Prescot Cables maintained their recent unbeaten run, but required a lot of luck to do so as Celtic, lacking talismanic winger Aaron Dwyer and defensive rock Connor Oâ€™Grady, made the table toppers look ordinary.
Darius Osei headed a corner over the bar and Obua Mugalula came closer still, firing into the side netting with both Jack Irlam and Ose available in the middle for a pass. Celticâ€™s first penalty shout was declined as Liam Hollett brought Osei down in the box, but it wouldnâ€™t be the last. Irlam was brought down just inside the box by Alex McNally, but a free kick was all Celtic got. Cole Lonsdale came close, curling his resulting free kick, which Mitchell Allen could only palm away. Celtic were undone with a quick switch-around. James Foleyâ€™s initial low drive was blocked on the line by Scott Wara, but the rebound fell to Cableâ€™s top scorer, John Murphy to smash home. The slender lead didnâ€™t last as a box-to-box goal got Celtic level. Max Leonard out to Jordan Burton, across the field via Michael Brewster and Joe Robbins, before Osei took it to the Cableâ€™s box where he found Irlam arriving to fire in the equaliser.
The second half saw end-to-end football, with both defences hardly putting a foot wrong. The best chance for either team was Oseiâ€™s lob of Allen clipped the crossbar. Both Burton and Sam Oâ€™Halloran got insufficient power on their headers to worry either keeper and it looked like the game would go to a draw. Until stoppage time, when Mugalula broke through the defence and was dragged down by Francis Smith. Although Mugalula staggered to his feet, he couldnâ€™t get a shot off. A clearer penalty will never be denied again, and for questioning the decision, Brewster was booked and will now miss the next match.