Match Report -
By Mike Tilly

Kevin Parr capped an exceptional personal performance with the only goal of the game as Stalybridge kept in touch with the leaders in front of a crowd of 641 at Bower Fold.

The opening ten minutes saw plenty of action around both penalty areas though both sides struggled to create clear chances. McNeil found Evans in the 9th minute but the Worksop defence somehow scrambled the ball wide, and that was as close as either side came to scoring in the first half hour. Both sides have been scoring goals for fun this season but the game looked certain to be scoreless at the break. With the Celtic forwards being constantly flagged for offside, much to the annoyance of the home supporters (though to be fair to the linesman most of the decisions did seem correct), and Worksop making no headway against an outstanding home defence, a breakthrough looked most unlikely.

Then, up popped Parr! In the last minute of the half Andy Scott, a substitute for the injured Bauress, swung over a corner to the far post. Filson rose above the defence to cushion a header down for the onrushing Parr to smash home an unstoppable drive from 8 yards.

Stalybridge, boosted by the goal, grew in confidence and were by far the better team in the second half. Crookes almost made it 2-0 in the 48th minute with a downward header from another corner but Worksop cleared it off the line. Seven minutes later Evans received a pass from McNeil on the edge of the area but he blazed just over the bar. Jones and Pickford also fired shots at the Worksop goal, though both were wide.

Celtic's leading scorer, Sullivan, was surprisingly left on the bench tonight but Wilson plunged him into the action with 20mins to go to give Worksop something new to think about, and it almost paid off in the 76th minute.

McNeil squared the ball and Sullivan raced into a 1-on-1 situation with the Tiger's keeper, but the legs of Holmshaw denied him. Four minutes later Sullivan again found himself with space around the edge of the box but his chip drifted just wide.

With just three minutes of the ninety left Worksop were thrown an unlikely lifeline when Referee Lawton pointed to the penalty spot after a clash in the box. It seemed harsh but the referee was as close as anyone, and Celtic were lucky the situation wasn't worse when he chose to be lenient over Filson's attempt to decapitate Worksop's Johnson in the melee that followed.

Eventually Kirk Jackson stepped up to take the spot kick, sending his effort hard and low to the left of Celtic's new keeper, Fish, but a new Bower Fold hero was born as he thrust out his left arm to pull off a superb save and ensure Celtic collected three valuable points.