Match Report -
Celtic Lose Away At Nantwich Town
By Deborah Taylor

The second half exploded, after Celtic led into the interval, with an incensed home side running rampant in the second half.

Celtic were the more dangerous looking in the first half, but not really turning the pressing into chances. From the off, Celtic showed this, but Michael Howard’s effort lacked power and Ross Dent’s powerful effort was off target.

Just before the break, Ross Dent stole the ball in the middle of the park from Matt Bell. With cries of a foul ringing from the home terraces and green-shirted players, Celtic got on with the game, Scott Bakkor putting a perfect through ball for Neil Kengni. Kengni showed great composure one-on-one with Will Jaaskelainen, slotting the opener past the Nantwich keeper.

Although Celtic had the opening chance in the second half, as Chris Smalley headed into the side netting from a corner, the game was end to end, with Nantwich on a mission to avenge their perceived sleight. James Lawrie had the home side’s first shot on target fifty-one minutes in, before a mad two minutes started with Chris Smalley clumsily challenging Callum Saunders in the box. Saunders went down and Joe Malkin put the home side level from the spot. Moments later, and the Dabbers were in front, more by accident than design, Malkin’s header back across the face of goal evaded everybody, only to be bent into the goal at the back post by the wind.

Celtic went looking for an equaliser, winning several corners, but converting none of them. Whilst Celtic were attacking, Nantwich were not sitting back, but hitting on the counter, aided by the inclusion of Ricardo Fuller, who came on and arrived at the back post at the exact right moment to connect with Nathan Cotterell’s deep cross and give the home side a two goal cushion.

If Nantwich thought that was it, they were wrong, as Celtic still kept coming. It required a flying save from Jaaskelainen to deny Liam Tongue’s bending free kick, before Celtic were only a goal behind when Daniel Cockerline chased down a hopeless looking ball that Jaaskelainen looked favourite for. It was the merest of touches from Cockerline that left Jaaskelainen grasping air. There was still work to do. Cockerline was off-balance, but made it across the box before a defender got back, and managed to wrap his foot around the ball and fire into the net.

It should have been equal terms with five minutes to go. Celtic were on top. Kengni got the space and fired in a shot across the face that had Jaaskelainen reaching but no where near, the ball thudding against the post. Dougie Nyaupembe was also getting forward, after providing several great crosses, he went himself, but missed.

Two minutes to go and Joe Mwasile turned Nyaupembe to create the space for a low cross, where Joe Malkin was arriving at the back post to tap in his third in the match.

That should have been it, but still Celtic kept coming. Cockerline showed good feet in the box to make the space for a low drive, the wrong side of the post, and Nyaupembe again tried a speculative shot, narrowly whipping the ball over the bar. There was even time for Fuller to have a chance at the other end, lifting his shot over Wharton and hitting the crossbar before full time was announced and Celtic fell to their fourth consecutive defeat.

1Jaaskelainen, Will  
2Morgan, Jamie  
3Barnes, Louis  > 28
4Stair, Joel  
5Mullarkey, Toby  
6Bourne, TroyYellow Card 
7Lawrie, James  
8Bell, MattYellow Card > 45
9Malkin, Joe  
10Saunders, Callum  > 68
11Cotterell, Nathan  
12Glover, Danny  
14Mwasile, Joe  < 45
15Fuller, Ricardo  < 68
16Walsh, Luke  < 28
17Hawkins, James  
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