Celtic defy the odds to claim victory over table-toppers Altrincham
Monday 19th March 2018 @ 12:26 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Evo-Stik Premier Division

Altrincham 1-2 Stalybridge Celtic

Celtic pulled off one of the shock results of the Evo Stik Premier season on Saturday. With league leading Altrincham’s eyes focused on promotion, and Celtic battling against the drop, you could be forgiven for thinking it would be a white wash. What occurred was a fantastic Celtic display that left the champions elect dumbfounded. With regular goalkeeper Jack Walton being recalled by parent club Barnsley on the morning of the game, Celtic gave a debut to academy graduate Aidan Winterbottom. The young man putting in a fantastic display.

After 17 minutes Celtic took advantage of a Shaun Densmore error. The midfielder dallied on the ball before Dickinson quickly clossed him down. In a panic Densmore tried to play a pass back to his centre half but miscued it. On it in a flash was Wolfenden who raced through on goal and buried his shot past Thompson. Celtic were in the ascendancy and had chances to double their lead. Killock coming close from a header, Hughes firing right at Thompson and Wilkinson seeing an effort fly past the woodwork.

The home side came out for the second half with renewed vigor. Harrop coming close from a free kick on the edge of the box. Conditions deteriorated as the snow hit. Jordan Hulme got on the end of a perfect cross, but saw his effort crash off the post. Winterbottom then tipped a header over the bar. Woflenden then harried Thompson and blocked the keepers up field ball. The loose ball fell to Bailey-Jones but Thompson remarkably recovered to block his effort. Altrincham responded by hitting the psot for a second time. Altrincham attacked in numbers but with only two minutes left on the clock Celtic hit them on the counter to seal the game. Hughes broke down the right flank and charged into the box. Calmly he rolled the ball across the six yard box and Dickinson smashed home with his left foot. There was time for Altrincham to pull a goal back. Johnston firing home a loose ball in the box. Celtic held firm though to claim a massively deserved victory.

By Shaun Bishop