Celtic started the game well by continually dropping balls over the Hinckley defence and Ellington, Smith and Brodie had plenty of service to feast on. Celtic then got a goal which sent confidence throughout the team. The goal came after a free kick was drifted in just over the head of Keeling the Celtic captain then took control of the ball looked up chipped the ball to the back post, it was then headed away but only to Ellington who on the edge of the six yard box headed a perfectly waited effort over the stranded Hinckley keeper to put the Celts one up.
Hinckley then applied some pressure but were restricted to half chances due to some stout Celtic defending. Celtic then won a penalty through James Turley who was recalled to the Celtic line up after a month on loan at Mossley. The Celtic winger had cut inside the box and was just about shoot as his legs were taken from beneath him for a clear cut penalty which the referee was perfectly posiontioned to see. Celtic?s top scorer stepped up and waited for the United keeper to commit himself before coolly slotting home. The half continued with a bouncy pitch that meant Celtic would need to win headers if they wanted to enjoy possession and indeed they did with Winn and Parr battling in the heart of the Celtic midfield. Half time came at the right time for Celtic as Hinckley were starting to work their way back with a few openings. Hinckley began the second half by making two substitutions and it was clear that they had been read the riot act at the interval and were going to come at Celtic all guns blazing. Leon Kelly finally enjoyed some time on the ball and showed Celtic fans what they had once witnessed with his lighting pace and quick change of direction he was starting to work openings in the Celtic defence. Again though Celtic dug deep and battled hard but were failing to have any meaningful possession as Hinckley peppered the Celtic box. But Hinckley weren?t creating any clear cut chances but did always look likely to score. Celtic however did break and Ashley Winn had a chance to put the match beyond Hinckley when he found himself one on one with the United keeper after a good run he tried to slot it through the goalkeeper?s legs and nearly did so but for some quick reactions from the keeper it could have been 3-0.
Hinckley did in fact hand themselves a lifeline and it came through Wykes whose shot drilled across the face of the goal and nestled in the bottom corner of the net after deflecting off Barrie Keeling. Celtic had to endure some more pressure until they broke up the pitch and Winn used pace and strength to shrug of defenders to go one on one with the keeper it appeared he had gone too wide until he unleashed a shot between the goalkeeper and the near post, the shot had enough power to get through and Winn rejoiced in front of the Celtic faithful. But those who thought this game was dead and buried were wrong as Hinckley pilled on more pressure with Kelly teasing the Celtic back line before cutting in and being tripped, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
However, Celtic would debate that the ball should have been played out before Kelly was tripped as Black was clearly down and injured but Hinckley decided to carry on. Black was receiving treatment for several minutes and in doing so delayed the spot kick but Lenton made no mistake and set up a frantic finish which required Pettinger to make a good block the whistle did blow however and gave Celtic a quite unexpected victory at the Marston?s stadium.
In winning this game Celtic remain unbeaten at the Marston?s stadium.
Although Hinckley enjoyed a lot of possession in the Celtic last third the Celtic backline must be given praise indeed as should every player on the pitch in a Celtic shirt as despite Hinckley?s second half domination Pettinger only had to make to meaningful saves although he did command his area very well and collected many Hinckley crosses without fail. It was Celtic in the orange and black strip left milking the support at the end of the game and this was down to a gritty performance against a quick and fort right Hinckley outfit.