Match Report -
Hindered by wind
By Six Yard Sam

This was always going to be a tough game, and a tougher test of Stalybridge Celtic's unbeaten run.

Altrincham seemed to have put behind them their embarrassing 3 - 0 defeat at home to Mossley in the FA cup, and were firing on all cylinders once again. Indeed, it was Altrincham who started the shooting with Scheuber forcing a save out of Gary Ingham in the first quarter of an hour.

The first half saw Celtic playing into the wind, and this was causing all kinds of problems with clearances and goal kicks. However, some neat interplay saw Ingham roll the ball out, followed by some crisp, low passing, finishing with Tony Sullivan breaking free from the clutches of Farley and around the rushing keeper. However, he was off balance and the angle was tight, with his shot missing the far post by a mere inch.

Altrincham continued to press the wind advantage in the first half, forcing a corner off Scott approaching the half hour. Aided by the wind, Ellison corner had to be tipped over by the in form, and alert Ingham.

The half ended with three yellow cards in quick succession for clumsy tackles by Filson, Bauress and Parr. Though Altrincham replied in kind, only Porter was punished.

The Celtic fans expected that in the second half, Celtic may be able to snatch a goal with the wind advantage now on their side. However, the wind had become erratic by then, resulting in some bizarre ball movement. McNeil's cross field pass to a clear and waiting Sullivan performed a ninety degree turn two yards from the goal, going out harmlessly for a goal-kick.

Altrincham's substitution half way through the second half saw Leroy Chambers replace James Glendenning, and he immediately caused Celtic problems, with Ingham performing two miraculous saves to deny Altrincham.

However, it was Celtic who failed to take the best two chances of the game, with Parr's header and McNeil's drive both being saved, and Bauress' two thunder shots from twenty yards moving just too much in the air to be on target.