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MATCH REPORT Nuneaton Town 2-1 Stalybridge Celtic
Monday 19th December 2016 @ 10:52 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports Stalybridge

In the season of good will Celtic gifted fellow strugglers Nuneaton three points wrapped up that might leave Celtic feeling a bit bah humbug. In an as expected tense affair both sides equaled each other out leading to a fairly flat opening. Shenton saving an effort from Ironside whilst Dibble was equally adept to foil a Chalmers effort.

Just past the half hour mark the game burst into life. Frenchman Florian Da Silva showed his quick feet to Greg Tempest as he danced past him before being tripped by the Nuneaton man. A penalty awarded and Gary Gee tucked the ball perfectly home for his second Celtic goal. The home side couldn’t get into the game after the goal and it looked like Celtic would go in at half time in the lead. Then Celtic hit the self destruct button. An aimless punt up field was met by Danny Hall who hadn’t seen his keeper rush out for the ball. Hall’s header looped over Shenton and into the net for an own goal. Then right on half time Nuneaton took the lead. Left completely unmarked from a corner Reece Styche acrobatically found the back of the net from a volleyed effort. Shenton had no chance of stopping it but the wayward marking cost Celtic dearly.

From a position of strength and cruising at 0-1 Celtic were now under the cosh. The home side were more than happy sitting on their lead and soak up any Celtic pressure. Celtic used their bench to decent effect and Chippendale and Dickinson did cause some headaches for the Nuneaton defence. Firstly Chippendale was foiled by a quick thinking Dibble from six yards out saving well at the wingers feet. Then Dickinson had an effort crash off the woodwork with Dibble rooted. Celtic did all they could for a point but it wasn’t to be as the home side held on for a big three points. Celtic are 10 points adrift of safety and need wins fast. The effort seems to be there, but its cutting out silly mistakes and finding that cutting edge that managers Paul Phillips and Steve Halford need to address if the Celts are to have any chance of avoiding the drop.

By Shaun Bishop