Match Report -
Celtic snatch three points at the New Bucks Head
By Mike Brierley
Stalybridge Celtic bounced back from the disapointment of Tuesday night's defeat to local rivals Hyde United, by earning a valuable three points at fellow promotion chasing side AFC Telford United.

Although Telford started the brighter of the two teams, they did little to press home their advantage and it was Celtic who scored what proved to be the decisive goal when Dave Hankin's cross across the face of the goal was turned into his own net by Kevin O?Connor, with Joe O'Neill in close attention.

Telford stepped up their attack as the first half drew to its conclusion, at one point forcing six successive corners but now with the confidence of being a goal to the good, the Celtic rearguard was coping more than adequately with what the Telford attack was throwing at them. Dave Carnell was twice called into action, Steve Thompson and Mark Beeseley both having great efforts stopped by the Celtic keeper.

The second half was played out in much a similar vein. Telford probably having more of the possession but failing to do little with it. Celtic, defending their lead well and looking to use the creative flair of Dave Hankin, Jody Banim, Lee Dodgson and Joe O'Neill to build on the goal advantage.

The denouement of the game came when first Keith Briggs saw his shot hit the crossbar, followed by Telford hitting the opposite crossbar twice in quick succession, Damien Reeves's cross clipping the bar, and Steve Thompson's blistering shot tipped onto the bar by Carnell, and that was that. Celtic played out time well and the final whistle was greeted with both relief and joy by the travelling faithful.

A win at the New Bucks Head is a rare event and perhaps atones a little for the defeat to Hyde. With Celtic now back on the fringes of the play offs, it is imperative they take full advantage in the new few crucial games to boost their play off hopes.

1Young, Ryan  
2Vaughan, Lee  
3Newton, Sean  > 45
4Killock, Shane  
5Dugdale, Adam  
6Blakeman, Liam  
7OConnor, Kevin  > 68
8Rodgers, Carl  
9Trainer, Phil  
10Beesley, Mark  
11Blair, Matt  > 71
12Thompson, Steve  < 68
14Reeves, Damian  < 71
15Adams, Jon  
16Whitehead, Stuart  < 45
17Carey-Bertram, Danny