Match Report -
Got Out of Jail
By Iain Benson

Celtic got out jail with a soft penalty against a Solihull who were not the most adventurous side, but were tight defensively, and grabbed a goal from a set piece.

The first half saw a series of chances for Celtic, with Greg Wilkinson firing just over the bar from a set piece, and Craig Hobson shooting diagonally across the box without ever troubling Jasbir Singh in the Solihull nets. After Michael Blackwood had Moor's first shot ten minutes before the interval, Celtic's best chance came from a corner that caused no end of problems for the home defence, as first Wilkinson and then Hobson both had efforts cleared off the line with Wilkinson putting the second corner over the bar from the edge of the box.

Solihull came at Celtic in the second half, and Jan Budtz was seriously tested with a snap shot from substitute Ryan Beswick. Connor Jennings had been slow to get started but as the game wore on, fashioned more chances for himself, firing wide from a good position and sending in a smart cross that was inches away from connecting with Marsh's boot. His best chance came when he outpaced his marker, and fired in a cross come shot that took a wicked deflection off Stuart Pierpoint, putting it out from a corner.

Celtic's chances of getting anything from a game where they were not at their best when Gavin Hurran took a corner that curled into the near post with Budtz unable to do more than push it into the side netting after it had crossed the line. It was a soft goal to concede. Jordan Fitzpatrick should have made it two moments later, but his shot when it came was weak, and comfortable for Budtz. Kristian Platt, back in for the suspended Rhys Meynell, had a solid game alongside Chris Lynch, which kept Solihull at bay, but it looked like a long trip back up the M6 with nothing to show for the afternoon's play when Connor Jennings burst past Stuart Pierpoint two minutes into stoppage time, only to be clipped by Pierpioint who had left his leg in the tackle. It was the slightest of touches, but at that point Celtic would take whatever was on offer.

Phil Marsh stepped up to take the penalty and coolly sent Singh the wrong way. With still two minutes of stoppage time left to play, Celtic could have seen an unlikely win when Steve Brogan's cross to the near post was met by the head of Dennis Sheriff, but his thumping header was an inch the wrong side of the post, and Celtic left with a only a draw, but it was a point more than they could have probably expected.

Celtic next play Northwich in the Cheshire Senior Cup ahead of the Christmas fixtures with Hyde. Celtic will need to up their game considerably if they are to beat the league leaders in what has become a twelve pointer.

1Singh, Jasbir  
2Hinton, Craig  
3Francis, Andre  > 90
4Hurren, Gavin  
5Pierpont, Stuart  
6Spencer, DannyYellow Card 
7Fitzpatrick, Jordan  
8English, Junior  
9Walker, Richard  
10Johnson, Simon  > 45
11Blackwood, Michael  
12Karonji, David  < 90
14Millar, John  
15Lewis, Alando  
16Jackson, Steve  
17Beswick, RyanYellow Card < 45