Match Report -
Celtic come back twice, but cannot capitalise in a 2-2 draw at home to Avro
By Deborah Taylor

Celtic had to come from behind twice through Darius Osei and Aaron Dwyer to gain a point at home against Avro in the final game of 2023.

The visitors opted to hit Celtic on the break, and were good at it. Just after the ten minute mark, after Obua Mugalula was up-ended just outside the Avro box, the visitors turned defence into attack with two passes. The first to free Kyle Hawley, the second from Hawley across the face of goal to his running partner Jack Anderton. Neither Michael Brewster nor Luke Hewitson could do much about it as Anderton swept in the opening goal.

A goal up, Avro sat back, relying on one of the best defences in the league, but Darius Palma had other ideas, racing into the box not once, but three times. The first two, the defence held him off, but on the third he found Aaron Dwyer, who forced a tremendous save from Grant Shenton.

Rather than settle for a corner, Brewster caught the Avro defence napping, keeping the spinning ball in and laying it off for Osei at the near post to turn in the equaliser.

Osei could have made it two when he got ahead of Geffry Ebhote, but a long leg denied him at the last gasp, at the expense of a corner.

Both Cole Lonsdale and Aaron Dwyer came close during a period of domination by Celtic, but Shenton was well placed both times to deny them, first saving the curling effort from the corner, then getting back up to block Dwyer’s follow up. Shenton was almost caught flat footed when Max Leonard tried lobbing him from an acute angle, but the former Celtic keeper recovered well to palm over the bar.

The second half saw Celtic come down the hill, swamping the visiting defence but turning little territorial and possession advantage into chances. Mugalula tried his luck from twenty five yards in about the only effort of the first half of the second period.

Avro substitute Sean Etalaku’s first involvement was to run at Lonsdale, who mistimed his challenge, sending Etalaku flying inside the box. Hawley stepped up, opting for precision not power and sending Hewitson the wrong way to put the visitors back in front.

Once again, the lead lasted less than ten minutes, Jack Irlam linked up with Mugalula in the box, with the latter pulling the ball to the far post where Dwyer arrived at speed to smash home the second equaliser of the night.

It could have been his second, seconds later, but his twenty-yard effort skipped past the far post.

As it was, with stoppage time well underway, it was Celtic who nearly lost the points, when Luca Havern came up for a set piece, glancing a header down to the far post, only for Hewitson to pull off the save of the game and preserving a point for Celtic.

1Shenton, Grant  
2Dwyer, James  
3Wallwork, Kane  
4Ebhote, Geffry  
5Havern, Luca  
6Smalley, DeaneYellow Card 
7Crothers, Matthew  
8Anderton, Jack  
9Hawley, Kyle  > 77
10Ellis, Liam  
11Harrop, Max  > 60
12Etaluku, Sean  < 60
14Gomes, Bebeto  
15Potts, LouisYellow Card < 77
16Wharton, Ben  
17Bibre-Bello, Muis  
Match Sponsor
MG Domestic & Harold Flowers