Nuneaton were missing five key players through other commitments and injury, making this the ideal time to play a play-off contender in Celtic's eyes. Although Adam Kay registered the first effort on target, the game swung in Nuneaton's favour when Rhys Meynell brought down Lee Moore when the Nuneaton striker was through on goal. There was no question as to the outcome when it was deemed Meynell did not take the ball. As last man, he was shown red leaving Celtic to face eighty minutes with a man less.
Phil Marsh did manage to show why he is the one to watch for Celtic forcing stand-in Nuneaton Keeper into a decent stop. However, with the extra man, and Celtic reorganised leaving Marsh alone up front, Nuneaton had space but were still struggling to open up Celtic at the back. Justin Marsden came close, forcing a fine save out of Jan Budtz, but both he and Richard Lavery wasted good chances before the game swung back in Celtic's favour.
A long ball from Jan Budtz allowed Phil Marsh to outpace both his markers. He angled into the box, and pulled his shot back. Neil Collett did really well to get a block on the ball, but there was so much spin on Marsh's shot that the ball rolled over the line anyway to the despair of the young Nuneaton keeper.
The second half should have seen Celtic sit back and try to hold what they had, but instead it was Celtic who were creating the chances. Marsh was put in by Kay, firing almost beyond Collett's fingers but not quite, whilst Kay fired straight at the keeper with Jack Rea running in waiting for the pull back. Greg Wilkinson's curling effort brought a really good stop out of Collett. At the other end, Lavery's rising effort had Budtz worried when Celtic struggled to clear a corner, but generally, Kristian Platt and debutant Chris Lynch mopped up everything Nuneaton had until James Arnison's cross into the box had the Celtic defence flat footed, allowing fullback Lee Smith to convert the cross into the equalising goal, with only minutes remaining on the clock.
That should have been it, Nuneaton should have earned a draw.
Connor Jennings had other ideas. Having only been on the pitch for half of the second half he?d already been causing no end of problems for the Nuneaton back line, and with only a minute of normal time remaining, Jennings burst into the box with only Collett to beat, Collett brought Jennings down in the box.
Phil Marsh stepped up and smashed the ball past Collett who guessed right.
There was still time for Nuneaton to go all out in stoppage time. Armson fired a half cleared corner just over the bar and right at the death, Joel Bembo-Lita denied Robbie Burns at the near post to send the travelling Celtic fans home with a smile on their face.
|8||Lavery, Richard||> 76|
|10||Marsden, Justin||> 66|
|11||Hadland, Guy||> 63|
|12||James, Aaron||< 63|
|15||Walker, Adam||< 76|
|17||Burnes, Robbie||< 66|