Match Report -
Celtic keep the pressure on
By Iain Benson
Celtic remain within touching distance of the play-off spots after a dominating victory over virtually relegated Hednesford Town. The loss leaves Hednesford only able to catch Redditch United, and unless Hednesford can take two wins from their last three games, they are down. On the games showing, they never really threatened Celtic?s goal, but they did enough to ensure that Celtic couldn?t notch up more than the three they did.

Hednesford started brightly enough, winning several corners, one of which Hyde received after a half clearance, but his shot lacked power and was straight at Pettinger.

Celtic got into gear, with Banim back in Celtic blue orchestrating a great move with Garvey, before Garvey whipped the ball over to Ellington. Ellington turned and shot, but the ball whizzed over the bar. Banim?s vision meant that one touch was all he needed to move Parr?s ball to him right into Ellington?s stride who smacked the ball first time across the keeper. Hately got a finger on it, but it wasn?t enough and Ellington returned to the top of the Goal Scorers chart.

Banim was at it again moments later, freeing Sykes to have a shot, but Sykes shot narrowly wide of the mark. Hyde couldn?t handle Banim?s turn and brought him down for a free kick twenty-five yards from goal. Barnard took it quickly finding Parr who nodded across the goal towards Sykes, but Teesdale was alert and conceded a corner.

A second goal was on the cards, but Celtic had to wait until right before half time. Garvey made a fine reverse path to leave Prince in acres of space. With one thought in his mind, Prince curled a superb shot over the keeper and under the crossbar.

The second half continued the Celtic dominance, with Banim finding the space and the perfect cross to put the ball onto Ellington?s foot coming into the box, but Ellington?s volley just cleared the bar with Hately unable to get near it. Banim back-heeled into the path of Garvey giving Garvey the time to take a shot, but he sent it wide. Banim went on his own next, beating two defenders with fine footwork before forcing a good stop from Hately down at his near post. A Prince and Garvey interchange allowed the latter to take a shot, but Garvey put it over the bar.

Banim was desperately unlucky when Prince beat two and put the ball to him unmarked at the edge of the box, his shot curled and dipped past the keeper, smacking against the bar. Sykes was the next unlucky Celtic player after Prince?s corner fell at his feet, he poked it towards goal, and Hately did exceedingly well to block it with his trailing foot from close range. Turley looked to have made it three-nil when he traded passes with Sykes inside the box, before burying past Hately, only for Sykes to have been caught offside.

Hadland fouled Ellington right on the edge of the box as normal time ended. The wall was lined up awfully, with a huge hole to the keeper?s right. Ellington took the free kick, burying it into the empty space to make the scoreline reflect the possession.

With Droylsden also winning 3-0 Celtic now have to find eight goals in their next two matches to close the goal-difference gap ahead of the match on the 29th of April. With Barrow and Redditch the visitors, it won?t be easy; Redditch are battling for a place in the Conference North next season, whilst the Barrow players have to prove that they want to play for Barrow next season under new boss, Phil Wilson.

Man of the Match Sponsor
Dave & Maria Wood
Sponsors
Site Sponsor
Football Accumulators - Official Site Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Site Sponsor
MG Domestic - Official Site Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Official Betting Partner