Celtic secured an absolutely vital win with a late strike from Tom Bentham after getting level just before half time.
Gloucester had the early play, with Harry White going close with a dipping drive, before forcing Ross Etheridge into a close range reaction save from a header. He got his goal half way into the first half when a long throw from James Bowen caused chaos in the Celtic box, there were blocks and saves, and nobody in a blue shirt able to clear it before White got the decisive touch jabbing it into the back of the net.
After the goal, Celtic got more into the game, and Jamie Allen almost equalised riding several challenges to get into the box, and his shot would have beaten Paul White, but Sam Avery got an important block in, with shades of a possible handball to deny the Celtic striker. However, if that was unlucky, Celtic finally got a bit of luck when Scott Kerr’s corner was dropped by Paul White under pressure from a Celtic player, but as Matt Williams also crashed into his own keeper, no foul was given and the loose ball came to Harvey Wigley at the back post. He still had work to do, but curled it past Mike Green and into the back of the net.
Gloucester were somewhat upset at the goal, and fought tooth and nail for the remainder of the half, Sahr Kabba a thorn in the side for Celtic’s defence, but fortunately somewhat lacking in accuracy, and Celtic got to half time all square.
The second half started more even, though chances were thin on the ground. Connor Thomison was kicking himself after doing the hard work of getting past Matt Regan, he drew Etheridge, and fired from an acute angle seeing his shot scoot past the far post agonizingly close. Not as close as Paul Ennis came, when he saw Paul White off his line whilst Ennis was in his own half, he tried the most audacious of lobs, beat White, but his ball clipped the crossbar and bounced away to safety. Harry White nearly got his second moments later at the other end, getting the ball off Bowen, and drilling inches past the far post.
Celtic looked to be running out of ideas, whilst Gloucester were shooting on site, with mixed effectiveness. Billy Jones curled a free kick wide, and Avery fired over without either looking threatening. Bowen did force Etheridge into a routine stop as Gloucester too seemed to run out of ideas.
As Gloucester looked to be settling for the draw, Celtic conjured up a chance from nothing, a long punt from Etheridge clearing the midfield and landing at substitute Tom Bentham’s feet, He looked to have been forced too wide by Chris Knowles, but he cut back inside, drew Paul White towards him and curled the ball around the keeper to put Celtic into the lead.
Despite there still being six minutes to play, Celtic defended stoutly giving Gloucester not even the sniff of a chance, and did something they’ve not done for a while: Win.
|7||Bowen, James||> 87|
|11||Thomison, Connor||> 82|
|12||Staley, Ross||< 87|
|17||Diop, Mo||< 82|