Match Report -
Spartans Beaten again!
By Keith Trudgeon

Lee Stratford's first goal for the club steered Celtic into the fourth round of the Trophy but it was a scrappy and disappointing affair at Bower Fold.

A well below-par Celtic side, crippled with injuries, beat Blyth for the third time this season but the home fans were hoping for more of the same from their side as in the previous encounter before Christmas.

Th only goal came in the 22nd minute when keeper Terry Burke flapped at Tony Sullivan's right wing cross and Stratford hit home a close range volley.

Celtic were rarely threatened by an inept Spartans outfit but, as we've seen all too often this season, the 'Bridge squandered several golden opportunities to put the game out of reach.

The game as a whole was poor and only memorable for two second half incidents. On the hour mark, and with tempers visibly frayed, Paul Symons launched into a two-footed tackle on Andy Scott right in front of the main stand. A 'free-for-all' started, involving players from both sides which ended in Symons being dismissed.

Five minutes later came another controversial moment. Gary Bauress let fly from 25 yards and the ball flew into the top corner but joy turned to anger as the referee signalled for offside.

However, the visitors never looked capable of an equaliser and Celtic progressed to the fourth round where they will face Worcester City of the Dr. Martens Premier League at Bower Fold.

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