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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Celtic’s second-half gear change pays dividends

CELTIC entertained Kirbymoorside last Wednesday knowing a win would move them up the League table.

In addition, manager Matt Henney had hoped his team would avenge the points lost a few week ago when the pair met, when Celtic were 4-0 up but the Yorkshire side pulled it back to earn a point and that left a bitter feeling.

That would not happen this time round as Kirbymoorside made seven changes from that side a few weeks ago but it was they who started the better of the two teams as Ryan Rivie was denied by Carson and his second effort went wide.

A Darren Johnston header found Edwards, who in turn found Stainton, but his shot went wide as Celtic found their feet after 10 minutes.

Gregg Stainton had another chance but his shooting boots were letting him down as he shot wide once more; Liam Cooper also shot wide as neither keeper had much to do in a first half that just fizzled out as both sides looked to be cancelling each other out – both managers would have to earn their stripes if either side was going to take anything from this encounter.

Henney must have talked the better game as Celtic came out in the second half and took control.

Dickinson was first on the attack but Nichols saved. Dickinson then played a ball to Ryam Hall who beat one challenge but he could not ride the challenge of Karl Richardson and the ref and his assistant both pointed to the penalty spot. Despite a strong hand from Nicholson, he could not keep out Glyn Edwards strike as he fired Celtic one up.

Darren Johnston had his header saved and Henry Kwami hit the Celtic bar with Carson beaten but the framework saved the day.

Cooper’s cross/shot troubled Carson but he did manage to save the effort, and that was to prove important as Celtic put a bit of breathing space between themselves and Kirbymoorside as, with 10 minutes left, man of the match Craig Padley found Craig Corkhill who had ventured forward from the heart of defence and his pass found Gregg Stainton and his shot trickled into the goal to give Celtic a two-goal lead.

Barrie Fowler replaced Jack Stainton on 86 minutes and Celtic’s captain would give his side all three points as he hit a shot which was deflected up and over Nicholson for 3-0.

Celtic kept up their excellent recent form with an impressive away win at Annfield Plain.

With Ryan Hall again a constant threat, it was no surprise when the youngster had the first chance at goal but he hit the side-netting. Soon after, he went through on goal and was brought down from behind in the area but a penalty wasn’t given by the ref.

The hosts then went on the attack themselves but when Patterson was clean through on goal, Grant Carson pulled off a fantastic and important save to keep it level. This seemed to spur Celtic on. Man-of-the-match Hall picked up the ball in the box and typically jinked past three defenders, the latter brought him down for a certain penalty. Edwards stepped up but his well-hit shot was saved by Westgarth.

But on 44 minutes, a measured punt from Carson found Dickinson who crossed for Hall to head home from eight yards.

The second half started poorly as a soft free kick was given away and Taylor headed home from the cross to make it 1-1. From that moment on, it was all Cleator Moor Celtic and they passed the ball to great effect.

Dickinson went clean through after a Hall flick and chipped the out-rushing keeper to put Celtic in front, then Hall fired home his second neatly.

Padley then headed a Edwards corner and Celtic were cruising, but the goal of the game was saved until last as Celtic passed the ball around the back before Stainton and Hall took control. Stainton played Hall into the bye-line for Hall to pull back neatly, Padley stepped over the ball for Dickinson to crash home the fifth.

Manager Matt Henney was pleased with the win and the performance.

“The lads are on a great run, take out the Penrith game and we’ve lost one match at our level in three months,” he said.

“We’ve looked more solid lately and defended as I expect. If we can keep that aspect of our game right, we will continue on this run because in Ryan Hall and Micheal Dickinson they almost guarantee goals.”

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