Match Report -
Great Advert for the Conference North
By Iain Benson
Celtic started the new season off with a draw against league favourites Telford. Both sets of fans will believe that their team could have won, so a draw has to be a fair result.

The game started at quite a pace, and it wasn't long before Torpey sidestepped his way into the box and struck a low shot from close range. Khela got a leg in the way that sent the ball looping over Young in the visiting nets, and just nicked in at the far corner to open the scoring for Celtic.

Ellington followed that up with an effort from the edge of the box that had to be saved, but it didn't cause Young any problems. At the other end, Blakeman forced a similar save out of Phillips, and Fearns will be ruing the day as he rounded former team-mate Phillips, only to see his curling shot hacked off the line by Keeling. Ellington won a corner as Cowan got in the way of his shot, but Telford cleared easily, whilst Wood and Williams were whiskers away from doubling Celtic's lead during a purple patch for Celtic that saw some great touching and movement.

Miss of the match has to be handed to debutant Joynes: Ellington did superbly well to reach and keep in a strong through ball from Barwick, pulling it back for Joynes to nod in, with ninety percent of the net to aim at, he put the ball an inch wide.

Celtic immediately rued that missed chance. A dubious foul by Sykes near the edge of the Celtic box allowed Telford chance to use a free kick routine that they?d obviously practiced in training. The ball was knocked wide, and lifted by Blakeman to the centre of the box where Adams came steaming in to plant his header under Phillips and equalise. There were looks to the linesman, but it was a well worked routine.

The second half saw a confidence filled Telford come out and take control of the match for the opening exchanges. Fearns should have doubled Telford's lead within minutes of the restart when he received a low cross from Brown, and although Wood got back to hassle him, a player of Fearns's quality would be expected to tap in that golden opportunity of an open goal. He put it wide and wide by yards.

It didn't matter, strike partner Brown got the goal that Telford had threatened. A long throw from Naylor was flicked high into the air, and Brown was on the end of it as Celtic couldn't clear it, Brown putting Telford into the lead with little Phillips could have done.

It took until the last quarter of an hour, but Celtic finally got back into the game, and in that period dominated the play. An interchange between Williams and Woolliscroft saw the Williams fire tamely into Young's arms from the edge of the box, before a similar move between Woolliscroft and Torpey saw Woolliscroft burst into the box and send a low ball across a line of defenders and attackers, with Williams steaming in at the back post to get the final touch and divert the ball into the gaping net.

Woolliscroft put his own shot wide after another pass and move with Williams, before Torpey forced Young into a low shot as Celtic pressed for the winner. Platt (on for Barwick), tried the half volley, but didn't get it on target before a looping cross from Torpey found Joynes at the back post, but he headed the ball against the post. As the game looked towards stoppage time and sensational strike from Platt forced an equally sensational save from Young, getting good distance on his leap, and conceding a corner Celtic couldn't convert.

It was an absorbing match, and a good omen for the rest of the season for both teams.

1Young, Ryan  
2Naylor, Martyn  
3Jagielka, Steve  
4Cowan, Gavin  
5Whitehead, Stuart  
6Khela, Indy  
7Adams, Jon  > 75
8Nwadike, Emeka  
9Fearns, Terry  
10Brown, Andy  
11Blakeman, Liam  > 83
12Moore, Lee  < 83
14Stevens, Jarred  
15Fitzpatrick, Gary  
16Vermiglio, Jamie  < 75