Match Report -
Celtic left ruing missed chances
By Deborah Taylor

After weathering an early storm, Celtic controlled the first half, taking an early lead, but Trafford pressed for an equaliser, earning one late in the game. A controversial penalty decision denied Celtic the three points at the death.

In the opening quarter of an hour, both Sam Gill and Tom Beckett found enough space for shots, but lacked the clear cut chance to beat Luke Hewitson. This allowed Celtic to dominate proceedings, playing some excellent football to dictate the play. Obua Mugalula had the first of four one-on-ones, latching onto Joe Robbins’s through ball, but Sam Booth came out on top. As Trafford began to turn the tide again, Mugalula’s strength and agility put him one-on-one for the second time, but this time, his awareness allowed him to put the ball right into Cole Lonsdale’s path. Lonsdale made no mistake, smashing the ball into the back of the net. For the remaining time in the half, Celtic looked to extend their lead. Mugalula again went one-on-one, and again Booth won the match-up. Lonsdale put a free kick millimetres wide and in Mugalula’s fourth one-on-one, he looked like he’d finally beaten Booth, but a stuck out trailing leg denied him. On the loose ball, Robbins volleyed, scraping the post on the way past the goal.

Tactics changed in the second half, with Trafford pressing much higher, and Celtic sitting much deeper. Pace from Darius Palma and Mugalula allowed Celtic to capitalise at the start of the half. Mugalula latched onto a Palma cross to head an inch over the bar and Booth pulled off the save of the match to deny Palma after a scorching run. But they were rare forays. Mugalula and Joe Edwards barely tested Booth as Trafford looked increasingly likely to equalise. With two minutes left on the clock, a half-cleared ball into a packed box came to Matthew Morgan, who fired back through the crowd. Hewitson almost reached the late-seen shot, but it crept in at the far post. In stoppage time, Hewitson saw a similar shot by Morgan in enough time, whilst at the other end, Michael Brewster headed a free kick narrowly over the bar. With seconds left of the match, Lonsdale burst onto Robbins’s through ball, took it past his man and got clipped, flying to the ground. No penalty, and despite contact, Lonsdale saw a second yellow for diving leaving Celtic to rue the first half missed chances and share the points.

1Booth, Samuel  
2Higgins, Sean  
3Sotona, Pamola  > 61
4Fagbola, Jordan  
5Norris, Harry  
6Kay, Scott  
7Beckett, Thomas  > 68
8Rowney, Chrs  
9Servuts, Eddie  
10Gill, SamuelYellow Card > 81
11Wright, JeromeRed Card 
12Hogan, Eoin  
14Khan, Hilal  
15Worrell, Robert  < 81
16Nisbett, KanyeYellow Card < 68
17Morgan, Matthew  < 61