Match Report -
Snatched away
By Debbie Taylor

This was a game that started with a comedy, and ended in tragedy for the Celts.

Seconds after kicking off, a long Gateshead ball was left by both Filson and Jones, allowing Bowey a clear shot on goal. Ingham's resulting fumble gave Bowey probably the easiest chance of his life. Most of the crowd had yet to arrive, and Celtic were already a goal down.

The reply, while not instant, came after sustained Stalybridge pressure allowed McNeil to race clear, and slot in the equaliser.

After scoring, it was Celtic who were by far the better team, with Sullivan getting close to doubling the tally. The travelling supported thought that it was going to be another one of those days, as Gateshead battened down the hatches and seemingly prepared to settle for a draw.

The second half, buoyed by a Wilson talking to, saw Celtic up the tempo; taking the game to Gateshead. Jones narrowly missed the target, and Sullivan had a goal disallowed when a late linesman flag ruled him offside.

The goal eventually came when a trademark Kevin Parr header thumped into the top corner past the Gateshead 'keeper.

Although the game flowed fairly smoothly, with barely an stoppage to note down, the referee found three and a half minutes to add on from somewhere.

This was enough time for Gateshead to force a corner, and Paul Thompson to mirror Parr's earlier effort into Celtic's net.

It was by no means a vintage Celtic performance, but they were easily the better of the two sides (Gateshead seemed to lack the energy of last season's team) and should have won. This aside, Celtic's unbeaten run is now up to five games.

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