Match Report -
Celtic comfortably into second
By Iain Benson
Celtic moved into second position with a comprehensive victory over Solihull Moors, beating them four-nil for the second time this season. Celtic started well, and never stopped, despite the conditions not being conducive to flowing football, somehow Celtic coped, and oft times used them to their advantage.

Meechan could have opened the scoring within seconds of Solihull kicking off: his cross just evading the stretching foot of Torpey and forcing Crane into a full stretch save early on. From a needless corner conceded by the visitors, Streete slicing a clearance, Payne?s header was cleared off the line by Motteram. From the second corner, the ball came out to Smart who lashed in a left foot shot that would have taken Crane?s head off had he not put his hands in the way.

Meechan evaded a flying tackle on the wing to bring the ball inside and race towards goal, as Streete went to him, Meechan released the ball, looking for Dean coming into the box. Dean dummied a shot and Torpey coming in from the corner of the box connected instead, the keeper wrong footed by Dean?s dummy never stood a chance, the powerful shot ripping past him.

Solihull tried to come back strongly, Ayres shooting well over from distance and Middleton cutting in from the wing and forcing Gamble to get his shirt dirty with a stretching but comfortable save low down, before Celtic returned to dominance, and Celtic ended the half strongly with Celtic unlucky not to extend their lead, but with both Torpey and Hall putting the ball wide of the mark and the conditions making judging the path of the ball difficult, Solihull must have gone in at half time feeling they still had a chance.

Any thoughts of that were wiped out within moments of the restart. A superb cross from Meechan arced through the defence and Hall was the one to apply the coup de grace diverting it past the out flung arm of Crane and Celtic were comfortable.

Winn, who ran himself into the ground, set up Celtic?s third, with a perfectly weighted through ball between the static Gould and Collins for Dean to latch onto. Dean swivelled past Streete and with Crane coming out Put the ball between Crane and the post to give the score-line a reflective feel.

It was then a case of who would make it four for Celtic, with Smart lashing in a shot that rose just over the bar and Barlow almost getting a touch with a diverted flick seconds after coming on, Crane doing well to get to the ball. In the end it was Torpey who got a deserved second for the game, left foot, edge of the box, curled around the flying keeper four-nil.

Seconds later and it could have been five. Solihull were grimly hanging on, but Hall easily outpaced Collins to advance on Crane. Crane came out and slid for the ball, but Hall took it past5 him and with the goal at his mercy, but at a very acute angle, couldn?t quite pull it back enough and hit the side netting. Winn got two thumping chances, but put one either side of each post and Smart had a pile drive caught by Crane as the onslaught of the Moors goal continued. Wilkinson made his debut from the bench coming on to replace Torpey, and Keeling got some valuable match time, neither disrupted the attacking quality; Wilkinson setting Dean up only for Crane to smother the low shot. Wilkinson then got a couple of chances of his own, racing in from the wing and smacking an angled drive at Crane who could only palm it out for a corner. The corner was half heartedly clear as time was running out for the visitors, and Wilkinson received it back from Winn, but again Crane made the stop at the expense of a corner. Moors had one shot in the second half with two minutes left on the clock. Anderson forcing Gamble to get his second half shirt dirty with a low drive from the edge of the box, give Gamble had had nothing to do for nearly an hour, it was amazing he was still alert enough to make the save look comfortable.

With Telford being beaten at home by Barrow Celtic are now looking good for finishing in the second spot; with Kettering only needing four points to mathematically ensure the title, top spot is probably a bridge too far.

1Crane, Danny  
2Midworth, Phil  > 64
3Motteram, Carl  
4Collins, Lee  
5Streete, Theo  > 64
6Gould, Tim  
7Ayres, Lee  
8Middleton, Darren  
9Davidson, Danny  > 64
10Anderson, Dale  
11English, JuniorYellow Card 
12Faulds, Peter  < 64
14Hollis, Simon  < 64
15Moore, Jason  < 64
16Ducros, Andrew  
17Rachel, Adam  
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