Match Report -
Celtic out of the Trophy
By Six Yard Sam
Celtic faced a difficult challenge with their third replay in the FA Trophy. Kettering were full of confidence after holding Celtic to 1-1 draw at Bower Fold. This showed from the kick off with Pettinger having to be alert in the first minute with Marna's shot held well by Pettinger. Osborn also had to be alert in the early forays as Ellington's shot from a throw was collected by the keeper who had recovered from a twisted ankle on Saturday.

Kettering looked the more dangerous side, but Celtic will be disappointed when Westcarr latched onto Howe's through ball that left Celtic static and the Kettering striker one-on-one with Pettinger. Westcarr made no mistake firing between Pettinger's legs. Ellington could have replied with a shot that Osborn had to block from a narrow angle, but it was Kettering who were doing most of the attacking, though the defence held firm.

Just before the half hour, Kettering got the ball in the back of the net when Marne latched onto the ball after Pettinger parried Hall's shot. It was ruled offside, keeping the score down to just one goal. Celtic switched formations with the introduction of Krief (on for Keeling), but most of the play was still around the Celtic box with a number of corners for the home side that Celtic did well to defend. A hit on the break tactic was being employed by Celtic and just before half time; it paid dividends when Ellington latched onto a hacked and sliced clearance from Graham that left him with a gaping net to just roll the ball into. 1-1 at half time was an unlikely score line, but the travelling contingent weren't complaining.

Ellington could have given Celtic the lead just after the restart after Graham's foul on Brodie, but his free kick was wide of the mark, and Celtic looked a lot more fired up. Clear cut chances were rare as both teams struggled to make headway against some good defending. With numerous free kicks being given to both sides, a set piece always looked likely to produce the next goal, and so it proved. McIlwain kept a deep free kick in play, nodding back to Howe, and though Pettinger did well on the original header, McIlwain was still up to prod the ball into the back of the net.

Celtic were not out of it at this stage, but could not find the killer ball, with Ellington's distance shot over the bar the best of the bunch. As the game went into the last few minutes, Kettering put it beyond Celtic, with a break-away move. Marna crossed to the back post, and nobody picked up Solkhon drifting in at the back post, and he promptly stuck the ball into the back of the net. Kettering could have added to this, with Nicelle's shot at the death saved well by Pettinger.

Celtic were not quite up to the challenge faced by Kettering, and the better team on the night goes through to face Salisbury in the next round.