading narrowly over the bar. Briggs flashed a header off a corner the wrong side of the upright, and Torpey's free kick had Clancy scrambling back to his line, but sailed over the bar. Jennings, who had come on for Newbold, made a nuisance of himself from the off, and the youngster wrong footed his marker before scooting his shot across the face and narrowly wide of the far post.

Burscough almost pulled a goal back from an extremely well taken free kick that sailed over the wall and just past Phillips's finger tips, crashing against the bar, with Sykes hacking clear. Moments later, and Jennings was back in the Burscough box, turning around Evans who sstuck out a leg and sent Jennings crashing to the ground in the box. Already having one penalty appeal turned down, Jennings looked to the referee who was pointing to the spot.

There was a moment's conversation between Ellington and Torpey, with the crowd suggesting that Jennings take it, Ellington handed the ball to the seventeen year old. There was no hesitation as Jennings powered the ball the opposite way to Clancy's drive.

It could have been four when Wilkinson dummied a cross, darted inside and unleashed a powerful shot that went a whisker's width the wrong side of the post, before Ellington went one on one with Clancy forcing an excellent save. Burscough applied late pressure, but vision from Briggs sent Jennings onto a run towards goal leaving Burscough's defence trailing, one on one, Jennings fired past Clancy who got a hand to it, but couldn't keep it out, adding a gloss to a thoroughly deserved victory.

Celtic now face local rivals Droylsden in their last home match of the season on Tuesday.

1Clancy, Kyle  
2Parry, Matty  
3Stanford, Eddie  
4Moogan, Brian  
5Evans, Tony  
6Roberts, Dave  > 56
7Goulding, Jonathan  
8Holland, Chris  
9Hine, Josh  > 77
10Yates, Michael  > 63
11Wade, Ryan  
12Davies, Craig  < 63
14Shearwood, Ray  < 56
15Dacey, Ryan  
16Ennis, Carl  < 77
17Smith, Keith  
Match Sponsor
Marshall Kypriades/
Roy Oldham
Ball Sponsor
Martin Wareing
Man of the Match Sponsor
Eric Dyson
Programme Sponsor
John Hall Fan Club
Main club sponsor
Dream Bi-Folding Doors Official Shirt Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Warm-up Kit Sponsor
Mulgrew Haulage - Official Warm-up Kit Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Site Sponsor
MG Domestic - Official Site Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Hospitality Providers
Bower Fold Events - hospitality providers