Match Report -
Celtic tame toothless Tigers
By Iain Benson
Neither side sparkled in the first half of this Festive Derby fixture, though Barlow did test Dootson first, with the Hyde keeper tipping Barlow's deflected shot over the bar, whilst at the other end Lomax had a shot blocked on-route to goal by Keeling, as neither side could step up to the plate. Smart's free kick ten minutes in sailed high and wide, as Celtic looked content to keep the ball, the closest Celtic coming to scoring a fizzing effort from Ellington that was only inches past the upright, whilst Hyde's best chance of the half came with five minutes to go when Lomax got beyond the Celtic defence, only to be denied by a point-blank parry from Phillips.

Celtic came out of the dressing rooms with Burr's words of wisdom echoing in their ears, and promptly set about Hyde's back line. A glorious through ball for Ellington allowed him to strike for goal, the ball clipping off Barlow's heel making Dootson's save all the more impressive, though he followed that up with a point blank save off Barlow's follow-up and was helpless when Barlow slotted the rebound home.

After a foul by Kilbane, Smart floated a free kick into the box, it looked like the danger had gone when it sailed over Barlow's head, but Keeling came in at the back post and side footed home. A Torpey effort nearly made it three after he cut inside and let loose a curler that was only just wide, whilst Barlow steamed in a low Ellington cross and side footed the wrong side of the post.

Hyde's only effort of the half came from Douglas-Pringle, but it was a tame shot and straight at Phillips.

Briggs snapped off an effort from outside the box that Dootson did well to save, whilst Smart and Barlow both went close, Smart's curling shot on the run narrowly missing the target with Dootson motionless. Torpey snuck in on a fine ball from Ellington but put the ball several inches wide as Celtic looked capable of cutting Hyde open at will. Many people would have put their house on Ellington rounding off a fine performance with a goal, but his drive zipped over the bar.

Celtic never really looked troubled by a toothless Tigers, but with talismanic Simm out with a virus, getting a run out for the last twenty minutes, they may be a different story when they visit Bower Fold in a few days time for the reverse fixture.

1Dootson, Craig  
2Fitzhenry, Neil  
3Oakes, Adam  
4Brass, Chris  
5Kilbane, FarrellYellow Card 
6Lynch, Chris  > 50
7Douglas-Pringle, Daniel  
8Rick, Lee  
9Lomax, Carl  > 64
10Munroe, KarlYellow Card 
11Clee, Nicky  
12Innes, Mark  
14Manship, Tom  < 50
15Simm, Chris  < 64
16Howarth, Paul  
17Bernstein, Eliot