Match Report -
Celtic mathematically safe
By Iain Benson

Celtic made themselves mathematically safe from relegation as Corby can now no longer catch us, and produced a display that belied the positions in the table, Celtic were simply uncontainable.

Gloucester started brightly enough, with Tom Web firing wide from a free kick that was their only shot of the half. After this, it was all Celtic and when Tom Buckley's little diagonal ball freed Mitchell Austin to run at the defence, the Gloucester back line crumbled, leaving Austin one-on-one with Mike Green. The Gloucester keeper got his hand to Austin's foot as the Celtic man swept by him, but Austin kept his feet and his composure to open the scoring from a narrow angle.

The two exchanged passes again, shortly after, this time Buckley firing from an acute angle, only for Green to get his body behind the shot. Gloucester tightened things up, and although they never looked like scoring themselves, they made it very difficult for Celtic to get through. However, Buckley did get through, but his shot was again straight at the keeper.

The second half saw Celtic really kick on, with Lewis Hatch pulling the midfield strings, a super through ball gave Buckley a chance, and he didn't disappoint with a superb finish that left Green no chance. Minutes later and the pass of the match came from Hatch, his sweeping curling ball sending Austin on a run, outpacing the defence and smashing his shot past Green.

Buckley was denied his second when Chris Hall's knock down left him with the keeper to beat, but Green had made himself big, and saved really well. However, Celtic couldn't be repressed, and Chris Hall finally got a goal his work-rate deserved as he got his foot on Adam Pepper's low cross to turn it past Green. It was possibly the slowest goal ever scored as the ball crossed the line with agonising tardiness, but cross it did.

Alex Cairns made sure that even the save of the match went to Celtic when Will Morford got a powerful close range header on a free kick, but Cairns's reactions were top-drawer and he pulled off a magnificent save to earn Celtic another clean sheet.

Celtic now go into the Cheshire Senior Cup Final on Wednesday with a great deal of fully deserved confidence.

1Green, Mike  
2Rawlings, Sam  > 79
3Andrews, Danny  
4Liddlard, Matt  
5Harris, Jack  > 42
6Webb, TomYellow Card 
7Hogg, LewisYellow Card 
8Parker, Joe  
9Edwards, Darren  
10Morford, Will  
11Mann, Adam  
12Davis, Steve  < 42
14Mehew, Dave  
15Holland, Chris  < 79
16Green, Michael  
Match Sponsor
Brother UK/Sunlight Services
Ball Sponsor
Peter & Ben Fenton
Man of the Match Sponsor
HMG Paints
Programme Sponsor
Prestige IT/Mike & Lesley Elliott