Match Report -
A lacklustre performance leaves Celtic in dire straits
By Iain Benson
Celtic dropped more points in their quest for Conference North survival with a dispirited performance against a Workington team that looked comfortable throughout.

It could have been so different though. In the opening exchange, Barlow raced past the offside trap, had the time to pick out Winn coming into the box at full speed. If anything, Winn had too much time, and he tried to place his shot, screwing it just wide. Winn then opened the defence again, finding Prince with an inch perfect pass, but May was back to block the shot, and Barlow and Ellington clashed trying to get on the loose ball, effectively clearing it for the opposition.

Celtic then disintegrated. Workington were allowed to put the ball through the box twice before Birks turned it under Bishop off Wright's low cross, after nobody had picked Anthony's original cross. Edmondson got forward shortly after and could have made it two-nil when he rode a couple of challenges before lobbing Bishop and putting the ball over the bar.

Celtic's first shot on target came just before half time when Maxfield put in a high cross that Ellington nodded down into the path of Sykes, but Sykes's shot was too soft to trouble Collin in the Workington nets.

The second half saw Workington pass around Celtic who were left chasing shadows. Gordon had a couple of good chances, the first straight at Bishop, the second saw him race onto a loose ball at the edge of the box, which he tried to lift over Bishop, but the Celtic keeper reached up high and made the block.

Barlow then got hold of an Ellington nod down, but again the shot was too soft to trouble Collin. It was a bright spot in an otherwise darkening game.

Workington upped their game a little, and Townsley got a full bloodied header on a corner, but again Bishop was there to keep his teammates in the game. Workington did get the safety goal when Winn brought down Birks on the edge of the box. The wall was too far over, and Kendrick curled it around the wall and into the near post, with Bishop unable to get all the way over and down. Birks then missed a sitter for the visitors, when he arrived at the back post a fraction of a second after Anthony's cross.

As the game went into the final few minutes, Celtic actually started playing a little bit. Brodie's ball across the face found Ellington coming in, one-on-one with Collin, it would have seemed a safe bet that Ellington would pull one back, but instead he put his shot an inch wide of the far post. Ellington was then incredibly unlucky. Brodie's low shot was blocked on the line by Kendrick, the clearance striking Ellington full in the chest as he closed the fullback down, and the ball fell into Collin's hands.

After the games when blatant penalties not given could have affected the outcome, Brodie was lightly touched in the box by May well into stoppage time, it was enough to send Brodie off balance, and he fell forward. The referee pointed to the spot and Ellington struck a sweet penalty that no keeper could have stopped, even had he known where it was going.

It was too little, too late. The team looked like a team destined for relegation. It's not out of Celtic's hands yet, and we now have three chances to get the points necessary to stay up. A win on Saturday at struggling Scarborough would see us, if not mathematically safe, at least realistically safe.

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