Match Report -
Almost the comeback of the season
By Deborah Taylor

Both sides had a mad five minutes, but Runcorn got three in their spell, with Celtic only getting two before running out of time.

The cagey first half saw both teams create half chances, but neither team taking them. Max Harrop had the first shot on target, flicking his shot to the top corner, but Bayleigh Passant caught easily. At the other end, Celtic’s stand-in keeper, Luke Hewitson, got some reaction practice. First Eden Gumbs fired in low from an angle, forcing a save down to his left, with Will Saxon firing in from the opposite angle, down to his right. Aaron Dwyer twice forced stops from the home keeper, the first with a rising shot, the second a decent free kick that had Passant flying. The best chance of the half fell to Linnets right before the interval, when Saxon cut in from the corner of the box and fired across the face.

The second half started with a mad five minutes from Runcorn. First, Kenny Brown made some space and put a low cross across the six-yard box. Saxon got to the ball and fired back across the face, beating Hewitson. Barely had the echoes of the scorer’s name died away, when Eden Gumbs stole the ball. He forced his way past Connor O’Grady and Greg Wilkinson before smashing in the second. The Linnets rocked Celtic further when Joe Lynch fired in the pick of the goals, curling in from a sharp angle.

Against a disruptive home side, Celtic struggled to regain any kind of cohesion, but with ten minutes to go, Aaron Dwyer gave the travelling fans hope, latching onto Wilkinson’s through ball. He carved out enough space, but couldn’t curl his shot far enough. However, with time running out, Celtic began their mad period. Max Harrop’s clever ball over the top saw Obua Mugalula bring down the ball with elegance to open up the home defence, slotting the ball past Passant. Three minutes later and Matty Bryan sent Dwyer on his way, and Dwyer didn’t disappoint with a fabulous strike. Time ran out for the most unlikely of comebacks. Celtic hadn’t done quite enough to force a replay, but Runcorn hadn’t done enough to have a three goal final scoreline, so 3-2 is reflective.

1Passant, Bayleigh  
2Hagan, Harry  
3Short, James  
4Welch, JacquesYellow Card 
5O'Mahony, Sean  
6Kay, Antony  
7Saxon, Will  
8Lynch, JoeYellow Card > 64
9Gumbs, Eden  > 66
10Doyle, Lewis  > 73
11Brown, KennyYellow Card 
12Wylie, Peter  
13Roberts, Josh  
14Perry, Alex  < 64
15Sample, Harvey  < 66
16Moseley AdamYellow Card < 73