Match Report -
Goalless but entertaining
By Keith Trudgeon

Derby day at Bower Fold produced one of the best goal-less draws for a long time. There was plenty of brilliant, attacking football from both sides with the majority of chances falling Celtic's way. However, Droylsden found their young keeper Paul Phillips in inspirational form.

Although Celtic have now gone 495 minutes without scoring a home goal, it was a much improved performance and there at last signs that the Blues are returning to form.

The game, originally to be played at the Butchers Arms, was switched to Bower Fold very late, and this made for a disappointingly low crowd. However, those Celtic fans who did attend will have been delighted at the return to the club of Matthew McNeil after a unhappy spell at Woking.

And sure enough, after only two minutes he forced a corner when his low drive was deflected. Within a minute, Tony Sullivan saw his superb volley saved.

Then it was the Bloods' turn. Dave Ashton headed just over from a corner and full-back Prior hit a 25-yard snapshot which was beaten out by a flying Ingham save.

Celtic upped the tempo further after the re-start and after Lattie had gone close for Droylsden, Eddie Johnston saw his fine header deflected onto the bar by Celtic old boy Greg Challender. Skipper Gary Bauress saw his pile driver once again saved by Phillips who was by now really beginning to stamp his mark on the game.

On the hour, Phillips produced a wicked one-handed diving save to deny Sullivan and then minutes later his amazing double was real top drawer material. Winfield Steele was first denied and from the resulting corner, Phillips pulled out a wonderful reaction save following McNeil's stooping header.

It looked like it was going to be just one of those days for Celtic and in fact, Droylsden nearly nicked it towards the end when Andy Green's breathtaking volley thumped Gary Ingham's far post and rebounded to safety.

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