Match Report -
Banim debut - Duke brace
By Iain Benson
The fans got right behind John Reed?s team against his former club, and their rousing support ran right through the team. Also making his debut was Jody Banim, the recent signing from Droylsden who has long been a target of Celtic.

Celtic started brightly, with Black winning a corner, and when it came out to Prince, Marc Smith slid in two footed from behind, an automatic yellow card, which he was shown, and later to regret. Banim then got to run at the visiting defence, forcing another early corner. Celtic kept the pressure on, and Banim could have scored had Price in the visiting nets not been as alert, directing a Barnard cross towards the top corner.

Harrogate had pace running right through the side, and Marc Smith linked up well with Grant as Harrogate countered. Black slid in on Smith, missing the speeding forward, and allowing him to put Holland through one-on-one with Pettinger. The Harrogate forward curled a low shot around the advancing Pettinger, to give Harrogate the advantage.

After the goal, Harrogate oozed confidence, and passed around Celtic, leaving them chasing shadows. It required some good defending during the period, with first Keeling blocking a goal bound shot, and then Price off the resulting corner. Grant showed his pace to get a yard beyond Haran before taking a shot from twenty-five yards forcing Pettinger into a full stretch save. Moments later, he did it again, this time pushed wide by Haran, and shooting wide.

Celtic took a while to get back into the game with Harrogate bossing the midfield, but they did so through Banim, who tricked his way into space before feeding Ellington in the box, there were unheeded cries of penalty as Ellerker slid in and put the ball out for a corner. Though this was cleared, Prince brought it back, and found Ellington at the edge of the box, as did Stoneman, who slid through him to earn a booking. Ellington was getting closer as Harrogate had two defenders on Banim. Garvey?s pin-point pass found him inside the box, and it took an outstanding save from Price to deny him. From the corner, Haran was picked out, unmarked on the six yard line, and he blasted the ball into the back of the net to equalise the scores.

Prince was flattened by an increasingly desperate looking Harrogate, and as Garvey?s free kick was cleared, Marc Smith crashed into Haran with a dangerous high tackle. Again the referee had no choice but to show the yellow card, dismissing Smith for his second booking.

Just before half time, Banim put Ellington into the box; Ellington tried to lob Price, but cleared the bar as well. Prince then curled a low pass around the defence for Ellington to run onto, it was inch perfect and Ellington touched it once to get past Stoneman, and then struck a low shot into the bottom corner; he was celebrating before it crossed the six yard line.

Celtic started off the second half as they had ended the first, bossing the game. Ellington nearly grabbed his brace, but was denied from an acute angle by the foot of the keeper. Banim then showed why he is so highly rated, spinning and weaving past four defenders before striking a shot that required Wood to stick out a leg and put out for a corner. Celtic were getting chance after chance, Price volleying a Barnard cross over the bar, and Ellington doing the same off a Garvey chip. Just before the hour mark, Banim was put through by Ellington; with Price advancing, Banim tried the chip and saw the ball dip agonisingly over the bar. Prince then forced a save, albeit easy, from Price smacking a Banim through ball straight down the keeper?s throat. Banim flicked the ball over the defence for Garvey, who tried to lift it over the keeper, but again it was narrowly wide.

The third goal was inevitable, and it was through Banim. Garvey put him past the defence, and Banim?s thunderous shot beat Price only to rebound off the crossbar. With Price well out of position, Ellington had followed up and rifled home into an empty net with the Harrogate defence watching in disbelief. Celtic didn?t rest here, they kept probing, and Ellington won a corner out of Stoneman. Steve Smith (on for the injured Prince), flicked it out to Banim who produced an excellent stop out of Price.

An excellent introduction for Banim, and though he didn?t score himself, he and Ellington already look like building a great partnership, and with Prince and Garvey on the wings, Celtic looked dangerous once they?d got over Harrogate?s early pressure.

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