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Match Report -
Entertaining Game
By Iain Benson

In an entertaining game, Celtic's future tenants, until the Moston stadium is finished, provided strong opposition that gave Celtic a good workout.

James Cadman provided Celtic's first chance of the game, putting the ball into path of Paul Ennis. A curling shot to the far post was well saved by Dave Carnell in United's goal. However, it was FC United that went up. A pair of corners produced all kinds of problems as the ball pinged about, Craig Linfield's initial shot was well saved, but still not cleared, eventually falling back to Lichfield who finally got good enough contact to put FCUM one up.

FC United could have gone further ahead with a free kick that Callum Byrne curled wide. Ennis was closer with his free kick right before half time, but it was a comfortable save for Carnell.

The second half saw the visitors start more powerfully, Scott Cheetham putting his free kick past the post, and Lewis King had to be on his toes to push Greg Daniels close range flick away. They couldn't maintain the pace though, and Celtic started to regain some fluidity. A through ball from Matty Mainwaring freed Liam Dickinson to run at Dave Carnell. James Kmowles couldn't wait for Dickinson to reach shooting distance, and brought the Celtic striker down in the box. Dickinson took the penalty himself, sending Carnell the wrong way, but even had Carnell gone the right way, he wouldn't have stopped it.

Moments later, and Carnell's reactions preserved the draw when Ben McMahon's corner was headed down by Dickinson, only for Carnell to get a finger to it. Ben McMahon got a chance of his own coming into meet Nathan Heath's superb cross but heading over. Chris Chippendale took on and beat the United fullback, cut inside and fired towards goal, only for it to be deflected slightly wide.

Both sides made keeper changes, Celtic bringing on Anthony Windle. There were a couple of chances for both sides in the closing minutes, Matty Walwyn firing narrowly wide and Dickinson's free kick fumbled by the replacement United keeper. The best save of the match was made in the final moments, Astley Mulholland shot looked destined for the bottom corner, but Celtic's young keeper made the save, tipping the ball round for the corner, which was defended well.

The game swung both ways as it progressed, so ultimately a draw is a fair result.

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