Match Report -
Chances galore
By Iain Benson
The game was played at a cracking pace, and how neither side scored is a mystery.

Celtic should have scored in the opening minute when Roca provided Hall withy a great ball; he dropped it off to Ellington. A square ball to the well positioned Barlow gave the striker acres of time and space, but he took the touch instead of the shot and it allowed Veiga to close him down quickly and smother at his feet.

At the other end, Williams had two early chances getting beyond Haran and Sykes, but both times shot straight at Gamble. Roca carried the ball from the half way line riding a couple of heavy challenges before dropping the ball off to Davies. Davies shot took a wicked deflection off Briscoe diverting the ball safely to Veiga.

The chances were coming thick and fast at both ends with both sets of defences playing exceptionally well at snuffing out any half chances. Tamworth seemed to feel that they could play the ball over the top of the Celtic defence, but each time Haran or Sykes read it well and cut the ball out. Celtic were trying to get the ball around the fullbacks and whip it in. Garner did just that and Hall got his head on the ball, but he put his header narrowly wide. A ball over the top to Robinson saw the Tamworth man lift the ball to the unmarked Williams at the back post, but with the goal at his mercy he smacked the ball well over the bar.

Sheldon went heavily through Hall thirty yards from goal, but the ball in was always too high for Dudgeon and he could only knock the ball out for a goal kick. Ellington then got a great chance when Hall flicked on Barlow's cross, but Ellington's header was just over the bar, and though it looked like a great reaction save from Veiga, a goal kick was given. Roca went alone, cutting into the box and leaving Lyttle on his back, but a leg from Smith was enough to deflect it for a corner. Just before the half time interval, Ellington put the ball into Hall's path, he took the first time shot and Veiga wouldn't have reached it as the ball skimmed the far post on the way out.

Payne was brought on for Dudgeon in the second half, and suddenly Tamworth found it increasingly difficult to get around the back of Celtic's defence, though a powerful run by Williams required an excellent last ditch challenge from Sykes to do enough to make Williams shoot over the bar. Gamble then pulled off a sensational reaction save when Sheldon latched onto a lofted ball and flicked it down to Gamble's right, somehow the Celtic keeper leapt and got a strong arm on the ball to deny Tamworth a goal.

Barlow took the ball along the by-line before striking a good low shot that zipped narrowly wide. Roca made some space just outside the box and took the shot, Hall pulled his foot back, presumably to allow Roca the credit for a goal, but his touch would have sent the ball past the well placed Veiga who collected comfortably. A long throw from Payne was flicked towards the back post by Haran, but Veiga reacted well and took the ball comfortably. Burbeary was brought on for the tiring Roca, and his first touch was a well weighted ball to Hall, who turned Briscoe and fired low across the face and out for a goal kick.

Tamworth were running out of ideas and Celtic were looking the stronger as the game went into the final quarter. However, Smith tried a distance curling shot that had Gamble stretching, but it was just wide. Burbeary latched onto a poor clearance, but leant back as he took the shot and sent the ball well over the bar. Veiga was forced into action again when Payne's lofted cross found Haran still up from a throw, but his header was straight at Veiga and didn't stretch him. Hall used great strength to hold off Bains, and push the ball out to Winn. Winn had his choice of placing the ball into either corner, but went for the chip, putting the ball narrowly over the bar.

A ball over the top from Davis was latched onto by Ellington and only a last ditch tackle from Bains denied Ellington the goal that would have surely won the match. Ellington turned provided sliding the ball to Burbeary who had too much time if anything and took a controlling touch before curling the ball. Veiga read it well and caught comfortably. Barlow brought down a forty-five yard pass from Garner and pulled the ball out to Davis, whose thunderous shot smacked against the foot of the post with Veiga stranded.

A distance shot from Leonard was Tamworth's last chance of the match, but it was from just too far out to worry Gamble. Celtic won a couple of late corners and a free kick near the box, but just couldn't get the killer touch and the game finished goalless.

It was an entertaining goalless draw, but with Hyde winning at Kettering, the gap between ourselves and the play off spots widened to seven points. However, the performance, if not the result, was very encouraging and Celtic more than matched the visitors, it was just a shame that none of the glorious chances went in. A single goal would have won the match.

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