Match Report -
Pot of gold
By Deborah Taylor

Like the weather, Celtic shone in parts, and Newcastle overshadowed them in others. With a rainbow spanning the pitch, it was Celtic that found the pot of gold in a seven goal thriller.

A long throw undid Celtic in the opening minutes. Lacking the Connor O’Grady’s nouse and height, Tommy Van Der Laan towered above the crowd to nod on the throw. It hit the bar, bouncing down across the line according to the assistant. Any contentious nature of the goal didn’t matter when a sweeping Celtic move moments later gave Celtic the equaliser. Brad Byrne swivelling at the box’s corner to feed Aaron Dwyer on the overlap. Dwyer made the space and fired low through a crowd to beat the former Celtic shot-stopper, Joe Slinn. Celtic shone after the goal, with Byrne only a hairsbreadth away from giving Celtic the lead, his shot hitting the crossbar and cleared away. Newcastle Town’s offside trap operated on a hair-trigger. It needed something special to beat it. Max Leonard provided it, sending Matty Bryan through, one-on-one with Slinn, and he made no mistake, edging Celtic in front. Dwyer went close, Matty Bryan’s cross caused a lot of problems. Jack Derbyshire reached it a fraction of a second ahead of Max Leonard, and almost scoring in his own net.

At the other end, Newcastle almost equalised from another long throw. This time, Luke Hewitson reacting superbly to tip Ollie Ritchie’s shot over the bar. Instead, they equalised from the corner. Whipped to the back post where former Celt Dan Cockerline waited. Cockerline stooped to head in the equaliser with only moments on the clock. Aaron Dwyer didn’t want to go in level. He powered forward, beating two men to square across, where Byrne came in to side foot Celtic back in front.

The second half saw Newcastle leap from the blocks faster than Celtic. Though Bryan came close after beating the offside trap, his shot across the face missed by inches. Another set piece, and Celtic struggled. This time a corner. Half cleared as far as Ollie Ritchie. He half-volleyed arrow-straight into the top corner from twenty-five yards and the sides were level again.

Out of the two, it looked like Newcastle might shade it. They had the lion’s share of the chances. Kyle Stubbs and Cockerline both missed glorious chances, with corner after corner. Isaac Graham had a distance shot that almost caught Hewitson flat-footed, but he got across to push the ball out. Celtic held the second half onslaught off long enough to reach stoppage time. Again, Dwyer didn’t want to finish level. A free kick, thirty-five yards out. Celtic piled forward. There in the middle of the box, unmarked, the enormous frame of Scott Wara. Dwyer picked him out. Wara rolled the ball down his body and hooked his shot into the back of the net. Though Newcastle got a corner past the point of the four added minutes, though Slinn came up for it, they knocked it too far and Celtic leapfrogged their hosts.

1Slinn, Joe  
2Hurst, Joe  
3Ritchie, Ollie  
4Van Der Alan, TommyYellow Card > 45
5Derbyshire, JackYellow Card 
6Stubbs, Kyle  
7Lee, Phoenix  
8Graham, IsaacYellow Card 
9Cockerline, Dan  
10Edwards, Dan  
11Speed, Callum  > 57
12Adu Gymfi, Kingsley  < 57
14Mazurkiewicz, Patryk  
15Van Der Alan, Jack  < 45
16Berks, Joe  
17Holden, Louis