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Spennymoor United visit the 'Fold
By Keith Trudgeon

A determined Celtic had to battle hard for this much needed win against a strong Spennymoor outfit at Bower Fold on Saturday. Anything less than 3-points for the Blues would have left them out of the top half of the table and falling further behind the leading title contenders.

Changes were made to the team which beat Merthyr on Tuesday. Martin Filson came in at centre back, Karl Marginson replaced the suspended Kevin Parr and Andy Mason made his first league start of the season in place of injured captain Gary Bauress.

This, however, did not disrupt the flow of the team too much as Celtic started the stronger of the two sides, but it was a game in which neither really dominated.

There were plenty of promising moves but neither side possessed the killer touch - the early kick-off obviously not suiting the players.

It was the visitors who should have taken the lead when a scramble in the penalty area left a Spennymoor player in space but his shot was brilliantly blocked off the line by Mark Ogley.

Celtic kept pressing and on 36 minutes they got their just rewards. It was a fine move, orchestrated by no other than Steve Pickford. He won possession in midfield and burst past two Spennymoor players before releasing Steve Jones down the right-wing.

Andy Mason then slid in to meet his first time cross and knock it past the helpless David Campbell, much to the delight of the small but well-voiced Celtic faithful.

The second half passed without much incidence, although it took two brilliant saves by Gary Ingham to keep Celtic in the match, one a fantastic fingertip save to deny a shot seemingly destined for the top corner.

Towards the end of the 90 minutes, Winfield Steele had the chance to seal it for Celtic, but his effort rolled agonisingly wide when he only had the keeper to beat.

The victory was perfect preparation for Saturday's huge game against Chester - but it came at a cost. Matthew Williamson was stretchered off close to the end of the second half with a serious looking ankle injury, and is now a major doubt for Saturday.

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