Match Report -
Budtz Performance Earns Celtic a Point
By Iain Benson

Celtic dropped out of the play-off places after a point earned by a hard working Celtic on a pitch more suited for cattle, with Celtic goalkeeper, Jan Budtz the hero for the point.

Celtic fashioned the first chance in the first minute with a ball over the top for Marsh and Hobson to chase. The pair combined, with Marsh getting the last touch and James Dormond reacting well to keep the ball out, whilst Hobson's goal was ruled offside, despite a good finishing after bringing down Rhys Meynell's excellent ball. It was a close call by the assistant referee.

A corner for Worcester provided a good chance, especially with Dwayne Samuels reaching the ball first, but heading quite wide. Marsh hit a shot on the run after outpacing the defence, but shot across the face and wide, whilst at the other end, Budtz read the situation to deny Greg Mills's wicked free kick from forty yards.

Celtic's best chance came when Hobson and Marsh combined in the box, with Hobson getting round Dormond, only for his low shot to be blocked by Jacob Rowe a foot from the goal. Just before half time, Worcester got a free kick just outside the box, and the gap in the wall returned. Mills took advantage, firing hard through the wall, the ball swerving on route to goal making Budtz's save even better. The block hit the ground and rose up and though Michael Taylor reached the loose ball first he fired well wide when he perhaps should have put his team one-up.

The second half was always going to be a battle for Celtic, and this battle was made harder when Callum Warburton dove in with two feet to dispossess Dwayne Samuels. Though the Celtic midfielder had taken the ball without touching Samuels, a two footed lunge is received poorly by referees in the modern game, and Warburton was dismissed.

As Celtic reorganised, Worcester took advantage and Michael Taylor burst through only to be denied by a truly outstanding point blank save from Budtz.

From that point on, the back line of Celtic, including the new signing, Mark Lees at right-back, kept the home side at bay, and it was Celtic who could have snatched the three points in the last twenty minutes. With Jack Rea clearly tripped in the box by Tyler Weir, but with very few decisions going Celtic's way, there was no chance of getting a spot-kick. Craig Hobson's reaction shot from the edge of the box was caught fairly comfortably by Dormond, and his snap shot across the face was well wide in the end.

Previous matches between the two sides at St George's Lane have seen stoppage time goals, and when Jack Rea burst out of the melee at the edge of the box with the ball and fired off a shot, it looked destined for the bottom corner, but unluckily for Rea, the ball flashed wide of the upright and the game finished goalless.

Celtic still have a game in hand over Gainsborough, which would see them go back into the play off positions, so this season's twists and turns are far from over. We have still only lost four times on the road all season, and we have kept our ninth league clean sheet, so disappointing as the result was, there are still plenty of positives.

1Dormond, James  
2Weir, Tyler  > 82
3Deeney, Ellis  
4Birley, Matt  
5Rowe, Jacob  
6Whitehead, Stuart  
7Samuels, Dwayne  > 62
8OConnor, Kevin  
9Symons, MikeYellow Card > 77
10Taylor, Michael  
11Mills, Greg  
12Elvins, Rob  < 82
14Edwards, DannyYellow Card < 62
15Carey-Bertram, Danny  < 77
16Green, Phil  
17Sargeant, Matt