Match Report -
Celtic finish on a high
By Deborah Taylor

Celtic closed the curtain on our first season in the northern premier league first division west with a win over Kidsgrove Athletic, though it looked for a while like a draw was on the cards.

The first half saw Celtic struggle for ideas to break down a Kidsgrove team intent on not losing. Darius Osei twice got in decent positions, but couldn’t hit the target, while Cole Lonsdale hit the target, but Kieran Harrison made the save. Harrison also made the save as Kyle Stubbs played the ball back to him right before the interval, but saw a contentious pass-back given. Indirect, twelve yards from goal, but the mass of defenders proved impenetrable.

Prince Anuniru, promoted from the Under 21s squad, ahead of a League cup match tomorrow, got a telling touch on Michael Brewster’s lifted cross, nodding the ball through to Osei. Osei held off the defence, spinning into a position to go one-on-one, and he made no mistake, curling his shot past the keeper. Behind, Kidsgrove had to up their game, and they did. Adam Bott got one-on-one with Luke Hewitson, but Hewitson stopped well only for Cole Lonsdale gave the visitors a lifeline as he mistimed his tackle and brought Bott down in the box moments later. Lewis Bergin took the spot kick, blasting with power and sending Hewitson the wrong way.

Their lead lasted seven minutes. Jack Tinning’s forty yard ball to Matty Bryan was crossed with superb accuracy to where substitute, Joe Edwards, arrived to finish off with a side-footed volley. Both sides had chances in the last quarter of an hour, but Celtic looked the more lively. Osei tried to curl the ball around the defence, only for a stuck out leg to deny him, Bryan headed the corner goalward, only for Harrison to push it over the bar and Jordan Burton couldn’t get his effort on target. At the other end, Ross Davidson headed a corner horribly wide, while Nathan Morley tested Hewitson, but the Celtic keeper blocked well. In stoppage time, Celtic looked to extend their lead, with Bryan unlucky when he beat everybody and blazed for goal, only for Kyle Stubbs to get back and clear off the line.

All in all, a much improved season on seasons past, with Celtic winning more than they lost.

1Harrison, Kieran  
2Marrow, Jack  
3Stubbs, Kyle  
4Bromfield, Jack  
5Ryder, Josh  
6Bergin, LewisYellow Card 
7Cadeau, Tyrone  > 62
8Ofusu, Ernest  > 77
9Bott, Aaron  > 82
10Davidson, Ross  
11Morley, Nathan  
12Walker, Harry  
14Washington, Harvey  < 82
15Holdham, Lewis  < 77
16Brown, Kieran  < 62