Match Report -
Celtic leave it late for the three points
By Iain Benson

Celtic secured the three points with a late winner from Jack Laird, despite a spirited performance from Histon.

The first half started brightly for Celtic, with fast passing that had the visitors on the back foot straight off. It didn't take long for the breakthrough to come, a fine move down the left saw Jack Laird and Jamie Mullan trade passes to put Jack Laird through, and he fired across Joe Mellings into the corner of the goal with a fine finish.

Histon got their act together and put up a fighting comeback, and despite Mitchell Austin firing over the bar, the pressure was coming from the visitors, and there was a great save from man-of-the-match Alex Cairns from a corner to deny George Thomson, and Cairns was there again to deny Pearson Mwamyongo with a flying save.

There was no surprise when Histon equalised, the impressive loan player Junior Konadu-Yiadom setting Kaine Sheppard free, he lifted the ball over Mark Lees, and Jim Stevenson was hand to sweep home from close range.

It could have been worse, but for some fine goalkeeping from Cairns, flying across to tip away Mwamyongo's great effort, and blocking Sheppard's attempt a moment later. It wasn't all one way, and both Mitchell Austin and Jordan Barrow had good efforts, Barrow's shot almost knocking out Danny Fitzsimons.

The second-half saw Celtic attack immediately, with a ferocious dipping shot from Jordan Barrow clearing the bar by an inch and Wilkinson firing wide from twenty yards. At the other end, Konadu-Yiadom had his shot pushed away for a corner by Cairns, and it was a routine save off the corner for the Celtic stand in keeper, from Jay Dowie. Celtic should have edged ahead on the hour mark when Callum Warburton's superb corner was headed down at the back post by Kristian Platt, only for an outstretched boot from Mellings to keep it out, the rebound coming to Barrow whose shot was charged down, as were seevral stabbed attempts from a mass of Celtic players, unable to get through the heroic defending from Histon.

Austin forced Mellings into another save moments later, his curling tight angled shot palmed away for a corner that Platt fired just the wrong side of the post, whilst at the other end, Cairns was still buy, keeping out Mwamyango and Harry Harris. With quarter of an hour to go, a free kick on the edge of the box for Histon looked dangerous, but it was a lifted free kick that was easy for Cairns, and Claudiu Hoban also got no power or precision on his late shot.

Histon were made to pay with a minute to go when Greg Wilkinson's vision freed Jack Laird, who dropped a shoulder, nipped inside his marker and fired a crisp drive past Mellings into the bottom corner.

It just remained for Celtic to close the game out in stoppage time, but Celtic still managed to find time for one last shot, Jamie Mullan cutting inside and forcing Mellings into a last second save, with Celtic not having time to do anything with the corner, it didn't matter, Celtic moved back up to sixth, within a point of fifth place.

1Mellings, Joe  
2Roberts, Grant  
3Hawkins, Hari  
4Dowie, Jay  
5Stevenson, Jim  
6Fitzsimons, Danny  
7Thomson, GeorgeYellow Card > 79
8Sear, Adrian  
9Sheppard, Kaine  > 68
10Konadu-Yiadom, Junior  
11Mwamyongo, Pearson  > 83
12Hoban, Claudiu  < 79
14Harris, Harry  < 68
15DaCosta, Lynval  < 83
16Mgombar, Harry  
17Napier, Deaken  
Match Sponsor
H N Nuttall
Ball Sponsor
Celtic Travel Club
Man of the Match Sponsor
Roger Handley