Match Report -
The problems grow
By Debbie Taylor

For the second time in a week, Leigh beat Celtic by a single goal, pushing them further from the relegation zone, and leaving Celtic perilously close to it.

This time however, it was not down to a lacklustre Celtic performance, and more down to an unlucky deflected goal.

Turley partnered Ayorinde up front and both made life uncomfortable for the Leigh defence whenever they had the ball, Turley in particular a constant danger with his pace and willingness to take on defenders, but for much of the game they were too isolated, support from midfield slow to arrive in most cases. Perkins and Turley both got behind the defence in first half but couldn't pick out a colleague in the box and a Futcher header, easily caught, was all we really had to show in the first half. Leigh were never able to dominate like they did last week but were always dangerous on the break and always looked the more likely to score.

And they very nearly scored early on, when Hallows squared the ball to Black at the edge of the area, and the Leigh front man really should have done better than blaze the ball wide.

But Leigh continued to create chances, and shortly after Twiss, the scorer of the only goal in the previous match, nearly doubled his tally against Celtic with a powerful dipping shot that Walker had to stretch full length to keep out, and somehow, he had been unable to keep a header down from a good Black cross that he put over the bar.

Turley carved something of a small opening for himself, late in the half, as he blasted a wicked long-range range shot that skimmed just past the upright.

Celtic were just not creating the same class of chance that Leigh were, and just before the interval Twiss broke free on the Celtic goal, producing another exceptional save from Walker.

Second half again saw 'Bridge have plenty of possession but we lacked ideas. The constant stream of long balls to the head of Ayorinde looked were dealt with comfortably by Leigh and as we continued to give the ball away with these tactics Leigh grew in confidence and their goal followed a 10min spell of pressure which saw Walker superbly tip over a header and comfortably save a couple of long range shots.

But Leigh had not taken their chances either. Swan had beaten the offside trap to get in on a Black cross, but his weak header was a comfortable save for Walker. Keilty's header moments later was a different matter, it was well struck and produced a good reaction block from Walker.

Celtic could then count themselves doubly unlucky, when Hallows squirmed between Parr and Beesley to feed Keilty at the edge of the box. Keilty's shot was not well struck, but it clipped off Futcher and dropped over Walker into the net.

Murphy replaced Woods, Mike and Courtney came on for Turley and Wood, and Futcher moved up front as Celtic threw everything at Leigh in the closing minutes. It almost paid off when Mike latched on to Ayorinde's header but hooked his volley inches wide, denying Celtic a point they deserved for their possession. And Futcher once more proved lacking in the attacking header department (despite his excellent defensive heading) when he beat his marker in the air, to latch onto a Peacock cross, dipping it just past Fisher, and out.

This was a much more promising performance from Celtic, but still lacked that killer punch. Matthew Woods is not a right back, and Murphy is much more suited to that role. If Woods, Futcher and Beesley are to be played together, much better that the formation used to well against Doncaster of only 3 midfielders, and a midfielder/attacker in front of a back 5 with wingbacks. Both Perkins and Murphy are highly capable wingbacks, and should be used as such. Such a selection headache will not be a problem on Saturday against Chester as Futcher has a one match ban in that game for an accumulation of yellow cards.

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