The first half was an enthralling game, with both sides going for it, but neither side having the finishing to truly go in at the break ahead. Brown had a couple of early efforts that were easy pickings for Phillips on his first return to the Butchers Arms, whilst Torpey?s free kick was deflected off the wall for a corner. Both sides continued to create and spurn chances, with Joynes knocking the ball the wrong side of the post twice, and putting an effort into Mawson?s midriff, whilst at the other end, Beck and McGuire both tested Phillips and found him in decent form.
Phillips?s incredible clean sheet away record lasted until the sixth minute of the second half. Celtic failed to clear Brown?s ball into the box, and though Meynell slid across to block Grey?s shot he deflected it away from Phillips as the Celtic keeper went down to try and reach it, only for it to thump into the back of the net. Phillips made up for it when he rushed out of his area and dispossessed Speight with an excellent sliding tackle, before clearing the ball.
At the other end, Celtic fired chance after chance wide of the mark. Barlow and Briggs were both given enough space to let off a shot, but flashed past the post, with Briggs also getting to the back post for a free kick, but hitting the side netting with his header. Denham was proving a handful for Newton all night, and on his sixth foul on Denham, he was shown a yellow card for persistent fouling. He risked the referee?s wrath almost immediately by bringing Denham down again within minutes of his booking. When he went through the back of Denham for a ninth time, the referee decided enough was enough and dismissed the fullback.
With Droylsden a player down, Celtic threw caution to the wind. Meynell was sacrificed for Jennings, and Ellington came on for Joynes to freshen up the target man. Both players immediately had an impact, but it was the striker on from the start who grabbed Celtic the point.
Torpey and Denham had doubled up on the stand-in left-back Brownhill, and it was Torpey?s ball that came into the box. In came Barlow who smashed the ball past Mawson at the start of stoppage time.
There were still four minutes of stoppage time remaining, but it was Droylsden who managed the only shot in the period, with a dipping distance effort from Beck sailing wide. Celtic have now taken thirty-seven points from fifty-three on the road this season, and have conceded just thirteen draws. Celtic will need to draw on that form when we visit the league leaders on Saturday with a long trip north to Gateshead.
|6||Sorvel, Neil||> 65|
|9||Gray, Tony||> 83|
|10||Speight, Jake||> 77|
|12||Roche, Lee||< 77|
|15||Pickford, Steve||< 65|
|16||Lamb, Carl||< 83|