As Storm Brian battered Bower Fold, Celtic came out victorious against a hard working Barwell, going ahead three times with the final time enough to see Celtic seal the points.
Celtic almost opened the scoring in their first attack when Theo Bailey-Jones whipped in a superb cross that had Liam Dickinson stretching, but inches away from connecting. At the other end, Barwell were causing problems with their corners, but Kyle Perry’s header wasn’t far enough away from Jack Walton to open the scoring.
Moments after Greg Wilkinson had blazed over, he put the ball ahead of Matty Wolfenden who scampered after it and cut it back to the near post where, through a mass of players, Theo Bailey-Jones got his foot on it, to turn it under Max Smith-Varnam.
The rest of the half was to-and-fro, Dickinson scuffing a shot from the edge of the box that Smith-Varnam scooped up easily, and firing into Smith-Varnam’s arms after turning well at the edge of the box. Both Wolfenden and Wilkinson fired wide whilst Barwell’s efforts saw Owen Story, Declan Towers and Jake Heath all fire straight at Walton whilst under pressure from the Celtic back line.
Just before the interval, Barwell pulled one back when Michael Tweed’s threaded through ball between and behind the Celtic defence left Owen Story one-on-one with Walton, slotting it past the young keeper to equalise and add to the list of clubs he’s scored against Celtic with.
Celtic looked much more lively than Barwell after the restart, Luke Ashworth saw a fantastic save from Smith-Varnam pushing Ashworth’s header around the post for a second corner, from which Bailey-Jones saw Smith-Varnam on top form after Barwell failed to clear the corner properly, Bailey-Jones’s skimming shot pushed away for another corner. This time the corner came back to Oliver Roberts, who had a little bit of space and curled a superb shot up and curling round over Smith-Varnam into the top corner to return the lead to Celtic.
After Wolfenden had tried flicking a header past Smith-Varnam, Barwell broke, with Walton pulling off not one point blank save from Kyle Perry’s header, but seconds later pulled off a second save, this time from a close range turned in shot. There was nothing Walton could do when Perry flicked a header over the Celtic defence to the back post where Story was waiting, and though the Celtic keeper got across, Story equalised for the visitors for the second time.
From that point on, it was all Celtic. Dickinson and Roberts both went close, before Matty Wolfenden got a thoroughly deserved goal, buffeted on the edge box, he took down Tom Brown’s ball well, turned and fired past Smith-Varnam and in off the post.
Smith-Varnam denied Jake Charles with a great close range save, as Celtic kept prodding at the Barwell defence. As full time approached, Barwell pushed higher and higher searching for a third equaliser, but never got near Celtic’s goal, instead, when Wolfenden latched onto a clearance, racing past the tired legs of Elliot Percival, Smith-Varnam came out of his box to close down Wolfenden, who did the unselfish thing, and put the ball behind him for Jake Charles all alone, in acres of space and the time to walk the ball into the net making stoppage time comfortable for Celtic, and deservedly so.
Celtic have now won four of our last five home matches and drawn the other, scoring twelve over that period, conceding four, and looking good for a climb up the table.
|7||Tweed, Michael||> 68|
|11||Story, Owen||> 78|
|12||Seal, Ryan||< 78|
|15||Barlone, Luke||< 68|