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Match Report -
Celtic batter Grimsby
By Iain Benson
Celtic were good value for their two goal lead, looking solid at the back and strong through the midfield.

With Jack Laird coming through the middle as a support player, there was a lack of threat up front, but Laird did show what he can do when he came in round the back of the Grimsby defence and lifted a great shot over James McKeown in the Grimsby but it crashed back off the crossbar with McKeowen beaten. Adam Pepper went close with a wicked shot from outside the box that was deflected for a corner.

Joel Bembo-Leta got his head on the corner, nearly capping off a super defensive performance with a goal, as the McKeown tipped it out for a second corner. When new signing Jordan Barrow picking up the second corner, he threaded the ball through to Kristian Platt arriving at the back post to smash the ball home. Grimsby did contain a threat, but their threat was contained by good defending and an outstanding performance by Andy Ralph in the Celtic nets.

The second half saw Celtic make several changes, but they remained looking strong. Within moments of the restart, Mitchell Austin was latching onto a long ball, racing past the full back and curling a fine shot past Greg Fleming to put Celtic two up.

More changes followed, including the replacement of Ralph with Carl Ellington in the Celtic nets. Within seconds a mix-up with his defence saw the ball bounce between his legs and Person took the ball and scored, showing the Grimsby are no slouches, despite the balance of play. It was a comical goal to concede, and obviously threw Ellington's confidence, as he fumbled a catch and landed awkwardly from a another which left him with a pulled muscle and Ralph had to return to the field.

Grimsby were looking for an equaliser to salvage some pride, but their best efforts were fielded by Ralph and he finished it off with a reaction save having seen Craig Disley's shot late.

All in all, it showed what a couple of weeks of training can do.

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