Celtic opened the 2021/22 Northern Premier League season with a narrow 3-2 defeat away at Nantwich Town.
Scott Bakkor opened the score for Celtic with a penalty before Thommy Montefiori and Sean Cooke overturned Celticâ€™s early lead. Former Football League striker Sean Miller netted a third. Stephen Brogan pulled one back but Celtic couldnâ€™t find the equaliser.
Celtic started the game the better side with Bakkor seeing a dipping half-volley from 25 yards fall just over the bar.
Their early attacking play was rewarded on 11 minutes when Bakkor was brought down by Joel Stair and Celtic were awarded a penalty.
Bakkor stepped up and cooly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner, sending Cameron Terry the wrong way.
Celtic could have doubled their lead just five minutes later. Jack Ryan was played in behind Nantwichâ€™s defence down the right-hand side, he found Bakkor who was initially unmarked inside the penalty area but by the time Bakkor was able to strike the ball, Nantwich managed to get bodies back and Bakkorâ€™s shot was wide.
Ryan saw a shot on the turn saved by Terry before Nantwich began to find their feet.
On 24 minutes, Grant Shenton had to be at full stretch to superbly deny Montefiori who tried to curl the ball in to the top left corner from the edge of the area.
Just three minutes later, Nantwich did equalise. A corner from the right caused a scramble in Celticâ€™s penalty area and eventually after pinball, Montefiori squeezed the ball home.
Bakkor saw a shot just wide of the post before Nantwich scored a second. Cooke was tripped as he tried to take on Celticâ€™s defence, a penalty was given and Cooke converted to put The Dabbers ahead.
Nantwich extended their lead and scored a third on 57 minutes. The ball broke kindly for Miller, the striker was able to slot the ball past Shenton.
Celtic got themselves back into the game on 79 minutes. Brogan fired a free-kick off the crossbar before the rebound was saved on the line by Terry and put behind for a corner.
Brogan delivery the corner and the ball went all the way in through the hands of Terry.
Celtic pushed for an equaliser and Bakkor managed to glide his way through three defenders but Terry was able to make a low save with his feet.
Celtic couldnâ€™t find that equaliser and a very good Nantwich side ran out 3-2 winners.
Celtic are next in action on Tuesday 17th August with South Shields the visitors to Bower Fold. Tickets can be purchased online at stalybridgeceltic.co.uk.
|7||Webb, David||> 82|
|9||Miller, Shaun||> 70|
|11||Montefiore, Thommy||> 70|
|12||Haywood, Prince||< 82|
|14||Sanders, Callum||< 70|
|15||Stair, Theo||< 70|