After the enforced lay-off due to the bad weather from mid November, Celtic were on their travels again for their first ever visit to Glenhafod Park, home of League Champions Goytre United. Celtic went into this game on a high after their 6-0 home win against Taffs Well the previous week. On saying that, they would be without two key players from that victory, namely Shane Williamson (work commitments) & Stephen Peel (family commitments). The opening 10 minutes were pretty much even. The games first chance fell to Celtic through a Pearce & Patel combination, ending with a Patel shot being saved by Neil Collins in the Goytre goal. Goytre soon hit back with a Richard French shot that went just wide of the Celtic goal. Goytreâ€™s Mark Standen laid on a great through ball to Gareth Cullimore, putting him in on goal, but Celtic keeper Church was alert to the danger to cover and save well to foil the ex- Caldicot strikerâ€™s effort. Soon after, Cullimore put Robbie Walters through, his attempted chip was easily collected by Church. Celtic went close on 23 minutes when a free kick from Liam Palmer found the head of Lloyd Davies in the box. His glancing header hit the post to deny Celtic, and was eventually cleared relieving the danger for Goytre. Although Goytre were having the majority of the play in the opening 30 minutes, Celticâ€™s defence was holding up well under pressure from the Champions. Indeed, Celtic could have taken the lead on 33 minutes when some good work and cross from Chris Pearce on the right almost found Luke Sallis sliding into the 6 yard box, only to be beaten by the pace of the ball. Minutes later Celtic had a free kick just outside the box which they took quickly. Ben Evans went through and laid the ball off to Lee Challenger whose fierce shot went just wide of the Goytre goal. Then on 35mins Celtic fell for the sucker punch from Goytre. A corner was headed down by Josh Collins which found Cullimore who fired home via a wicked deflection.
H/T Goytre 1-0 Celtic
The second half could not have started better for Celtic. Liam Palmer intercepted a pass and went on a run before putting Pearce though on goal. Pearce won a tackle then stroked the ball home to give Celtic their equalizer. Celtic were showing a bit more fire after half time and were pressing Goytre all the way. A Celtic corner from Howarth found Davies at the far post, but his header went just over. Goytre came back at the Gwent outfit when keeper Collins found Cullimore with a long kick up field, giving the striker a run in on the Celtic goal. He went around Church only to side foot his effort into the side netting - a let off for Celtic. Again Celtic came back at the home side and, on 53 mins, the ball fell to Luke Sallis in the middle of the goal, the midfielder shot powerfully but, unfortunately, straight at the keeper. Goytreâ€™s Cullimore shot over on 55 mins after some good work from Nickie Jones down the left. Celtic fell behind again when defending a corner that they failed to clear, the ball eventually falling to Robbie Walters to slot home to give Goytre a 2-1 lead on 57 mins. Celtic did not let their heads drop and took the game to Goytre by playing some decent football. A great Celtic move on 65 mins involving a number of players saw a Kesh Patel shot saved well by Collins in the home goal. Celtic were pressing for an equalizer and went so close when Ben Luck found Liam Palmer on the right. Palmer squared the ball to Challenger whose shot hit the post and away from danger. Celticâ€™s pressure continued, and on 75 mins a Palmer cross found Luck with space for a shot on goal but he put his shot wide. A free kick for Celtic was put into the box where â€˜Billyâ€™ Creesâ€™s out stretched leg connected with the ball but spilt over the bar. On 78 mins Celtic survived a goal mouth scramble ending in Challenger clearing off the line. With time running out Goytre delivered the killer blow to Celtic when Richard French broke free, played it square to Cullimore whose shot deflected off substitute Jacob Daly and into the net to end any hope of a Celtic equalizer. F/T Goytre United 3-1 Cwmbran Celtic
Celtic can look back at this performance and feel, with some justification, that they should have had at least taken a point from this game rather than come away empty handed. Hardly the â€˜crushing defeatâ€™ reported by the local press.