When Tony McMillan is in the kind of form he was against FC United, one goal was always going to be enough.
Though Celtic were shading the chances and possession, it was the Celtic keeper who produced the goods when FC United got their chances. After Danny Wisdom, Adam Farrell and Chris Simm had all gone close, at the other end, George Thomson got onto an uncleared corner and forced McMillan into his first cracking save of the afternoon. The woodwork saved Dylan Forth's goal at the other end, when Simm stuck a foot on a dropped ball from a corner at the United end, the crossbar denying him. The rebound came to Alec Mudimu, but he couldn't wrap his leg far enough round and his shot went narrowly wide. Charlie Joyce, too, went close, nodding a superb cross from Simm the wrong side of the bar.
Again McMillan showed his ability on the half hour, one-on-one with Dale Johnson, a long arm denied Johnson's initial effort, the ball coming back to him, this time he lofted the ball over the now on the floor McMillan, but Peter Wylie was back on the line to head away. The ball came to Jerome Wright, who volleyed back in, only for McMillan to have regained his feet and push the ball away for a corner. The corner was cleared only as far as Tom Brown, but McMillan pulled off yet another great save to deny him.
Right before the interval, McMillan was there again, this time denying Thomson, bundling the near post shot round the post, and when the corner was cleared as far as Thomson, his volley back in was plucked out of the air by McMillan.
Dale Johnson really should have opened the scoring in the second half, when the ball was played across the face by Thomson. With McMillan flying across to deny any shot, Johnson fluffed his effort completely, missing from close range by a considerable distance. Matty Wolfenden looked like he couldn't believe how McMillan reached his shot, the loose ball coming to Jerome Wright, but there was the Celtic keeper, taking the ball at his feet.
Though McMillan was hogging the limelight, Celtic did look just about on top. They were getting plenty of crosses in, Steve Tames and Chris Simm both forcing hurried errors from the FC United defence, but nothing clear-cut was coming from the openings. That was until Danny Burns was introduced, he immediately worried the United defence even more, going close within minutes of coming on, after clearing the defence with pace, one-on-one he drew Forth and then trundled the ball wide. It was his twisting and turning and then layoff into the path of Danny Wisdom on the overlap, Wisdom took the ball into his stride and fired a low rocket past Forth to give Celtic the lead.
Burns could have added to the tally; after cutting inside he fired over the bar, and then, one-on-one with Forth was denied by a superb save. Mudimu too had a good chance from twenty yards, but it was right down Forth's throat. With time running out for the home side, they were piling more and more forward. In general, they were contained by Celtic's back four, but with five minutes left, Celtic were again indebted to McMillan. Johnson's low drive was fisted away by McMillan, the loose ball coming out to Thomson. McMillan's stuck out leg denied Johnson, and it looked like his face that stopped Tom Greaves. The ball was hacked clear and Ben McKenna took on the solitary defender, getting to the by-line and pulling the ball back for Adam Farrell coming in, under pressure, he headed over the bar, and the game finished 1-0, seeing Celtic leap-frog FC United into a respectable thirteenth.
|4||Brown, Tom||> 82|
|7||Wolfenden, Matthew||> 73|
|8||Sheridan, Sam||> 78|
|12||Greaves, Tom||< 73|
|15||Winter, Harry||< 78|
|16||Thurston, Adam||< 82|