This game had everything but a penalty or a goal, and it should have had at least one of those.
The first half was an even affair, neither side getting a guilt edge chance to waste, but both having half chances. Celtic’s half chance came from Steve Tames’s cross that Jonathan Hunt put his head on ahead of Chris Simm, forcing Hakan Burton, his own keeper, into a twisting mid-air save. Steve Tames and Dale Wright both cleared the bar with their efforts, whilst at the other end, debutant keeper, Jack Walton did not have a shot to save, content to watch Niall Cummins and Chris Rowney miss the target from set pieces.
The second half was where the action was.
Ryan Brooke headed a corner wide and Jordan Wright was allowed to run and run all the way into the box, though Jack Higgins had pushed him to the byline so when the shot came it was an impossible angle and into the side netting. Ryan Brookes was the first to test Walton, but it was a warm up shot for the youngster, who scrambled across the face of goal to claim the ball at his far post. Aaron Chalmers got a delayed booking for a clash in the middle of the park that was waved on as Curzon were attacking, but then picked another up quarter of an hour later when he slid onto a loose ball at speed and though no contact was made with a player, it was a second booking for intent and a dismissal for Celtic’s midfielder.
A player up, Curzon tried to spread the play from side to side, and did succeed in getting a number of good looking crosses across the face of the Celtic goal, but had nobody in place to turn them in.
A moment of controversy came when Michael Norton upended Aidan Chippendale right on the penalty spot with enough force for the crack of his foot on Chippendale’s shin pad to echo around the ground and leave both players limping. This was deemed a fair challenge! Despite being a player down Celtic were racing all over the field, closing down and disrupting Curzon’s chances, and even creating one of their own, though Chippendale’s snap shot went across the face.
Alex Brown was agonisingly close for the home side, when he got onto one of the many crosses into the Celtic box, but Walton twisted well and made a cracking save and the game went into stoppage time.
Celtic forced a corner, right at the death. Chippendale’s ball in caused all kinds of problems for the Curzon defence, Adam Farrell’s attempt to get the ball under control charged down, Jack Higgins nodded the loose ball to the back post, there was Bohan Dixon, free, unmarked, the goal at his mercy, leg back ready to shoot, and the referee blew for full time.
This was a gritty performance from Celtic, who at times seemed to be facing twelve men, and they were more than worth the point.
|2||Woodford, Simon||> 71|
|11||Brooke, Ryan||> 64|
|12||Norton, Michael||< 71|
|14||Mason, Cameron||< 64|