The game started brightly, with Dave Hankin going one-on-one with Chris MacKenzie, the Hinckley keeper coming out on top at Hankin?s feet, whilst Joe O?Neill tested him only slightly with a weak effort on the turn in the box. Twenty-five minutes in, and Paul Lister dragged O?Neill down in the box when the striker was one-on-one with McKenzie, earning himself a red card and Celtic a penalty. O?Neil took it, and MacKenzie guessed correctly, pulling off a good stop. A cracking effort from Graeme Law required a cracking flying stop from MacKenzie as Celtic tried to make the extra man pay, whilst Briggs headed a corner narrowly wide and fired just over the bar from the edge of the box. At the other end, Matt West fired from distance, which Dave Carnell had to stop, but he should have done better just before half time, when West fired wide when one-on-one with Dave Carnell.
The second half saw Celtic facing two banks of defenders, with Hinckley playing seven across the back. John Hardiker got onto a corner, but headed wide, whilst Craig Hobson volleyed Dave Hankin?s ball over the bar. Michael Carr unleashed a thunderous effort from twenty-yards out, which zipped just wide, and O?Neill did well to latch onto Peyton?s lobbed through ball but flicked his header wide of the post. Andy Smart wasn?t needed at fullback and made several stinging runs, one of which saw him fire a decent enough effort in low, but it was straight at MacKenzie. Jennings was brought on and immediately made a nuisance of himself: firing just wide with his first effort and getting stuck in with over-zealousness, resulting in a yellow card. With Hinckley content to stifle and defend, the chances were all for Celtic, and Keith Briggs?s ball over the top for O?Neill saw the Celtic striker stretching and taking on a difficult shot that lacked the power to beat MacKenzie.
Right at the death, a powerful shot from Jennings from close range took a wicked deflection, and on another day would have snuck in at the near post, but MacKenzie pulled off the save of the match, getting down and smothering.
So Benny Phillips can look at the positives, a clean sheet, a fourteenth league game unbeaten, and a team that wasn?t beaten despite having played precious little football over the past two months.
|9||West, Matt||> 45|
|10||Roberts, Jack||> 27|
|14||Collins, Lee||< 27|
|16||Eribenne, Chuki||< 45|