Match Report -
Lost by the width of the post
By Mike Brierley

Celtic succumbed to their first league defeat of 2004 in this entertaining clash at Sandy Lane but in all honesty would have been good value for a point that would have increased their chances of qualifying for next seasons new Northern Alliance.

Celtic started this encounter with the same vigor that has become apparent in their performances of late but soon found themselves one down as Gary Townsend was able to latch onto a through ball to calmly slot the ball past Craig Dootson at his near post.

The rest of the first half turned into a bit of a non-event save for Jerome Fitzgerald reveling in a much more forward role by having numerous attempts on goal and the mercurial Colin Potts hitting the woodwork.

Dave Miller's half time team talk yet again paid dividends though as the Celts came out with all guns blazing at the start of the second half.

With minutes gone, Chris Denham crashed an unstoppable shot into the Worksop net past the hapless Ian Bowling (who didn't seem to have improved since when he played for Celtic earlier in the season!) to level the scores after being set up by Kenny Mayers.

Celtic were very much in the ascendancy now and further efforts by Chris Denham, Kenny Mayers and Nathan Wharton were either blocked or easily scuppered as Celtic threatened to win the game.

Then the killer blow. Celtic forced a corner which was easily cleared allowing Worksop to break quickly with the Celtic rearguard nowhere in sight. The ball was played into the path of Alex Sykes who netted decisively to restore Worksop's lead. Sykes was a colossus throughout the game, covering all areas of the pitch and snubbing out Celtic's attacks with consummate ease and was deservedly awarded the man of the match award for his efforts.

With Celtic pressing for the equaliser, they always appeared to be stretched at the back and had it not been for the diminutive Danny Caldecott's intervention twice from on the line then Worksop would have added to their lead.

In injury time, Chris Denham almost rescued the point that Celtic deserved but his angled shot hit the post. Denham was Celtic's star performer on the night and it was a shame that some of his teammates couldn't live up to his performance.

By this point the referee had seen enough and blew his whistle much to the delight of the home supporters and the rather excitable man on the tanoy.

In truth this was perhaps not as important a game to win as some of our forthcoming fixtures and the majority of the traveling fans, who had braved the atrocious conditions over the tops, left none to disappointed. Granted they had seen a good game of football as well as being able to sample some excellent catering.

However, Celtic's inability to win games and their tendency to give the ball away far to easily, shows that they are far from the side that many supporters expected they would be and were promised they would be at the start of the season!