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Match Report -
Below Par
By Debbie Taylor

Recent signing Darren Vicary scored the only goal in what should have been a repeat of the Colwyn Bay massacre. Wilson also gave a run out to new signing Tony Charles, adding to what was a lot of changes to the Celtic team that had lost a few days earlier at home to Leek.

Perhaps the recent defeat was still weighing heavily on the players minds, for their performance was only just good enough to beat Spennymoor, who are already destined for the drop. But good enough it was.

The chances that came to Celtic should have seen the tally much higher, with Filson, missing by a good couple of feet from a Scott corner, followed by Charles and Vicary going close.

When it looked as though Spennymoor's defensively minded tactics were going to play the game out like Celtic's game against Leek, Parr threw himself at a Scott cross, and saw the ball bounce back off the post. Spennymoor cleared their lines, but the ball was eventually crossed back into the box, where Dawson, the 'Moor keeper was content to let his defence take care of it. Vicary had other ideas as he slipped in from the wing, rounded the keeper, and claimed a relatively simple goal.

In the second half, Spennymoor looked even more adrift, and yet Celtic failed to punish them. Vicary went close, but he tried to take on one too many defenders, and his chance was wasted.

Celtic did score again, as Charles burst into the box, and slipped a sensational ball under the flailing keeper. The linesman raised his flag very late, and the referee disallowed the goal, stopping the newcomer's celebrations short. It was a tight decision, and quite possibly a wrong one.

On another night, Parr would have had a hattrick, as he saw yet another header clip the post and be cleared by an overworked defensive line, and another went ever so narrowly wide. Charles again attempted to score on his debut, but the battered post again came to the rescue of the beleaguered keeper.

As the second half wore on, Celtic dropped deeper and deeper, inviting the bottom-placed club to advance, which they duly did. It was only the last few minutes, but their front two were beginning to see more of the ball, and five minutes into injury time, the Spennymoor won a free kick yards from the penalty area. They showed their lack of a killer punch though, as Crookes cleared the ball up field, and the referee ended Celtic's tension.

If Celtic had found second gear in this game, the score line could have been double figures. As it was, a first gear performance kept them in touching distance of the title. But on the flip side, if Spennymoor had been any other team, Celtic would have been ruing a loss.

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