Celtic’s unbeaten run comes to an end
Monday 3rd September 2018 @ 09:44 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Evo-Stik Premier Division

Stafford Rangers 2-0 Stalybridge Celtic

Celtic were left to rue missed chances in the opening half as they succumbed to their first defeat of the season on Saturday. After dominating large spells of the first 45 minutes, Celtic didn’t make one of their many chances count. The first clear cut chance fell to John Marsden. A looped header over the defence from Rule saw Marsden clean through one on one with the keeper, but the keeper stood firm and saved Marsden’s shot with his leg. From the resulting corner Danny Brady out jumped the Stafford defence but saw his header crash back off the post. Dent also going very close on two occasions. Early in the second half Wolfenden broke clear for Celtic but he lashed at his effort and sent it flying over the bar.

It was from here that the home side grew into the game and really started to threaten the Celtic back line. Celtic cleared a Stafford header off the line following a corner. Before a rare lapse of concentration gifted Stafford the opening goal. A goal kick was misread at the back, and the ball found Joe Cuff, who after taking a touch to steady himself fired past Turner. Stafford then really ramped up the pressure on Celtic. Perry trying a spectacular over head kick that went narrowly wide. Then the game was sealed on 82 minutes when Brady was adjudged to have tripped Reed on the 6 yard box following a game of pin ball in the box. Reed himself stepped up and rifled his shot into the roof of the net. Celtic tried to get back into the game but without any joy. Luke Wall, having finally been given clearance to play looked positive and a creative threat, but Celtic’s attack lacked any other bite. With this, Simon Haworth sealed the signing of striker Chris Sharp from Curzon Ashton following the game as he looks to fine tune his squad.

By Shaun Bishop