Celtic moved off bottom spot, putting Halesowen there instead with a nervy single goal win.
Celtic played well in the opening fifteen minutes, with some spells of possession lasting minutes at a time. It was from one such spell that the ball came out to Alex Honeyball, playing left back, and his cross came to the feet of Liam Dickinson. Daniel Platt, in the Halesowen goals, looked startled, and Dickinson took full advantage smashing the ball into the bottom corner. There was questions about offside, but Kyle Morrison played Dickinson onside.
Celtic looked to build on the goal, with crisp fast passing that Halesowen couldn't cope with, with the intention of keeping possession for as long as possible. Chances that came didn't result in goals, with Dickinson firing a free kick over the bar, Jack Charles's knee putting Aidan Chippendale's cross the wrong side of the post, Oli Roberts twice denied by Platt, once with a very good save from a dipping twenty yard screamer. Chippendale got the ball in the back of the net, but a handball from Ross Killock on route to him ruled that one off. At the other end, Jack Walton was called into action just once, to deny Daniel Udoh with a cracking stop, Ross Killock quickly putting the loose ball out for a corner.
Halesowen started the second half strongly, and did get the ball in the net. After a superb flying one-handed save from Walton to push Gary Shearer's ferocious shot onto the corner of post and bar, the loose ball fell to the unmarked James Spray who tapped home. He was unmarked because he was well offside when the original shot came in. Celtic weathered the early storm and calmed the game down, resulting in a couple of chances, including a superb effort from Chippendale that flew over Platt and crashed back off the crossbar. Luke Ashworth went close off a corner and Theo Bailey-Jones with a similar result after a neat interchange with Sebastian Julien in the box.
With time running out for the visitors, their frustrations, combined with Celtic's mounting nerves, resulted in the match boiling over in stoppage time. Even after cards had been brandished, there was a lot of tension. However, after Jack Kelly's free kick was comfortably saved by Walton, the whistle was blown, and Celtic and Halesowen swapped places.
Celtic need to build on the result, with local neighbours, Altrincham, next up at Bower Fold.
|7||Woodhouse, Alexander||> 90|
|10||Goddard, Jordan||> 45|
|11||Shearer, Luke Gary|
|12||Spray, James||< 45|
|14||Hill, John||< 90|