Match Report -
End to end entertainment
By Iain Benson
Possession and chances waxed and waned in was an entertaining match. Either side could have won it, so a draw was a fair result.

Worcester got the best of the early chances, especially when Colley dragged both Sykes and Keeling to him, burst past them, and knocked the ball across the face of goal for Wilding sliding in, but he couldn?t reach it. Krief, making his debut for Celtic, showed his lack of fear when it came to shooting, spotting a gap and firing in from all of thirty yards, but McDonnell was barely troubled. Ellington won a corner out of Ward, which came out to Krief to have another go from the edge of the box, this time it required a full stretch save by the keeper to deny him at the expense of another corner that Sykes got his head on, but couldn?t keep down.

Celtic were pulling the Worcester defence from one side to the other, and this allowed Black to put in a superb cross for Morris to head towards goal, it was a good attempt, but McDonnell had plenty of time to judge the flight. Black was having some success getting behind Burley and whipping in the crosses, so much so that one was whipped in, struck the inside of the post, and Ward cleared off the line with McDonnell beaten. Ellington chased down plenty of lost causes, one of which he pulled back to Brodie coming into the box, it was a good strike and an unwitting block by Smith, the ball falling to Winn, but Lyttle was on hand to dispossess him.

After Hume was flattened in the box whilst jostling for a free kick, the Celtic defence were static waiting for the whistle, it wasn?t forthcoming and had Wilding?s header not thudded against the bar, the goal would have stood. The post then came to Celtic?s rescue, again off a free kick floated in from the centre circle. This time it was Cornes who escaped his marking to have the attempt, but it went out off the post.

The second half continued in the same vein, and from set-pieces Worcester always looked likely to score, another floated in free kick, this time Smith escaping his marker, and it required Pettinger to deny him the opener.

Celtic switched things around a little, replacing Morris with Prince, and Prince?s first job was to sidestep several challenges, slide the ball through the defence allowing Hume to go one on one with McDonnell, the Worcester keeper came out on top in that pairing making an excellent parry to deny Hume, but the ball fell free to Ellington, and Celtic?s top scorer made no mistake poking it past McDonnell for it to trundle over the line with the Worcester defence struggling to reach it, before it reached the net.

Celtic could have doubled their lead almost immediately from an Ellington won corner that Hume headed powerfully, only for Warner to head off the line. The clearance was to prove valuable as from another long distance free kick, Smith got free in the box, and this time, Pettinger couldn?t reach it as it looped over him and into the back of the net. Worcester had been threatening from this manoeuvre all match, and it finally paid off for them.

Celtic brought Turley on for the struggling Hume, and immediately looked more cohesive. The Worcester defence were stretched as Celtic belted down either side, and through the middle. Prince found Brodie with a good first time whipped cross, Brodie brought the ball to his stronger foot and forced McDonnell into a very smart save. Worcester responded with Colley attempting a thirty-five yard blast that had Pettinger stretching, but it didn?t dip enough and sailed over the bar.

Celtic then missed some glorious opportunities to take the three points towards the end of the game. Ellington found Winn, unmarked on the penalty spot with a looping cross. Winn misjudged his header completely, ending up clearing the cross. Black cut inside for the first time in the match, nobody picked him and he smashed in a glorious dipping shot that McDonnell got a whisker of a finger tip to, forcing the shot to crash off the underside of the bar and required Lyttle to hack clear off the line. Prince switched the play right across the field with a forty yard pass to Turley, Turley returned the cross, picking out Maxfield, the Worcester defence were all over the place, and Maxfield switched it again to Black leaving the visiting defence strung completely out, and Black found Brodie coming in at the back post, unmarked, the keeper stranded, it was a tap in, and should have been the winner, but the cross span off his boot and wide to the anguish of himself and the home crowd.

On another day, any of the shots from Winn, Black or Brodie would have been a goal. Today was not the day, and all three of them can hold their heads high as they couldn?t have played any better than they did.

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