Celtic return to winning ways

BetVictor Premier Division: Stalybridge Celtic 3-2 Grantham Town

Celtic entertained Grantham Town at Bower Fold for a Tuesday Night Norther Premier League Fixture.

The hosts started the first half on the front foot and had a chance immediately after the kick-off. A ball down the right-hand side found Craig Hobson, who did well to out muscle the Grantham defender, however he scuffed his shot wide.

Moments later Celtic had another chance. New signing Jonathan Ustabasi cut inside from the left and curled a shot towards goal which was parried by Tom Nicholson into the path of Darius Osei, however the striker saw the ball late and wasn’t able to covert the rebound. Celtic had further chances during the half. On 13 minutes, Osei used his pace to drive into the penalty area but his low shot was saved well by Nicholson. The game turned a tad scrappy with both teams feeling the effects of the wet weather. Celtic had the ball in the back of the net on 26 minutes however it wasn’t to count. Declan Walker picked out Hobson with a superb cross, however the forward was adjudged to have been offside and his strike into the bottom corner of the net wasn’t to stand.

Grantham looked to build from striker Craig Westcarr who was often found dropping into midfield to retrieve the ball and start an attack, it eventually paid off as the visitors took the lead five minutes before half-time. James Baxendale delivered a high ball into the penalty area, which was missed by Kallum Mantack. The ball fell to James Berrett who was able to take a touch and fire a cool finish past Alex Fojticek into the corner of the goal.

However Celtic responded on the stroke of half-time and found the equalising goal. Into added time of the first-half, Walker’s corner from the left was met by the head of Hobson who fired a powerful header past Nicholson to level the scores and send both teams into the break a goal a piece.

Celtic started the second half as they ended the first. Ustabasi was involved throughout as he fired a low shot which was saved well by Nicholson. Ustabasi then had another shot, this time parried for a corner. 

Celtic were rewarded for their attacking intent as they took the lead on 59 minutes. Ustabasi raced down the left-hand side, he drove a low cross across goal which was dummied by Hobson, leaving Osei to blast the ball past a helpless Nicholson.

Just 10 minutes later, Grantham levelled the scores. A corner was headed towards goal and after a scramble, was turned home by the visitors.

The goals weren’t over. With seven minutes to go, Celtic regained the lead. Substitute Scott Bakkor played a lovely ball into the penalty area to Osei who turned and fired past the keeper.

There were nervy moments as the referee added on six minutes however Celtic stood firm and picked up all three points.

By Taran Dhamrait

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