Match Report -
The season ends
By Iain Benson
Celtic?s season ended in front of nearly a thousand Celtic fans who continued to sing even when the fairy tale ended without a happy ending.

Droylsden?s first effort saw a Talbot shot deflected for an easily cleared corner, whilst Keeling should have opened the scoring for Celtic when he blazed over an empty net after getting onto a Turley cross. Ellington and Banim interchanged before Banim raced along the line and pulled the ball back for the well positioned Prince, who blazed over an empty net. Droylsden came close when Denham was tripped running past black, and Morris put the free kick over the bar, and the largely anonymous Fearns headed wide from a corner. Warner fouled Winn near the dug-outs and it took a timely interception from Ruffer to deny Ellington the opener.

Ellington then did get the ball into the back of the net. Burke dallied on the edge of the box, Ellington nicked the ball off his foot and poked it past Phillips, only for the referee to decide he had illegally taking the ball from Burke. Phillips then came to the rescue when Turley crossed into the box and Winn got to the flight of the ball, heading towards goal, only for Phillips to make a good stop.

Pettinger?s first stop came at the start of the second half when Talbot had go from the edge of the box after working an opening. It was a good stop from Pettinger, but Phillips bettered it at the other end when Maxfield?s cross was met by a diving Turley, his header bottom corner all the way, somehow Phillips, at full stretch, got enough on it to put it around the post. A foul by Halford on Turley inside the box from the corner went unnoticed and unpunished, and allowed Halford to hack the ball clear. Maxfield again beat Warner to put another superb cross in, Ellington and Turley both threw themselves at the ball, missing, the keeper missed it, and Prince coming in at the back post got the touch, but his head glanced agonizingly wide.

Eastwood came on for Prince, and Turley put a good ball into the path of his fresh legs. One-on-one with Phillips, he tried to slot it under the Droylsden keeper, only for him to get a block with his legs. The ball came out to Banim, but Ruffer slid in with a well timed tackle to deny an open net. Eastwood tried again to go one-on-one, this time Warner wasn?t having any of it and scythed him down at the edge of the box. Lynch put the free kick out for a corner. The corner was taken near post, Banim turned and had a shot, but Warner deflected for another corner, which was cleared as far as Winn who tried a thirty yard curling shot, but it lacked the pace to beat Phillips.

Content with a draw it was a rare foray into the Celtic half by Droylsden that saw Denham test Pettinger with a curling cross/shot that he palmed away onto the cross bar and out. Fitzpatrick came on for the hosts, and beat Black before zipping a ball across the six-yard box that Maxfield turned away for a corner. Droylsden employed a strange corner routine which involved flattening Barnard and holding Pettinger, but as this is apparently legitimate, Maxfield had to concede a second corner. Off this corner, the referee was watching, and saw the offences (this time on Black and Pettinger), giving the free kick. He wasn?t watching when Barnard conceded a third corner stopping Fearns? run. Maxfield was flattened, and Pettinger was held and Droylsden bustled the ball over the line with Burke getting the final touch. When the goal was given, Pettinger went ballistic at the referee who showed him a straight red card for dissent.

Buxton came on for Turley and Celtic were a man down, a goal down, needing to score three in ten minutes. They went for it. Banim found Winn inside the six yard box with a pin-point pass, but the ball was trapped between his legs and got cleared. Ellington slid the ball through for Eastwood who made the space for the shot and forced Phillips into a full stretch save at his top corner to concede the corner. Ellington tried to get into the box, only for Burke to trip him, the corner came to Keeling, who got flattened by Cameron, but Banim couldn?t keep the free kick down, and time ran out.

It was an entertaining game, a promising sign of things to come for next season, a fitting end to a wonderful campaign.

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