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Match Report -
Celtic hold off late pressure to go through to the next round
By Iain Benson
Celtic got some measure of revenge for their early season reversal at home to today's hosts with a neat victory at Rivacre Park, thanks to goals from three different goal scorers.

The opening period was evenly cpontested with both teams looking for an opening. Ex-Celtic midfielder, Neil Prince, has never needed to be asked twice to shoot, and when he caught site of goal, he had a blast from thirty yards, ensuring Celtic keeper Jan Budtz was on his toes to tip around for a corner. Celtic broke quickly from the corner, with Connor Jennings cutting inside and taking the shot at the keeper's near post, but sending it wide.

Moments later, and Jennings was there again, this time curling his lay off from Phil Marsh but John Ritchie was alert, pushing the ball around for a corner. In Vauxhall's eyes there was a moment of controversy as Jennings came back from an offside position with his hands raissed, and Lloyd Ellams raced onto Greg Wilkinson's through ball; with the Vauxhall defence calling for offside that wasn't given, Andy Taylor's stuck out leg brought the Celtic player crashing down. Connor Jennings took the spot kick, coolly dispatching from twelve yards.

Lee Elam went close after a mazy run, before Andy Taylor went close off a corner. Vauxhall finished the half with the more chances, but they hardly troubled Jan Budtz, with Josh Wilson and Paul Brown both heading tamely towards Budtz.

The second half kicked off in fine style for Celtic, with Vauxhall immediately pressed onto the back foot; Phil Marsh putting through his strike partner, and Ellams drawing the keeper before dinking a lovely chip over the advancing Ritchie to double Celtic's lead. Almost immediately, it could have been two, when Ellams returned the favour, and Marsh rounded the keeper, but Chris Noone got back to cover his line, and block Marsh's effort. Celtic played a possession game with their two goal cushion, until breaking with speed, but Ellams's shot was deflected over his own bar by Andy Nichols.

With half an hour to go, a handball from Kristian Platt in the box was given as intentional, and it was the Motormen's turn to have a penalty, which Josh Wilson put into the opposite corner to Budtz.

The goal galvanised Vauxhall, and they put a great deal of pressure onto Celtic, with Budtz required to pull off a great one-handed save from Brown, before flying through the air to deny Craig Mahon. After blocking Brown's initial effort, the lose ball fell to Josh Wilson, and Graeme Law slid along the line to block Wilson's stab towards goal.

After weathering the storm, Celtic took control of the game in the closing stages, passing the ball around Vauxhall, and keeping them at bay. Deep into stoppage time, Celtic capped the game off when Craig Hobson burst through the defence onto Joel Bembo-Lita's well weighted pass, drew the keeper and tried to place it past him. Ritchie stuck out a leg and sent the ball wide, but Hobson continued his run, and pulled it back from a tight angle before defenders could get back to the line, putting a shine on the final result.

1Ritchie, John  
2Noone, Chris  
3Dames, LeeYellow Card 
4Taylor, Andy  > 62
5Nichols, AndyYellow Card 
6Mannix, David  
7Mahon, Craig  
8Prince, Neil  > 52
9Anorou, Obi  > 70
10Wilson, Josh  
11Brown, Paul  
12Hannigan, Tom  < 62
14Smith, Keith  < 70
15Grice, Tom  < 52
16King, Mark  
17Mboa, George  
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