Match Report -
Cracker of a Millennium game against Hyde!
By Debbie Taylor

The first half was a battle, in more senses than one - with the referee playing an important part, with decisions that left both sets of fans after his blood. Some of the most inconsistent refereeing I have ever seen, saw four cards in twenty minutes, than none for an hour, though some of the later tackles bordered on assault.Mr Salisbury of Preston could also do with reading the rule book about handball denying a goal. (Remember, we won, and I'm saying this!).

By the end of the first half, Bennett had been the most troubled keeper, Ingham had been content to watch the Tiger's shots skimming wide, or over. Hyde's best chance of the half came from a set piece, which they wasted.

In the second half, Hyde attempted to catch Celtic asleep, shooting narrowly of the bar. This was Celtic's second game after their extended rest and it showed: they had the greater stamina. Even so, Hyde won a corner on 66 minutes and Banim took advantage of confusion to knee the ball into the net, although Ingham claimed (incorrectly) that it had not crossed the line before he grasped it. It was a typical six-yard box scramble as far as Celtic was concerned.

The stamina showed, as Celtic continued to plug away at Hyde. The Hyde tackles remained dangerous, resulting in ten minutes of stoppage due to fouls and a clash of heads.

A foul led to Celtic's goal. A Hyde defender handled the ball (he had to dive for it!) in the area. Bauress stepped up and slotted it in the opposite corner to the keeper.

After that Celtic settled into a rhythm of attack and counter attack - although Hyde nearly added to their score when a free kick hit the crossbar.

From a Celtic corner, given away rather in rather a silly fashion, Eddie Johnston pounced onto a Filson flick-on in to grab his second for Celtic and Celtic's second.

It never looked in doubt after this. With the fifteen minutes of stoppage time, Steele just took advantage of slack defending to side-step Bennett and slot home in his easiest goal of the season. Bennett was not at fault here, he had an outstanding game. With the defence helping out the attack, Steele could have squared it to the racing Sullivan, or shot - Bennett had to cover both options - and lost.

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