Match Report -
Ten men Celtic surge to salvage a point
By Deborah Taylor

Ten men Celtic came from behind twice to record a stunning 2-2 draw to keep second place in the table.

Despite having the lion’s share of possession in the opening period, Kidsgrove showed little adventure with the better goal opportunities falling for Celtic. Darius Osei almost opening the scoring with Celtic’s first attack, but Kieran Harrison reacted well and Jack Irlam got into a great position, but headed over. Twenty minutes in, Celtic were put on the back foot when Connor O’Grady tried to intercept a lobbed ball, succeeding only in firing a stunning, inch perfect lob over his own keeper. Luke Hewitson back peddled and grasped air trying to tip it over, but Kidsgrove were somehow in front.

Celtic came back strongly. Kieran Harrison blocked O’Grady’s prodded shot, straight into the path of Osei. The Kidsgrove keeper did exceptionally well to bounce back to his feet to block the low drive at the near post. Cole Lonsdale’s curling effort was wide as Celtic looked to find an equaliser, but the game became much harder as talismanic winger Aaron Dwyer saw red after an innocuous looking fifty-fifty challenge. Even a man down, Celtic looked most likely to score, and Irlam’s curling top post shot saw Harrison fly across goal to palm the ball away. Deep into stoppage time at the end of the first half, Osei broke free but fired over the bar.

The second half continued in the same vein, Joe Robbins tried his luck as he latched onto Max Harrop’s lay off, but though his rocket had Harrison beat, it smacked off the upright. Kidsgrove couldn’t stop the onslaught, and eventually cracked with a sensational curling effort from Irlam that swerved past Harrison’s outstretched fingers and into the back of the net.

After Osei should have put Celtic ahead, Kidsgrove had a pair of corners, one requiring a flying header from Pawel Zuk to keep out Mason Fawn’s volley off a corner. With three minutes of the ninety remaining, Max Leonard looked to have slid in and taken the ball cleanly, but he got too much of the player and conceded a late, late penalty. Fawns converted easily when his jittering run fooled Hewitson.

Cue eight minutes of stoppages for Celtic to salvage the match. Obua Mugalula almost converted Osei’s cross with his first touch, somehow heading the wrong side of the post while Irlam did the same at the far post moments later.

When Josh Thorpe bundled over Osei with seconds left on the clock, it was a last chance for Celtic.

Lonsdale’s free kick whipped in, everybody threw themselves at the ball, but Scott Wars reached, pulling the ball across the face of goal where Connor O’Grady stretched his leg and fired in a joyous equaliser.

1Harrison, Kieran  
2Bromfield, Jack  
3Harrison, OwenYellow Card 
4Bergin, Lewis  
5Washington, Harvey  
6Thorpe, Joshua  
7Fawns, Mason  > 90
8Garlick, Jimmy  
9Malbon, AnthonyYellow Card > 64
10Woolley, Joe  
11Cadeau, Tyrone  > 72
12Cole, Jordan  < 64
14Knapper, KieranYellow Card 
15Lovatt, Callum  < 90
16Morley, Nathan  < 72
17Lycett, Scott