Celtic started brightly, with Jody Banim putting a well weighted ball into the path of Lee Ellington, but home keeper Jamie Holmshaw was equal to the task, getting across well to deny Celtic a goal in the opening minutes. Neil Prince got around the back of the defence to lift a cross to Lee Ellington, but the former Gainsborough man couldn?t convert, skewing his shot wide.
Despite the early Celtic pressure, it was Gainsborough who took the lead, after winning an early corner, Nathan Wharton unwittingly deflecting Wes Parker?s cross. Richard Pell at the near post got the decisive touch, nodding the ball into the back of the net inside the first ten minutes.
Celtic were struggling against a massive Trinity back line, but Jody Banim neatly unlocked the defence, only to be dispossessed at the last second by Wes Parker, and the half finished with the home side in the lead.
Celtic came tearing out of the blocks in the second half, and Chris Price saw a distance drive turned around the post by the on-top-form Jamie Holmshaw. A short while later, Paul Sykes nodded narrowly wide from a Chris Price lob into the box. Tom Baker was given his first start for Celtic, coming on to replace Neil Prince, and he immediately put Jody Banim clear to spin in a cross for Lee Ellington, but the stalwart Trinity defence were alert, and cleared with Jamie Holmshaw beaten.
The largely anonymous James Turley was replaced with fifteen minutes to go by Mark Atkins, making his first league appearance for Celtic. Immediately, he was given the chance to turn the scores around with a superbly taken dipping free kick that tested Jamie Holmshaw, but couldn?t beat him.
As Celtic were searching for an equaliser, gaps opened at the back, allowing Charlie Trout to exploit them, he beat Haran for pace, but couldn?t control his shot, sending it wide of the mark, and Richard Pell couldn?t double his tally heading a free kick over, leaving Paul Pettinger a virtual spectator for the whole second half.
As the game headed into the final few minutes, Celtic went into overdrive, peppering the home box with crosses that kept the Trinity back line on their toes. A superb Jody Banim cross was flicked by Lee Ellington at the near post on to Mark Haran, but his blasted shot smacked against the underside of the crossbar, coming out to new boy Tom Baker. A goal on his debut was not to be, as Holmshaw somehow got across to tip the shot away. Banim got onto the corner, but put his looping shot over the bar.
An unusual line up for Celtic played well in parts, but lacked the spark for the whole ninety that would have surely won this game. There are a lot of if buts and maybes in football, and had Celtic converted any of the early chances in the first and second halves or near the end, then the result would have been different. They didn?t and it wasn?t.