In what was truly a game of two halves, Celtic went from complete domination to holding on for anything out of the game.
Celtic did to Gloucester what so many teams have done to Celtic recently, by grabbing a goal in their first attempt. The lively debut of Godwin Abadaki caused the Gloucester defence no end of problems and it was no surprise when he was upended just outside the box by Marcus Giglio. Kristian Platt produced another variation on his vast repertoire of free kicks, getting a bit of a deflection off Matt Coupe’s backside, but it was all Platt’s goal.
Celtic continued to completely control the game, and Sean McConville went very close latching onto a pinpoint Andy McWilliams cross but Mike Green was in the right place to save as he was for Kristian Platt’s second free kick, making both look straight forward. Green almost spilled Paul Ennis’s shot, but a second goal looked likely.
It came from yet another inch perfect cross from McWilliams that Green could not deal with, with the other Mike Green closing in McConville had to stretch his neck to nod the ball back over both Greens and under the bar. It could have been three from an almost identical move, but McConville had slightly more time, and went for the volley, narrowly missing the target. Gloucester did a couple of half chances, with Jack Harris heading a corner too high, clipping the top of the bar on its way out, and Lewis Hogg’s effort from way out rolled into Danny East’s arms.
Celtic started the second half still on top, and who knows, if Tom Buckley’s dipping twenty-five yard effort that was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Mike Green had gone in, the game may have panned out differently, but it was Gloucester who were buoyed by the save, and the got into the game.
Charlie Griffin got his head on a corner, but a great save by East denied him, and during the scramble, East pounced on the loose ball before any City player could react. The Celtic defence were being put under increasing pressure, and they were undone by substitute Scott Wilson outpacing Jordan Tunnicliffe from a punted ball up-field, and though East did get something on the ball he didn‘t get enough on it to prevent it from crossing the line.
The goal further incentivised the visitors, with Darren Mullings seeing his shot caught by East, and Jack Harris headed wide from a corner when he should have got it on target. There was an incredible save from East with minutes left on the clock that looked to have got the points in the bag for Celtic when Griffin’s point blank header was somehow reached by East leaving Griffin holding his head in his hands.
However Celtic were undone by their persistent problem this season – free headers from corners. Darren Mullings was the player at the front post and he put his head unchallenged on the ball, and didn’t miss.
Once again, Celtic couldn’t find a way back, though it looked like they would as Goodwin Abadaki set off on a run, only to bizarrely be pulled back for a foul on Jack Harris when challenging for the ball, Harris looked to go down without contact, had Abadaki got past that, he would have been one-on-one but it wasn’t to be, and once again, Celtic saw three points drop to one.
|4||Coupe, Matt||> 69|
|10||Morford, Will||> 55|
|11||Groves, Matt||> 71|
|14||Webb, Tom||< 71|
|15||Wilson, Scott||< 55|
|17||Turl, Sam||< 69|