It was a nervy performance from the Celts, up against the already relegated thrown-together team of Eastwood Town with no wins since October obviously put a lot of psychological pressure on the Celtic team, fortunately, Stephen Brogan was number eleven, so Celtic were virtually assured one goal.
The first half was a nervy midfield battle, with very few chances, the defences performing well, but Celtic’s nerves shone through with misplaced passes and slow build up. Gavin Caines was winning everything high into the box, although he narrowly missed his own goal when putting Mark Lee’s superb cross over his own bar. A corner caused mayhem in the Eastwood box, eventually coming out to Greg Wilkinson who smacked it goalward, seeing it lift just over the bar with Sam Andrew beaten, whilst Callum Warburton fired a free kick narrowly wide.
The best two chances in the half fell to the home side, with Jan Budtz pushing Markell Bailey’s for looping distance drive onto the post, and Alex Troke seeing Budtz at full stretch to deny his precision effort.
Just before half time, Stephen Brogan curled a free kick narrowly wide and the half ended goalless.
Celtic were a little more composed at the start of the second half, but still looked nervous. Hobson had picked up a stomach injury at the end of the first half, and was replaced by Ollie Banks, Mitchell Austin shouldering the loan striker responsibility.
Wilkinson launched a snap shot over the bar after quick passing, Brogan put a corner back in, only narrowly wide and Austin almost ran the ball into the net and dashed along the by-line before testing Andrew at the near post. Moments later and Austin was again running at the fullbacks, he went past Josh Raven and pulled the ball back for Brogan who side footed home the game’s only goal. It was good build up and a worthy winner.
From that point on, Eastwood couldn’t get near Celtic’s goal, but Celtic were more concerned with keeping the one goal lead, which led to some nervy moments. The Celtic defence held firm through a very long thirty minutes, occasionally threatening to break through themselves, Austin coming the closes with a low drive that Sam Andrew got down well to.
It was a sense of relief at the final whistle, as Celtic final rid themselves of the albatross of not winning away from home since October. Hopefully, Celtic can now push on and into the play offs.
|2||Raven, Josh||> 63|
|9||Bailey, Markell||> 45|
|11||Keane, Kallum||> 81|
|12||Simmons, Greg||< 63|
|14||Henry, Wes||< 45|
|17||Marriott, Perry||< 81|