Match Report -
The win is the thing
By Iain Benson
It was by no means a sparkling performance from Celtic, but at the final whistle, it was three points and a clean sheet away from home.

Lancaster got the early chances when Lally headed Uberschar?s cross over the bar, but Celtic were generally strong at the back, restricting Lancaster to wild (and inaccurate) hopeful shots from outside the box that never troubled Buxton.

Celtic were struggling to get any fluency, but when they did, it saw an overlapping run by Maxfield give him the space to feed the ball into the path of Ellington whose first touch beat the defender and put him one-on-one; only a great save from Kennedy in the home nets denied last season?s top scorer. Ellington was then denied by last ditch block from Winnie after Hume?s cushioned header gave Ellington a sniff of goal. Hume headed the corner just over the bar.

Just before the interval, Lally sliced a cross, turning it into a fine shot that forced Buxton into a full stretch diving save to palm the ball away.

The second half started with very little action, it would take the two teams twenty minutes to work the ball towards either penalty area. Both teams won a couple of corners each, but Celtic made the most of theirs. Maxfield?s spinning ball highlighting Kennedy?s weakness on corners as he flapped it away for a second corner. Haran?s glancing header was wide.

Lancaster were still constrained to shooting from distance, and Uberschar got a big deflection off Keeling that required Buxton to be alert, but didn?t severely trouble him. In contrast Lancaster were allowing Celtic into their box, and Brodie put the ball to Hume who had his back to goal, Celtic?s current top-scorer turned his marker and fired off a low drive that was just wide of the post.

Keeling picked up a loose ball and advanced up the field, putting a good ball into the box meant for Ellington, but a deflection from Skinner put the ball out for a corner. Maxfield span the ball into the box, Kennedy called for it and under no pressure at all, allowed the ball to drop from his hands, Hume was on hand to smash the ball into the roof of the net for a totally unexpected goal.

The last five minutes of the match were nervy minutes for spectator and team as Lancaster went looking for an equaliser. The hero of this time was Nick Buxton. Lally?s shot from twenty-five yards took a massive deflection off Haran and Buxton was at full stretch to athletically tip the ball around the post for a corner with a sensational and important save. In the final minute, a loose ball bounced awkwardly for Haran, and he missed his clearance. Kelly was onto the ball like a flash, and Buxton was off his line equally fast making a brave and essential save at Kelly?s feet.

The win gives Celtic four points out of the first two games, their best start for a number of seasons, though with two tough games coming up against Harrogate and Scarborough, a better performance will be needed.

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