Match Report -
Turley curler wins the match
By Iain Benson
Celtic took the victory they deserved from the match, but Lancaster did give Celtic problems, despite a creaky defence.

That creaky defence was undone almost from the off when Turley cut inside and blasted towards goal, only for McMillan in the City nets to make a good block, the rebound coming back towards Turley. Now under pressure, he still got a header off, though it was a simple catch for McMillan. Turley neatly unlocked the defence again minutes later, this time providing a cross for Ellington to head powerfully towards goal, McMillan made an absolute blinder of a save from close range to deny Celtic's top scorer. Prince took the ball around his marker before whipping in a cross that Greenwood put out for a corner. Parr put his head on the corner, knocking it back for Sykes, but his header went narrowly over the bar.

A goal was obviously coming, and finally Ellington made the breakthrough. Winn's lob over a static and lumbering defence allowed Ellington to go one-on-one with McMillan and from close range he made no mistake. Brown almost turned Turley's low cross into the box into his own net, scraping the post as it went for a corner as Lancaster creaked under the pressure. It looked more a case of how many Celtic would score, not whether or not they would win. An Ellington lob was controlled well by Prince aiming for goal he forced a good sharp save from McMillan who was Lancaster's only saving grace in the defence. McMillan made another good stop when Turley burst between Uberschar and Taylor firing a low shot towards the bottom corner.

Maxfield won a corner which was half cleared back to him, his shot was deflected by Brown in some desperate defending. This corner came to Turley and McMillan did well to tip it away. Turley forced another corner when he whipped in a cross that threatened to dip under the crossbar, only for McMillan to acrobatically tip it over the bar. McMillan was having a glorious game, and a corner floated into the box was flicked on by Parr to Ellington, his shot saw McMillan make another point blank save. Lancaster cleared the corner, and set up a half chance that Taylor blazed well wide before Maxfield took the ball up the field, cut inside, fed Turley who turned and shot just over the bar.

The second half continued the theme of Celtic pressure without result. A Barnard free kick fell into the box, Ellington and Sykes interchanged before feeding Turley who smashed his shot wide. Ellington then fed Prince, who beat two and shot but into the side netting. The lack of result meant Lancaster always had a chance. Smith tried his luck from distance, unable to break the defence, and it was a routine stop for Pettinger. A set piece was always going to be Lancaster's best chance, and so it proved. Maxfield held Taylor conceding a free kick twenty yards out. Elderton took it, the ball striking the wall and coming back to him, this time his shot arrowed into the bottom corner.

Uberschar could have made Celtic's night miserable when Barnard's back header towards Pettinger bounced kindly for him, and the Lancaster fullback volleyed fortunately well wide. With only a win good enough for Celtic, Eastwood was brought on for Winn, and made an immediate step in the right direction, turning well to make space and forcing McMillan into a good save. Eastwood's next touch was to spin a superb cross into the six-yard box for Sykes running in, his diving header was somehow blocked by a sliding Elderton. Lancaster couldn't get out of their own half as Celtic hunted for the winner. Turley gave Sykes a good ball, but Sykes sliced his shot wide.

With the hard work he had put in, Turley deserved a goal. He latched onto a long diagonal ball from Maxfield, left his marker for dead and curled a shot from an acute angle over McMillan. Kharas (on for Black), but his touch wasn't needed.

With the lead regained, Celtic tried to play-out time, but it is not a game plan that Celtic excel at, and Lancaster broke with seconds on the clock. Elderton shot as the referee started to raise the whistle to his lips, the ball dipped as it went towards goal, but not enough, and it went out for a goal kick. The referee did blow and Celtic made another step towards the play off spots.

Match Sponsor
HN Nuttals