Match Report -
Celtic and Witton play out entertaining draw at Bower Fold
By Taran Dhamrait

Celtic and Witton played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Bower Fold as both Justin Johnson and Callum Saunders scored twice for their teams who couldn’t be separated at full-time.

This match was the first draw that Celtic have played in for over 12 months.

Celtic had to come from behind twice after Saunders had put Witton ahead on two occasions with all four goals coming inside the first 45 minutes.

Celtic started the game quickly and October’s Player of the Month Jake Burton saw an effort rise over the bar inside the first 60 seconds after he had turned his man brilliantly with a back-heal touch when receiving the ball on the turn.

However it was Witton that took the lead first on six minutes. A long-throw was spilled by Will Huffer and Saunders had the simple task of tapping the ball into the net.

Witton only led for six minutes before Celtic equalised through Johnson. Charley Doyle sprayed a wonderful ball forwards on half way which set Johnson running, he beat his man and as he entered the penalty area, he fired a powerful shot into the roof of the net.

It was end to end in the first half and Witton re-took the lead on 23 minutes. A shot from distance was parried by Huffer into the path of Saunders who looked to be in an offside position, he again prodded the ball into the goal from a couple of yards out.

Burton and Doyle went close with headers before a cross from Josh Dawodu was cleared off the line after a ricochet inside the penalty area.

Celtic did equalise for a second time on 42 minutes. A superb cross from Dawodu was met by Johnson who on the volley, finished excellently giving Greg Hall no chance at preventing a Celtic equaliser.

Celtic could have entered the break ahead, Stephen Brogan did well to pick out Burton who was through on goal but Hall rushed out quickly and saved his shot with his feet to deny Celtic.

The second half saw Celtic retain the majority of the possession but Witton defended well and denied Celtic’s front three with space to attack.

Huffer was rarely called into action, although he did make one save on 70 minutes to deny a long range strike from James Laurie.

The nearest Celtic came to a winner was a free-kick that reached Connor O’Grady, he went for goal but a recovering Witton defender threw himself in the way of the ball and prevented O’Grady’s shot from reaching the goal.

As the game went on, the referee began to lose control of the game and two Witton players saw yellow for two very late lunges as tempers flared with the bizarre refereeing decisions. At one point, the assistant referee flagged for a foul on Johnson but the referee decided to ignore his assistant and then immediately gave a free-kick to Witton, nobody knew what was going on.

Both sides continued to press for a winner but neither side could find a finishing touch upfront and the three points were shared between Celtic and Witton, seeing Celtic move up to 7th position in the Northern Premier League.

1Hall, Greg  
2Lingouba, Cesaire  
3Baldwin, Isaac  
4Wardle, Josh  
5Okome, Nathan  
6Sutton, WillYellow Card 
7Jebrin, Jawad  
8Laurie, James  
9Jones, Will  > 69
10Saunders, CallumYellow Card 
11Foley, James  
12McKenna, Danny  
14Owens, Tom  
15McNulty, Steve  
16Hopley, Rob  < 69
17Gill, Raajan