Stalybridge Celtic fell to a somewhat undeserved home 1-3 defeat against early promotion contenders Solihull Moors in a game where the ultimate results perhaps didn't match the overall run of play.
With ideal scorching conditions overhead, Celtic battled bravely all game and maybe to even dominant portions for large parts of the game, yet were undone by the clinical finishing of their opponents, well regarded by many.
Neither side made much headway in the early stages although when Solihull struck to open the scoring, Jack Byrne with a peach of an angled drive from the edge of the box, one could be forgiven for thinking that Celtic faced an uphill task from then on in.
If indeed they did, the pattern of play did not seem to reflect it and they got their just rewards when Bohan Dixon equalised just before the stroke of half time.
From then on in, it was indeed game on and an entertaining encounter in which Celtic were able to force the issue somewhat, if a little devoid of total goal threat. Solihull seemingly content and intent on soaking up pressure and hitting fast on the break, a tactic they employed to good use.
Liam Daly, a header from a corner, scored the second of the game for the visitors followed shortly afterwards by Darryl Knights netting a third to take all three points and confirm that the game was well and truly up for Celtic, despite their best endeavours.
Celtic can count themselves unfortunate to not get anything out of a game they were more than competitive in but with no easy points on offer in such a competitive environment, every chance has to be taken in order to get any sort of result.
It's a well regarded clich? that it could easily be ten games before the league has settled into any sort of pattern and with it still being early days the fact that results have thus far been mainly unkind to Celtic may not be all bad
The play suggests things can and will improve and a good season for Celtic, whatever that may represent, which all would be most happy with is still well within target.
|7||Moore, Stefan||> 74|
|8||Byrne, Jack||> 85|
|10||Beswick, Ryan||> 68|
|12||Walker, Adam||< 68|
|15||Armson, James||< 74|
|16||Gittings, Callum||< 85|