Match Report -
Toothless Celtic fail to find the net
By Iain Benson

Celtic came away from Solihull without a goal or the points, despite displaying some slick play, excellent possession and a flurry of second half chances.

For the first few minutes, it looked like it might be a whitewash, with Solihull completely unable to contain a Celtic running riot. However, the closest Celtic came was a thirty-yard effort from Adam Pepper that sailed over the bar for all the possession and beautifully crafted football. The game quickly settled into a midfield battle, which was even in terms of possession, and with neither side coming close to having an opening of a chance. Stuart Pierpoint headed a corner wide, Adam Pepper’s cross into the box was heading for the top corner, but Jasbir Singh plucked it out of the air, as did Alex Cairns with Junior English’s flicked header that wasn’t meant for anything in particular. As the half drew to a close, Celtic’s lack of end product was almost turned into a half time deficit but for a cracking save from Cairns when Junior English converted Omar Bogle’s cross, and the Celtic keeper reacted superbly to turn the shot away.

Tom Buckley came close right at the start of the second half when he fired narrowly wide off Mitchell Austin’s intelligent back-heel. But, it was Solihull who took the lead, when Omar Bogle fired in low and hard through a crowded box, and Dominic Langdon, who had continued his run from left back, came into the box, and was the only player to get a touch, despite Cairns almost getting across to block.

The goal spurred Celtic on, and it was seemingly one way traffic at times, with Celtic piling forward. Substitute Jack Laird was unlucky to see his shot from a corner blocked twice on the line, the initial block from Pierpoint almost sailing into the top corner anyway, but for Danny Spencer at the back post. Jordan Barrow burst into the box, and fired past the post in a crowded penalty area. Moments later and Singh pulled off an incredible reaction save to deny Barrow’s second effort, as Celtic threaded the ball around the box between defenders.

Cory Gregory went close with a chance from outside the box, Singh doing well to get down and smother. As time was running out, Celtic got a free kick just outside the box after Pierpoint had cynically brought down Laird as he was running through. Greg Wilkinson curled his free kick over the wall only for it to nick the outside of the post and go into the side netting with Singh nowhere near it.

However, despite all the chances, Celtic couldn’t find a goal, and it required another sensational save from Cairns to deny English right at the death, athletically reaching the shot he had no right to reach and keeping the score-line to second successive 1-0 defeat. Celtic have now not scored for two hundred and sixty-eight minutes.

1Singh, Jasbir  
2Rosser, Keenah  
3Langdon, Dominic  
4Denny, Jay  
5Pierpoint, StuartYellow Card 
6Spencer, Danny  
7Hayden, Lewis  > 45
8Fleet, Reece  
9English, Junior  
10Angus, Dior  > 81
11Bogle, Omar  
12Frances, Andre  < 81
14Kemp, Tom  
15Birch, Gary  < 45
16Clarke, Germaine  
17Martinez, Sheridan  
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