Hughes has a debut to remember as Celtic progress in FA Trophy
Tuesday 14th November 2017 @ 09:16 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round

Stalybridge Celtic 3-2 Rushall Olympic

Celtic demonstrated great fighting spirit to come from behind twice and seal a tie at National League North Blyth Spartans in the next round of the FA Trophy.

Recent signing Connor Hughes put in a scintillating display as he bagged a brace and hit the woodwork twice. The visitors took the lead on 19 minutes, when the experienced Richard Brodie saw a shot hit the post before falling to Hakeem who tapped in to an empty net. Celtic enjoyed lots of possession as Rushall were happy to pack bodies into defence. Celtic broke the deadlock on 39 minutes though and it was that man Hughes who scored. Honeyball pulled a bye line ball back to Hughes and the winger volleyed home. A deserved goal. Wolfenden forced Hill into a superb save just before half time as Celtic pushed for another goal.

New loan signing Jordan Chappell went close before Hughes cracked an attempt off the woodwork. Against the run of play Rushall took the lead again. A low corner was met by Sangha whose effort found the bottom corner. Celtic’s heads didn’t drop however and moments later Hughes hit a rasping shot that crashed off the bar and away to safety. Theo Bailey-Jones proved to be a super sub after he volleyed home a sweet strike from a Hughes free kick. Then with six minutes left on the clock Hughes became the match winner. A Dickinson cross to the far post was met by the winger and he fired home to seal a deserved victory. A never say die performance from Celtic that will have pleased Steve Burr and chairman alike with a boost to coffers in prize money.

Celtic have been rewarded with a tie in the next round at National League North, Blyth Spartans.

By Shaun Bishop