Celtic gifted their former tenants three first half goals, and there was no coming back from that.
Celtic even managed to get their noses in front with a long Josh Hine throw into the box, and a flick from Aidan Chippendale to steer the ball past former Celtic goalkeeper, Dave Carnell.
However, the lead lasted less than a minute when FC United came straight back, a nothing ball loose in the box, Danny Morton's clearance struck Jason Gilchrist on the side of the head, rebounded to the completely unmarked Jerome Wright who took his time, and slotted between Grant Shenton and his near post. Morton had to hold his hands up for the second, when he dived in on Wright, missed completely, giving the FC United captain the space and time he needed to pick out Gilchrist for a simple finish.
Celtic had to get back into the game before half time. Both Brian Summerskill and Josh Hine forced Carnell into decent enough stops, and Chippendale's superbly weighted curled cross behind the defence was inches away from the boots of Liam Dickinson and Josh Hine.
FC United also had a long throw in their arsenal, with Sam Baird hurling the ball. Morton went for the header, missed and the ball fell to Kieran Glynn who side footed it past Shenton.
At the other end, Darren McKnight's fierce drive from outside the box was well stopped, but the best chance came when Celtic got a corner, the ball floated in, Josh Hine's header, and Danny Morton on the line somehow contrived to be in the way to block it, leaving Celtic two goals down at the interval.
That two goal cushion became only a goal within moments of the restart. After Gary Gee had headed a corner over the bar, Adam Mather's wicked cross was nodded with a flicked header past Carnell, setting Celtic up for a comeback.
Liam Dickinson went close, heading over a crowd into Carnell's waiting hands, and Josh Hine was put through by Summerskill's through ball, going one-on-one with Carnell. The FC United keeper raced dangerously out his box, Hine knocked it past him, but sent the ball too far, and by the time he reached it, the defence was back, and the chance was gone. Dickinson brought the best out of Carnell as the FC United keeper batted away a great strike.
FC United restored their two goal cushion with the simplest of corners, George Thomson's delivery Jason Gilchrist with the header under pressure from Shenton. Far too simple.
Celtic still had half an hour to get something from the game. A good move from Summerskill set up Adam Mather for a thunderbolt of a shot from the edge off the box that Carnell could only palm away at full stretch. Dickinson was desperately unlucky twice, his first effort too close to Carnell, but his second from a corner looked destined for the far corner of the net, until Jerome Wright managed to get up and keep it out somehow, the ball falling to Gary Gee who blazed over the bar.
With five minutes to go, Celtic were stretched by an FC United side that knew all they had to do was keep the ball. They also managed to fashion one more chance for themselves, Gilchrist cutting in past Adam Mather, and bringing a decent stop from Shenton, but when the loose ball fell to George Thomson, Shenton somehow got back up and pulled off a great stop to deny FC United a rather flattering score-line.
The loss leaves Celtic adrift in the bottom three, seven points from safety and with the gap ever growing. Unless something changes, this will be the end of Celtic's unbroken presence in the Conference North since its formation.
|7||Glynn, Kieran||> 78|
|9||Gilchrist, Jason||> 90|
|11||Thomson, George||> 89|
|12||Greaves, Tom||< 89|
|14||Sheridan, Sam||< 78|
|15||Wolfenden, Matty||< 90|