Match Report -
Whitby have a long drive back
By Iain Benson

Celtic saw off the challenge of Whitby Town with a comprehensive display, but it took Whitby scoring first to kick Celtic into gear.

And it was a simple, well taken goal from former Harrogate Town striker, Graeme Armstrong who found the space and time to get a glimpse of goal and fire a rocket of a shot across the face of Alex Cairnes and into the far side of the net. Celtic looked a little disjointed, with Whitby pressing hard, and looking good value for their lead.

Jamie Mullan had other ideas, latching onto Cairnes's clearance, talking it past one defender to go one-on-one with Nick Liversedge, with the Whitby keeper advancing, Mullan kept his head and lobbed Liversedge, no mean feat with defenders returning and the six foot four frame of Liversedge bearing down.

Jack Laird almost doubled the lead with a fine shot from the edge of the box, but Liversedge got down well to smother, and he came up with a better save at full stretch to deny Greg Wilkinson powerful grass cutting effort, putting it out for a corner, the Wilkinson fired over the bar after Whitby failed to clear. Laird saw a wicked shot fly across the face, before Mullan terrorised Ibrahim Hassan, getting past him and firing in a dangerous low cross meant for Jordan Barrow arriving at the back post, but at the front post Craig James was on hand to diver the ball just inside the upright.

Whitby went looking for an equaliser, but were easily contained by Celtic's back four.

The second half started with an enforced substitution for Celtic, as Kelvin Bleau was brought crashing to the ground obviously in a lot of pain. As he was stretchered off, Mitchell Austin was brought on and was sent to cause havoc with Hassan. Despite moving to right back, Jordan Barrow came forward and had a wicked shot, Whitby scrambling the loose ball clear, and Jack Laird having a good penalty shout declined as Alex White slid straight through the back of him virtually on the goal line. Corey Gregory fired the resulting corner wide, and Jamie Mullan's cut inside and powerful shot across the face was also the wrong side of the post; but a goal was coming and it came from Jamie Mullan's driving run and pull back for Greg Wilkinson to sweep home and give Celtic a strong lead going into the last quarter of an hour.

Celtic went looking for the goal that would turn Whitby's slim chance into no chance, with Austin firing wide, and Mullan hitting the side netting with a powerful effort after beating two men to get into the box. As time went on, Whitby pushed back, but couldn't break a resolute Celtic defence though Steve Snaith really should have converted David McTiernan's cross, so the only chances of the remainder of the match fell to Celtic, with Mullan testing Liversedge just before the final whistle and Celtic go into the hat, and Whitby go home.

1Liversedge, Nick  
2Hassan, IbrahimYellow Card 
3Robinson, Mark  > 88
4Burgess, Kevin  
5White, AlexYellow Card 
6James, Craig  
7Portas, Tom  
8Tait, MichaelYellow Card > 72
9Mulligan, Nathan  > 65
10Armstrong, Graeme  
11McTiernan, David  
12Williams, Darren  
14Campbell, David  
15Corker, Ashley  < 88
16Snaith, Steve  < 65
17O`Mahoney, Liam  
18Wilson, Callum  < 72
19Hugill, Jordan  
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