After their superb win against champions Bryntirion the previous Saturday, Celtic went into this game against bottom but one placed Corries (with only one win under their belt) in a confident frame of mind. Unavailability, injuries and a suspension are still depriving the squad of 5 defenders and Liam Palmer was pressed into action at centre back prompting the stattos on the sidelines to wonder whether he has ever played there for the 1sts before. Tommy James came in at left back for the suspended Luke Jones. Celtic were still short of the also suspended Luke Sallis in midfield.
Celtic almost got off to a sensational start when Simon Prangley hit the ball straight at goal from the kick-off. The ball sailed just wide of the left post with the keeper struggling. Both sides played attractive football in the build-up but with little penetration in the final third. Two good chances fell to the hosts but on both occasions the finishing was poor. On the half hour Scott Lanyon took a blow in the face which left him with a cracked tooth. Unfortunately he retaliated, kicking out at the opponent. The assistant referee saw the incident and a red card resulted. Celtic had a choice, to play with a lone striker, or push Owen Llewellyn up front to keep two strikers. Manager Gareth Morgan opted for the second option in the belief that even with only 10 players for an hour Celtic were capable of snatching a win.
Half-time: Corries 0 Celtic 0
Celtic continued to have their fair share of the game in the 2nd half but as their legs began to tire the home side started to get on top. Midway through the half Celtic substituted Prangley with Nanah Baah, the former blotting his copybook by the inappropriate manner in which he vented his obvious displeasure to the bench as he left the field. With but 10 minutes left Corries took the lead with a header by Gareth Delve from an inswinging corner. Celtic pressed hard for the equaliser and with 2 minutes left they won a corner. The whole outfield team went forward into the box. What was needed was a high looping cross but the delivery was low and easily cleared for a throw-in. Liam Palmer went across to take the long throw. The ball was cleared and with Liam and the other 3 defenders stranded upfield two Corries players sprinted forward with the ball. Nicky Church was on the half way line. He simply had to make the tackle but his despairing lunge missed the ball and, thankfully, the man and Luke Lear gleefully walked the ball into the net.
Full-time: Corries 2 Celtic 0
This game was the first of three successive games against lower-placed opposition which Celtic had targeted to cement their position in the top half of the league table. Last season they saw off the 3 bottom placed teams in these 6 pointers with 5 wins and a draw, but this season, although beating Caerau Ely, they have contrived to lose to Corries, Aberaman and Cwmaman Institute who between them have only won 5 of their other 38 games. There’s no question that the points were lost last Saturday because of the sending off, Scott’s 2nd and Celtic’s 6th of the season. These red cards are killing the team for two reasons – the suspensions of key players and having to play the rest of the game with 10 men. However Celtic are nothing but wholly committed to the cause and the boys deserve credit for sticking manfully to the task. Tommy James had one of his best games for the club at left back. Liam Palmer slotted in extremely well at centre back and Dominic Broad had probably his best game in centre midfield working tirelessly and getting in some good tackles, not normally the strength of this cultured player. Yellow cards went to Owen Llewellyn, Ben Luck and Nicky Church. In the inquest to this game the talented but temperamental Prangley left the club for disciplinary reasons.
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