Match Report -
Gifted them three goals.
By Debbie Taylor

Celtic gave Altrincham 3 goals, and it was the only way that this poor Robins side would score.

The first was a penalty, Thornley rushed into the box, Bowker was adjudged to have fouled him, and a penalty was given, that Thornley dispatched himself. Interestingly, no penalty was given when Acton was beaten by a hallows drive, and Duffy did the keeper's job with a good diving save - he obviously used his hands, and nothing was given, seconds later - a penalty at the other end. Familiar lament.

Celtic passed the ball around well, but lacked in intent. Altrincham must have been sponsored by Slumberland, they lay down that often. Hallows then got injured when Chris "Hack-em-down" Young sliced into him, and he fell awkwardly - wasn't a foul, just a dangerous tackle.

Denham came on for him, and the team looked the better for a bit of bite.

With 10 minutes (incl. stoppages) on the clock, Potts switched it back for Eastwood, and Eastwood lobbed the keeper. With 2 defenders on him, Denham got the final touch, though it would possibly have gone in anyway. Denham was credited with the goal. Eastwood would later get incorrectly credited for Wharton's goal, but more of that in a minute.

The second half started with a farce. Altrincham attacked from the off, and after a ball from Thornley sailed across the face, Young hooked it off the touchline, and as the Celtic defence watched, in admiration perhaps, he nodded it into the net. Completely unchallenged. What they were doing I don't know.

Acton then made a trio of good saves, not world class, but necessary before McDonald at the other end was allowed the space to blast one into the top corner after being given the ball by a slack clearance from Celtic's back line.

Celtic pulled it back to 3-2 from a corner won by Denham's persistence. It was taken by Potts, and flicked on by Riding's at the near post, to Parr at the back post. Despite earlier thumping the ball just past both posts in the space of five minutes, he got this one right, and bulged the net.

A double substitution was to prove inspired. As Celtic looked to be unable to produce another killer touch, Mayers and Wharton replaced Potts and Fitzgerald, both of whom had had reasonable games.

Mayer's first touch was to chest a ball down into the path of Eastwood, who squirted it out to Denham, a first time ball saw Parr and Wharton steaming unmarked at the back post. Too high for Parr, not so for Wharton, who headed home, despite being a yard offside when the ball was played. That was the linesman making up for his earlier mistake, when he pulled Denham up for offside from a one on one with Acton after racing onto a back pass from Duffy.

Celtic had a couple of good chances to take it in the dying minutes, whilst Dootson could have played up front he was that troubled. Unfortunately, Wharton, hero of the 75 minute, but villain of the last five, when he squandered two free kicks and a corner.

Both sides had plenty of yellow cards, and a couple of those should have been red, one by each side. The referee was a bit cowardly in that respect.

Celtic were by far the better team everywhere except in defence.

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