Match Report -
Wet and miserable, Celtic leave with nothing
By Deborah Taylor

A single goal in wet conditions saw Runcorn take three points, with Celtic struggling to find consistency.

For eighty of the ninety minutes, Linnets dominated, keeping possession and creating slightly better chances. It didn’t start that way. Celtic opened the attacks from the whistle, with Max Harrop’s free kick curled around the wall into Bayleigh Passant’s waiting arms. After that, Runcorn had excellent chances requiring great defending from Jai Curran-Nichols and Connor O’Grady. Ryan Brooke’s free kick saw Luke Hewitson get down well to push around the post. When Brooke beat Hewitson with a header off a corner, Brandon Newell’s heroics saw him hack off the line. Right before the interval, Linnets again broke the Celtic back line. Will Saxon brought the best out of Hewitson with a reaction stop. The punch came out to Brooke, who saw his returning shot hit the post, bounce out, get blocked by Hewitson on the floor and bounce back off Brooke for a goal kick.

Celtic had ridden their luck, creating very little of their own. Unfortunately, the pattern continued into the second period. It eventually told. A route one launched ball got knocked into the box by Eden Gumbs and Saxon slid across the slick surface into the opposite bottom corner. Hewitson unsighted as O’Grady slid into block and missed.

Celtic finally found some urgency in the last five minutes. Matty Bryan twice got onto excellent Max Harrop crosses, but headed over the bar. O’Grady forced Passant into his only real save of the match, and the Linnet’s custodian did well, his block coming out to Harrop who volleyed from an acute angle into the side netting. Max Leonard almost became the hero of the match in the dying seconds of stoppage time, but lacked the power to beat Passant leaving Celtic wet and miserable.

1Passant, Bayleigh  
2Barrett, Sam  
3Wylie, Peter  > 45
4Welch, Jacques  
5O'Mahony, Sean  
6Kay, Anthony  
7Moseley, Adam  > 77
8Lynch, Joe  
9Brooke, Ryan  
10Saxon, WillYellow Card 
11Gumbs, Eden  
12Hagan, Harry  < 77
14Perry, Alex  
15Brown, KennyYellow Card < 45