Match Report -
Strong play from Celtic
By Iain Benson
Considering the pasting Celtic received at the hands of a weaker Oldham side than this at this point last season, the result has more than a few positives. Celtic made a very good account of themselves, and such are the improved fitness levels, that Celtic didn?t concede a single goal in the second half.

As should be expected, Oldham carved out some great chances, with Griffin almost getting on the score sheet in the opening minutes, finding Buxton in great form with a double save, the ball falling to Facey; his shot was cleared off the line by Haran.

Celtic got some chances of their own though, with Ellington feeding a great ball into the box for Mulvaney ? his first time shot was tipped by a great save from Murphy for a corner.

Facey?s was strong and agile, and he powered through the defence, forcing a block from Keeling that fell to Griffin, with no real challenge on him, he rifled the shot into the bottom corner.

Celtic tried the instant reply, but Haran?s header from Barnard?s free kick was just over the bar.

Facey again powered his way past the defence to go one-on-one with Buxton, but the Celtic keeper stayed big and Facey shot wide. The same wasn?t true just before the end of the half, when the defence held back off Liddell and he fired a curling low drive from twenty-five yards into the bottom corner well out of the reach of Buxton.

Celtic brought on Pettinger for Buxton and Prince for Cornelly at half time, while Oldham replaced Porter with Hall. Both sides? substitutes were involved immediately. Hall?s cross was headed well by Griffin but Pettinger made a great reaction save. Prince also made his presence felt with some great skill to bamboozle the visiting defence, rolling the ball around two defenders and turning a third before curling a shot to the top corner, but Murphy read it well and caught comfortably.

Black replaced Steve Smith, allowing Ben Smith out of the full back role, and Ben Smith took on Forbes and Scott to make room for the shot, but after the build up, the shot lacked power, and it was an easy catch for the Latic?s keeper. Celtic were matching the visitors in all areas of the park towards the end of the game, emphasized when Prince rolled the ball across the face of the box to Willis (on for Wharton), who took a cracking shot that required a good stop from Murphy. Murphy was again called into action when Prince made enough room for a threaded pass to Price twenty yards out, his shot through a crowd was seen late by Murphy but the visiting keeper reacted well.

Though it was a two nil loss to Celtic, they shouldn?t be disheartened, play like that against Conference North teams would have seen a reversed score line.

Celtic line-up: Buxton (Pettinger), B Smith, Barnard (Caldecott), Keeling, Haran (Sykes), Price, S Smith (Black), Wharton (Willis), Ellington, Mulvaney, Cornelly (Prince)
Unused subs: Murcott, Hadland

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