Match Report -
Celtic fall flat in the Derby
By Deborah Taylor

Celtic’s flat second half left the Boxing Day derby swing Mossley’s way.

For the opening half hour, it looked certain Celtic would score although for Mossley, Jack Banister had a one-on-one he completely fluffed. A melee in the Mossley box saw several stabs at the cherry through a forest of legs, culminating with Michael Brewster forcing a block on the line by Christopher Thompson. Obua Mugalula danced into the box, but lacked the power on his shot to beat Thompson, and Aaron Dwyer’s cheeky fifty yard effort had Thompson scrambling to clumsily push the ball around the post. Darius Osei got his own one-on-one, with Thompson bravely taking the ball at Osei’s feet. After Jack Irlam had cleared the bar by an inch, he had his next effort smothered down low by Thompson. Mossley’s main forward threat came through Banister, and it required a superb stop by Luke Hewitson to deny his powerful strike as the tide of the half turned in Mossley’s favour. The half ran out after a couple more half chances for Celtic, with Mugalula missing from close range and Osei firing over the bar from close range after a perfect cross from Pawel Zuk.

Celtic didn’t seem to come out in the second half, offering nothing of the attacking threat of the opening period. Although superbly executed, Mossley’s opener leant more to lax play from Celtic than ingenuity from Mossley. A poor clearance came as far as Andy Keogh. The veteran instantly lobbed the ball back towards goal, sailing over Hewitson’s outstretched fingertips to send nearly half the crowd wild. It kicked Celtic back up a gear or seven for the final quarter of an hour. Cole Lonsdale got a corner back but fired over the bar. Irlam’s effort from outside the box cleared the bar and Jordan Burton forced the save of the match from Thompson, the ball bouncing back to Burton, but with his left foot, he couldn’t steer the gift back into the net with Thompson finally beaten.

With everyone committed, deep into stoppage time, Mossley had a breakaway, Ben Darby somehow allowed to run unimpeded up the left wing, drawing the reduced Celtic backline towards him. Alfie Belcher had run unnoticed up the right wing. Unnoticed by everybody but Darby who squared across the box and tapped into an empty net. There was still time for Celtic to squander two more chances, Mugalula missing the target and Osei heading down to Thompson’s left, only for Thompson to smother.

1Thompson, Christopher  
2Grundy, Jack  
3Holden, Darren  
4Leigh, Callum  
5Lees, Mark  
6Barlow, Luke  
7Hickman, Kane  
8Keogh, Andy  > 87
9Webb-Foster, ReeceRed Card 
10Darby, Ben  
11Banister, Jack  > 77
12Dickin, Josh  
14Shepherd, William  
15Belcher, Alfie  < 77
16Bailey, Eden  
17Camara, Oumar  < 87