Celtic Motor On.
Vanarama National League North
Mon, 29th August
Celtic got back into the groove after Saturday’s draw with Halifax against a very handy Vauxhall side with a solid win.
It looked like it would be a stroll in the park when Phil Marsh got onto Connor Jennings’s flicked header and slotted the opener past Scott Tynan, swiftly followed by a good stop from the Vauxhall keeper to deny Marsh an absolutely certain second. There was nothing Tynan could do when the irrepressible Jennings turned in Andy McWilliams’s peach of a low cross and Celtic were comfortable, in charge and looked likely to record a cricket score.
Marsh’s powerful strike was lifted over the bar by Michael Jackson after he’d beaten the keeper and both Lloyd Ellams and Connor Jennings went very close to increasing Celtic’s advantage. However, just past the half hour mark and Vauxhall got into gear. Craig Mahon’s free kick was driven in at Budtz who parried away the wicked shot and did well to push John Bennett’s instinctive drive over the bar on the rebound. From the corner, Celtic didn’t clear well, and Mahon’s ball back into the mix was met by Jackson to pull one back for the visitors.
Celtic looked disjointed at the end of the half, Saturday’s game obviously having taken its toll and were glad to hear the whistle with Vauxhall pressing for an equaliser.
They thought they had the equaliser just after the interval when Hannigan nodded home Lee Dames’s free kick, but he was offside. Celtic took that as the wakeup call they needed, and Jennings power run got him to the by line before his pull back picked out Marsh to sweep home his second and Celtic’s third. Andy McWilliams tested Tynan with a vicious angled drive, before Vauxhall pulled a goal back again after a slip from Budtz.
Budtz took a loose ball from outside the area, but dallied too long allowing Josh Wilson to take the ball off him, and Sean Williams was completely unmarked when the spinning ball came to him to slot home leaving Vauxhall only a goal behind again.
Jennings again went close before Arthur Gnahoua’s nodded on ball was brought down expertly by Marsh to turn Hanningan and fire Celtic’s fourth past the overworked Tynan.
Celtic kept coming now, and Gnahoua’s skimmer was comfortable for Tynan but when Celtic had four up against the Vauxhall stopper, it looked certain Celtic would notch five again, but for Jennings clashing with his own player as they both went for Marsh’s square ball, allowing Tynan to adjust his position and block Jennings’s follow-up.
Celtic were not at their best today, but even a below par Celtic was more than Vauxhall could handle.