Despite Richard Battersby being substituted early on after coming off second best in a collision, Celtic kept their stride. A clumsy challenge from Mike Byrom twenty yards from goal allowed Celtic their first real chance, and a pearl of a curler from Warren Peyton saw Craig Mawson unable to reach it, and Celtic to go one up.
After another clumsy challenge, this time from Steve Halford, Dave Hankin's free kick was nodded back by Steve Woods to his defensive partner, John Hardiker to power in a thumping header. Matty Barlow could have sealed the game a few minutes later as Celtic looked in the ascendancy, but his shot lacked the power to trouble Mawson.
Droylsden slowly dragged themselves back into the game. They broke from a corner, and though Andy Smart got back to almost make the block a superb effort from Droylsden's top scorer, Shaun Whalley, had power and the bend needed to take it away from Paul Phillips and into the top corner.
Both sides created chances as the game became more even, with the best of the eforts coming from a sweet swinging strike off Keith Briggs's foot that had Mawson making a very good save.
The second half saw Droylsden becoming the dominant force, with both Rob Lloyd and Tony Gray forcing Phillips into saves, the latter requiring a particularly good stop from the Celtic keeper. After an ineffectually cleared corner, Steve Beck's dipping thirty-five yard effort grazed the crossbar on the way out.
Celtic did get a couple of chances, the best of which was another fine free kick from the constantly improving Warren Peyton. And the late introduction of Craig Hobson proved he knows where the goal is when a loose ball in the box invited a snap shot, but Mawson was well placed to catch the ball in his midriff.
Droylsden kept increasing the pressure as the half wore on, pushing Celtic further and further back and pressing Celtic whenever they had the ball, until with seconds left of normal time, substitute Paul Brown got behind the Celtic defence and fired off a scorching low drive that flew across the face of Paul Phillips and into the far corner.
Towards the end of the game, Celtic were hanging on under sustained and increasing pressure from the visitors, so a draw as a final result was a fair result.
|4||Byrom, Mike||> 54|
|8||Lloyd, Rob||> 63|
|10||Yeo, Simon||> 54|
|12||Cryan, Colin||< 54|
|14||Brown, Alex||< 63|
|16||Brown, Paul||< 54|