Match Report -
Super Smiths
By Debbie Taylor

A rollercoaster ride of ecstasy and agony for both sets of fans culminated in extra time in this FA Cup replay. The game had everything from some good football, great battling performances, a sending off, extra-time and the odd controversial moment or two.

Celtic started the brighter, as in the opening match, with Hayward dropping a floated ball down to Parr at the edge of the area. Parr had a screamer of a shot that flashed just over the crossbar. Moments later Whealing whipped a superb cross to the back post where Steve Smith and Hayward were steaming in. Capp in the Barrow goals went crashing between the two Celtic forwards in a vain attempt to win the ball – he didn’t win the ball, but did win a foul.

Paterson continued his antics from the first leg of this match when he bounced off Sykes and won a free-kick forty yards from goal. He was immediately well enough to spring onto a quickly taken free kick and blast it towards Celtic’s goal, where it was blocked by Keeling. Keeling saw Hayward making a run and put a great ball into his path, Paterson continued his recovery by chasing after Hayward and scything him down in the centre circle. For either trying to con the ref or the dangerous tackle on Hayward Paterson got the first yellow card of the night. Parr got on the free kick with a looping header, but Cap judged the flight of the ball well and caught at the back post.

Eastwood got the clearest chance of goal in the opening exchanges when a superb ball from German went to the back post where Eastwood came steaming in, he got a thumping header onto the ball, but put it just past the post. Eastwood got another chance seconds later after Wharton beat the offside trap and put his own fine cross into the box, again Eastwood headed narrowly wide.

With chances spurned, Barrow got into the game, and started playing some pressing football of their own. Paterson charged down a poor Bowker clearance and found enough space for a shot from distance that zipped over the bar.

The second yellow card of the evening was shown to Colley, who was beaten for pace by the nippy Smith and brought him clumsily down thirty yards out. Colley and Keeling both went up for the free kick, Keeling’s header struck Colley’s shoulder and deflected wide, but a goal kick was the result.

Celtic didn’t get another decision moments later when Heffernan slid through Hayward to try and reach the ball the short free kick came to Smith who looped a ball for Eastwood at the back post. Eastwood couldn’t jump as Colley was holding him down just outside the six-yard box, unseen by the any of the officials.

Knight was up against Whealing, but unlike the first game, Whealing was having a better time of it against the Barrow forward. When Knight got beyond Whealing, the Celtic fullback stood his ground and put in a great block at the expense of a corner. Knight got a close range header onto the corner and it took a superb stop from Dootson to punch the ball onto the crossbar and then some desperate defending to scramble the ball around the post for a second corner. There were shouts for handball ignored by the referee. This corner came to Campbell; another fine flying save from Dootson tipped the ball over the bar for a third corner. Colley got onto the corner, nodding it downwards and then lashing at the loose ball putting around the post for a goal kick.

Barrow won another corner a moment later, this time courtesy of Keeling under pressure from Knight. Parr’s header clear only went as far as Anthony, but his shot from distance was wide. Campbell then used some physical strength to win another corner off Keeling. Celtic pulled everybody into the box, and Eastwood cleared. Paterson danced around Whealing before spinning a cross through the penalty box where Knight came steaming in, heading wide.

Celtic eased the pressure somewhat and managed to work the ball up to the other end of the pitch. Sykes found an unmarked Hayward at the corner of the box with a lovely cross; Hayward’s instant volley was just wide with Capp motionless. Celtic continued their advantage and Wharton won a corner off Wheeler. Capp punched it clear and Heffernan hoofed it clear. Celtic’s pressure told when Steve Smith found Wharton with a looping cross. Wharton controlled the ball with his first touch but scuffed his shot. It landed to Eastwood breaking into the box and he struck his shot sweetly towards the bottom corner. Capp was caught completely flatfooted and could only watch as the ball nestled into the back of the net.

Barrow tried to grab a goal back as the half began to run out, and a mistake by Keeling allowed Paterson a great chance of doing so, latching onto to the ball and one-on-one with Dootson it took a great save from Dootson’s feet to deny Barrow an equaliser. The corner came in and Colley’s header looked to be going to cross the line but somehow Dootson flew through the air and clawed the ball away on the line.

Celtic broke through Steve Smith, but all he could win was a corner off Paterson, which Cotterill cleared. Hayward was soon bringing it back though breaking through the offside trap to go one-on-one with Capp. He took two touches allowing Capp to close him down; cleverly he knocked it to the side away from Capp as the Barrow keeper came sliding in knocking Hayward off his feet. No penalty.

Celtic took their single goal lead into the dressing room.

Barrow came out of the dressing room fired up for the second half. Paterson immediately grabbed the ball and ran towards goal flanked by Keeling and Bowker he got his shot off, which Dootson saved. The referee pulled the game back for an earlier foul on Paterson to give him another go. Fortunately, the free kick from Anthony was wide. Paterson was straight back though and tried another distance shot, this time getting a deflection off Bowker for a corner. Celtic half cleared the corner and Simpson put the ball back into the mix for Celtic to scramble clear again.

It was only a matter of time that Barrow got a reward for their hard pressure and it came from Paterson. The nippy forward made room for a cross and picked Campbell out at the back post with a pinpoint cross. With Dootson coming across goal to block the header, Campbell directed his header over Dootson and in at the far post.

Knight first fouled German and then Bowker on the half way line as Celtic looked to regain the initiative. From the second free kick Parr met it with a superb header, emulating the goal from Campbell; Capp had not had the time to come across to make the block and thus reached the header with a flying save to push it around the post.

From the corner Celtic got three attempts on goal, with Eastwood trying his luck and then Smith twice, after the latter Smith was flattened by Wheeler and the ball squirted away and was cleared, with Paterson sprinting down field. Missed by the officials who were keeping up with play was the lashing out of Campbell and Wheeler at Smith with the former kneeling on Smith’s back. Celtic players swarmed to the scene and started hauling the offending Barrow players away from Smith, attracting more Barrow players and a melee ensued. The noise from the spectators attracted the attention of the officials who turned and came back to sort out the mess. While they were coming down, a similar fracas erupted at the other end as Dootson tried to wrestle the ball. Somewhere in that one Simpson got a gash on his forehead that needed seeing to. There was too much for the officials to sort out as none of them had seen either erupt.

Eventually after several minutes of going back and forth between his assistants, the referee booked Parr and Campbell and sent Simpson off for a change of shirt and a fetching head bandage. Interestingly, the referee had taken the wrong card out of his pocket and almost accidentally sent Parr off!

With the interruption over, Barrow turned into an overly physical team, disrupting the game as much as playing it. Smith bustled his way between challenges before putting a cross into the box for Hayward to run onto, he did so but got under it by too great a margin and sent the ball over the bar.

Bowker clumsily upended Campbell on the half way line and the free kick was floated into the box where Dootson had to react quickly to put the ball around the post before Knight could pounce on it and jab it into the net. The corner came all the way out to Anthony who struck a distance shot that ricocheted off Keeling, hit the bar and went out for a second corner. Bowker cleared the second corner virtually off the line as far as Anthony, his wayward shot released the pressure building on the shaky Celtic back line.

Parr fouled Campbell on the half way line. The free kick was floated to the back of the box where Knight knocked it across the face to Campbell who must have thought he’d scored with his close range shot. Somehow Dootson flew across and punched the ball around the post for a corner. The corner came out as far as Ridley; his shot took a lot of deflections on the way out for a goal kick.

Celtic released the pressure in spectacular fashion. Smith won a throw level with the six-yard box. He threw it quickly to Whealing who knocked it to Hayward; Smith had begun a run into the box, and Hayward’s inch-perfect cross to the back post was met by the leg of Smith diverting it past Capp with the Barrow team spectators.

Celtic knew that they couldn’t sit back and defend the lead, and Eastwood went looking for clear water, winning a corner off Wheeler as he tried to go around him. The corner came out to Smith who still had work to do, but made space for the shot, and shot over the bar.

Barrow too had to play for the equaliser or go out of the competition. Again it fell to Paterson to be the major outlet for Barrow, and it was he who found some space outside the box, he curled his shot around the press of bodies inside the box. Dootson saw it late and made a good save, when Campbell tried to pounce on the spilled ball, he was offside.

Barrow did get a corner shortly afterwards thanks to Whealing blocking Knight’s cross. Colley got his head on the ball, and produced yet another stunning save from Dootson, pushing the ball around for a second corner. The corner was cleared and Hayward and Sykes ran into the Barrow half with only two defenders for company and the Barrow team struggling to get back. Hayward drew his defender and found Sykes with a perfect pass. Sykes’ first touch was excellent leaving his marker stranded, but the curling effort aimed to go around the keeper failed and went around the post as well.

First Moores (on for Eastwood) and then Hayward were fouled by Wheeler the latter just outside the box. The free kick was pulled square to Sykes who struck the ball from distance with a lot of power just over the bar.

Calamitous defending deep into stoppage time saw Barrow piling forwards harrying the Celtic back line. Paterson tried to run the ball into the back of the net, and Dootson got down well blocking the ball and sending it high over the bar. The corner was wasted and Moores brought it clear, trying to catch Barrow on the counter attack. Moores got all the way to the Barrow box before shooting, and forced Capp into a good save. But this was only a small reprieve as Barrow gave their all in the dying moments of the game. Knight’s low cross was cut out with a sliding block by Keeling at the expense of a corner.

For some reason, before the corner could be taken, with seconds left on the clock, Campbell stormed over to the linesman and started haranguing him. The referee had no choice but to issue a second yellow to the big centre-forward. Campbell didn’t want to leave and made further threatening motions towards the linesman.

If it was a ploy it had the desired effect. The corner came sweeping in and Colley again got his head on the ball. Ben Smith (on for Steve Smith) headed the ball out from the goal after Dootson had been beaten. Celtic thought that they had survived another attack, but the officials had other ideas and said that it had crossed the line.

Barrow had equalised in the seventh minute of stoppage time to earn extra time – but were a man down.

They may have been a man down, but their confidence was sky-high, and somehow Celtic had to pull their act together now when they thought that the game was won.

At the start of the first period, German got forward using the man advantage, and squared a ball to Sykes twenty yards out. He struck the ball well enough, but it was wide. Moores then raced onto a Hayward through ball; he struck the ball first time and was rewarded with an excellent save from Capp.

Ten minutes into the first period Ben Smith picked up the ball on the wing after being fed by German. He went on a mazy run taking on four Barrow defenders and beating them all to get well into the box; he struck a low shot that left Capp no chance as it belted into the back of the net.

Knight thought he’d immediately equalised when Whealing tried a soft header back to Dootson that Knight latched onto. He lifted the ball over Dootson, only for it to be ruled out for offside. To be honest, he didn’t appear to be offside.

For the second half time of the game, Celtic took a one goal advantage into the second period.

Celtic continued to press to make the game safe trying to make use of the extra man, and Moores won a corner Wheeler. The corner was wasted. Smith went for a floating cross to the back post for Moores, but Capp read it well and cut it out.

As the final whistle approached Barrow were playing top class football, leaving Celtic chasing shadows. Colley was playing almost as an out and out striker, and he put a good ball over for Paterson who diverted the ball around the post under pressure from Keeling. Paterson was about to pull the trigged after bringing the ball into the box, and a last ditch tackle from Whealing put the ball out for a corner. Dootson palmed the ball over the bar for a second corner. Celtic tried to break off the corner when Dootson punched it out and Moores picked it up with only two defenders between him and goal, and Hayward for company. His powerful cross aimed for Hayward entering the box was well judged by substitute Rowland who calmly nodded back to Capp.

Despite increasing pressure, Barrow couldn’t find another way through the Celtic defence. The tackles were flying in, but somehow Celtic kept them out, and when Dootson punted the ball up field the referee drew a curtain over a memorable pair of cup ties.

Elsewhere Leek Town had travelled to Nuneaton in their replay after Nuneaton had earned a draw in Staffordshire. Against the odds, Leek pulled off a major coup to set up a tie against Celtic on October 16th in Leek.

Over the course of the two games between Celtic and Barrow there has been a lot of drama, but in the end, Celtic showed enough spirit and fight to get through into the next round and collect the prize pot.

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