Celtic went to Curzon with a game plan to stifle the hosts who have recently beaten table toppers Fylde and Darlington.
The first half saw the team ensure that Curzon were restricted to few chances, although this meant Celtic's chances were also limited, restricted to counter attacks.
It took half of the first half for Curzon to finally work an opening, with Niall Cummins trying his luck from twenty yards, but Grant Shenton was equal to it, stopping comfortably. Matthew Warburton also worked an opening, firing a yard wide of the goal, before Chris Rowney got closer, and his shot from the edge of the box whistling past the upright. It wasn't all one way, and Celtic were carefully counter-attacking without committing to many forward. Kieran Dunbar latched into Danny Wilkins pull back from the edge of the box and fired toward the top corner, but Hakan Burton had plenty of time to make a comfortable attack.
Curzon upped the speed in stoppage time at the end of the first half, and Chris Rowney really should have scored when Warburton pulled the ball square giving the Curzon Ashton forward a tap in, but Danny Morton got back and sliced the ball off the line, the ball coming back to Warburton, who turned it wide. Right before the whistle, Niall Cummins rode a few challenges to get into the box, but Shenton pulled off a superb block down to his left to keep the scores goalless.
The second half saw Celtic show more attacking endeavour, having kept the hosts out all first half. Aaron Chalmers and Danny Wilkins both were off target, Wilkins going for goal with new signing, Sefton Gonzales, waiting at the back post, curling his diagonal effort over the bar. The breakthrough almost came from a Danny Morton cross that had both Gonzales and Adam Mather meeting it at the back post, but despite the clash of bodies, Burton got hold of the ball. Wilkins and Baguley both got into good positions, but both went the wrong side of the post, Baguley's looping effort only just the wrong side of the post.
As with the first half, it wasn't all one-way traffic, with Curzon twice making use of the greater space in the Celtic defence with men now committed forward. Twice Shenton came to Celtic's rescue. Cummins's difficult curling shot had to palmed away, spinning off for a corner, and with minutes left on the clock Cummins got through and Shenton had to save close range. In stoppage time, Gonzales, who had been a revelation since coming on, lifted a header over Burton, but also the bar, and Baguley went for glory but hideously miscued, firing well wide of the mark.
It was a solid performance defensively, but three points were the aim, and Celtic came away with one; although in previous matches, Celtic would have been coming away with nothing.
|2||Baille, James||> 84|
|3||Tomsett, Liam||> 75|
|11||Rowney, Chris||> 66|
|12||Wright, Jordan||< 66|
|15||Jennings, Ryan||< 84|
|16||Clarke, Luke||< 75|