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Match Report -
Celtic gift the game to the other Celtic
By Iain Benson
Celtic put in a lethargic second hand performance, gifting the game to the league's other Celtic.

The first half started brightly enough, with Ellington going one-on-one only for Cuss to knock the ball sideways, though Hume was on hand, so was Pemberton to deflect the shot into an empty net for a corner. Ellington almost got another chance when Black whipped in a good cross, but this time Crossley was on hand to nod out ahead of him. Farsley's only real effort of the half was a thirty yard blaster from Grant that stung Pettinger's hands, no more.

It was Stalybridge Celtic that were creating the chances, Winn's driven low cross only needing a touch off Hume and Ellington finding the space for a sensational curling shot that required an athletic, full stretch tip over from Cuss to deny the opener.

Farsley really should have gone down to ten men, first Nesa dragged Smith down at the edge of the box (free kick came to nothing) before doing so again on the half way line, this time adding a kick and a punch after the ball had gone. Despite the fourth official and assistant referee being mere feet away, neither could help the referee who had not seen it either, so for common assault, Nesa got nothing and Smith had to play on through the pain barrier.

Smith tried to get revenge through football, and won a corner out of Pemberton. Cuss dove straight through Sykes from the corner, and had the decision go his way. Hume was put through by Brodie, but Cuss was off his line quickly, and Hume fell awkwardly over him. Morris came on to replace him, and Morris? first touch was to head Brodie's cross narrowly wide. Smith won another corner out of Pemberton, which was only half cleared as far as Smith who whipped a great cross into Sykes, but his header thumped against the bar.

The second half started and it was immediately apparent that Celtic had lost some motivation, whether it was the constant decisions against them in the first half, or the loss of Hume that damaged the game plan, it was difficult to ascertain. Maxfield was the next to be injured by an over exuberant challenge, by Reeves leaving Maxfield wobbly, but able to continue. Unfortunately it meant that when Nesa slid the ball through to Grant, Maxfield was unable to get back to cover Grant, allowing him one-on-one with Pettinger, and he duly scored, going in off the post.

Still reeling, Celtic hit the self-destruct button in a big way. Winn tried to pass the ball back to Pettinger but didn't put anywhere enough pace on the ball, allowing Grant to nip in and double his tally for the night. It could have got worse. Smith won a free kick out by the touchline, but he and Maxfield dithered over how to take it, eventually Smith trying to feed it to Maxfield, but allowing Nesa to run unhindered up the left flank, put it across to Grant for a tap-in hat-trick, only for Keeling to recover, block the shot, have it ricochet off the striker and Pettinger scooped it up.

The game ceased to be a contest after that, with Celtic having given up, and Farsley going into overdrive with the time wasting tactics. Fish was brought on to enliven the Celtic front line, but the closest he got was a flicked header off an Ellington lobbed cross that Cuss could just reach and did.

All in all, it was a big disappointment that allowed Farsley to leap frog Celtic in the table. The first battle of the Celtic's in a number of years ended with the Yorkshire side winning, more by default than anything else. As if in protest even the floodlights gave up for the last five minutes; with one quarter of the pitch plunged into shadow.

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