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Match Report -
Battle of the Badgers
By Iain Benson
Eastwood Town scored seven minutes from either end of the match to go into the hat for the first round proper.

Jack Rea's early first half shot was straight at John Danby and the Eastwood keeper put his boot through the clearance for his forwards to chase. When Lee Stevenson turned Joel Bembo-Lita he raced into the box and Alan White was unable to get across to get in his way as he fired past Jan Budtz to give the visitors an early lead. It should have been two seconds later when Michael Simpson missed a sitter of a header at the back post, and Adam Muller fired wide when it looked easier to score. Stevenson forced Budtz into a close range save which the big Dane palmed away and Alan White knocked out for a corner as the visitors took advantage of a disorganised looking Celtic, with Sam Duncum having a free header off the corner but heading it softly into Budtz's hands.

Celtic looked to have no way back into the match, but Phil Marsh was brought down a few yards outside the box by a clumsy challenge from David Haggerty. It took the assistant to alert the referee to the foul, but it was given, and Marsh's free kick was top draw and top corner through the narrowest of gaps, arrow straight with more than enough power to leave Danby rooted.

Celtic still looked a little disorganised, and Eastwood continued to create the chances, with Lindon Meikle and Stevenson both forcing Budtz into cracking close range stops, as did Duncum off a corner. As the half came to a close, Marsh got a great chance to put Celtic into a half time lead with Craig Hobson's diagonal ball into his path in the box smashed narrowly wide of the far post.

Celtic came out in the second half and looked more dangerous, Connor Jennings doing a one-two with substitute Graeme Law before firing tamely at Danby, and Hobson's shot on the run was likewise straight at the Eastwood keeper. The game was end to end, and Muller saw his effort palmed away and cleared at the back post by White before the action switched back to the Celtic end where Wilkinson's free kick to the back post turned into a shot as Danby palmed it away for a corner.

Marsh could not divert Elam's cross to the far post any closer than narrowly wide and Law latched onto some good build up play to fire harmlessly at Danby. Meikle fired a free kick straight at Budtz and Duncum's backpost cushioned header required a reaction stop from Budtz from a yard if that. Muller forced Budtz into tipping his shot over the bar as the game went into the last ten minutes.

With both sides going for it, it took exception reflexes from Danby in the Eastwood nets to stop Celtic being the side in the hat when he stopped Elam's shot and then moments later twisted in the air to deny Lloyd Ellams from Elam's cross.

There was a sense of deja vu when a long ball from the keeper was missed by Bembo-Lita allowing Lindon Miekle to race unimpeded at Budtz and he fired across the keeper into the far top corner with a great strike on the run, and with only five minutes left, Eastwood tried to close the game down. Even so Lloyd Ellams found a yard of space but his shot was exactly where Danby was and Celtic watched the tie slip away.

1Danby, John  
2Bailey, MarkellYellow Card 
3Riley, Paul  
4Simpson, MichaelYellow Card 
5Haggerty, David  
6Cooke, Russell  
7DLaryea, Jon  
8Stevenson, Lee  
9Muller, Adam  > 83
10Meikle, Lindon  
11Duncum, Sam  
12Todd, Andy  < 83
14Rhead, Matt  
15Foster, Anton  
16Hawes, Adie  
17Bailey, Matt  
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