Celtic got through to the next round of the Manchester Premier Cup, beating Droylsden on penalties, but we had to come from behind to do so.
It was a scrappy match, but Celtic were trying to play football and got the first chance when Adam Mather whipped in a great cross for Eddie Toner arriving at the back post, but the flicked header beyond the reach of James Coates was the wrong side of the post. At the other end, Stephen Lewis's free-kick rolled to Paul Phillips, who was in Celtic's nets for the night.
Droylsden scored in what was a great goal. Shaquille Antoine-Clarke's seventy yard diagonal pass was superbly brought down by Chris McDonagh, taking him clear one-on-on with Phillips. His shot was ferocious from an acute angle, flying past Phillips.
Then the incident: Sam Tatum got past Stephen Lewis who went chasing after, diving in from behind with his foot off the floor, tangling Tatum's legs, causing him to fall awkwardly. It might of have been intentional, but it was a tackle Lewis should never have attempted; Tatum has a compound fracture and could well be out for the rest of the season. Lewis, for his part, got a booking and not a straight sending-off.
Aidan Chippendale was introduced, and immediately became a thorn in the side. He set up Mather, coming in onto the knock down, only to fire over, and had a free kick that was on target but lacked power. Just before half time he fired over the bar.
Due to extensive stoppage time for dealing with Sam Tatum, five minutes after the regulation forty-five, Celtic got a corner. Droylsden tried to clear, but Sam Madeley kept the move alive, nodding the ball out to Nick Ryan, who showed great feet to get the ball under control, and fire a half-volley into the bottom corner.
At the start of the second half, Madeley twice went close and should have scored from a corner. Gary Gee blazed over and Eddie Toner's effort from the penalty spot was far too comfortable for Coates. The early running was all Celtic, though Billy Hasley-Cregg saw his twenty-yard effort fly wide.
Eddie Toner came closest to breaking the deadlock on the hour, looping a shot over the stranded Coates, but Sean Clancy got back to hack clear off the line. Right at the death, Aidan Chippendale wriggled past Clancy to race in on Coates, it was a tight angle, but Coates reacted well to put the ball out for a corner.
There is no extra time in the Manchester Premier Cup, so the game went straight to penalties. Jack Rudge, Gary Gee, Billy Hasley-Cregg, Paul Foy, Sean Clancy and Steve Tames all converted, making it three apiece. Paul Clarke stepped up for Droylsden, Phillips guessed right, pushing the shot onto the post and out. Danny Wilkins made it 4-3, meaning Stephen Lewis had to score, which hew duly did. Nick Ryan, scorer of the equaliser stepped up, if he scored, we were through.