Celtic started very brightly, and Ellington could have had goal as Meynell?s cross flashed across the goal and he stretched but missed, and both Torpey and Briggs were denied by Lewis in the visiting goals, with Torpey?s curling effort tipped around the post with a fine save. A Woolliscroft cross turned into a shot, and forced Lewis into another stop before it all fell apart in a quarter of an hour self destruct period.
A foul by Briggs was waved as play on, but after it became clear there was no advantage, play was pulled back, and a Redditch routine saw the ball lifted into the danger area, and new signing Rawle stuck out a head and diverted the ball past Phillips.
Celtic huffed and puffed to get back into it, but though Ellington went close twice, it was Redditch who grabbed the next goal, a ball lifted over the defence, Rawle chased, Sykes couldn?t reach him, and when Phillips rushed off his line, Rawle lifted it over him and chased the ball into the back of the net.
Just before the interval, Ellington went close shooting for a very acute angle, but it was nothing Lewis couldn?t handle, and Celtic went in with a mountain to climb.
Smart was introduced for the second half, with Barlow giving way, and immediately got stuck in, Burr?s last words as they left the dressing room to get an early goal were heeded by Smart, who bundled his way through the crowded box before slotting the ball under Lewis to pull one back.
The goal galvanised Celtic, and Torpey took advantage of a fortuitous bounce to rifle past Lewis and grab the equaliser. Seconds later he could have doubled that as Celtic returned to their attacking roots, both he and Barwick shooting wide from outside the box. A trio of corners culminated in a Sykes half volley skimming just past the post, before a sublime piece of skill by Woolliscroft put him into the box where he picked out Torpey, who screwed the ball over Lewis and put Celtic into the lead.
Having got into the lead, Celtic wanted to stay there. Williams headed without power straight at Lewis, and had Verma?s touch been better, Celtic would have been behind, having got onto Storey?s low cross.
A clash between Sykes and Rawle at the edge of the area was adjudged as a foul, and Downes curled it around the wall and out of Phillips?s reach to give Redditch a deserved equaliser.
With time running out, both sides had half chances to steal the three points, Torpey sending a free kick into orbit, Williams skimming the ball past the post, Ellington turning well, but lifting the ball over the bar. Redditch beat the offside trap in stoppage time, and it took an accurate tackle from Phillips to give Celtic something from the game.
Celtic did well to get back into the game and take the lead, but when the opposition score three, taking all the points is always going to be difficult.