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Celtic squander victory at Matlock

NPL Premier Division: Matlock Town 2-1 Stalybridge Celtic

Celtic turned what would have been an important win into a loss in the first ten minutes of the second half. 

Much of the first half running was being done by Celtic, with little to show for it. Scott Bakkor and Kieran Wells both went close but over before Bakkor burst into the box but failed to connect allowing Shaun Rowney an easy catch. This wasn’t the case in stoppage time as Bakkor latched onto Barlow’s ball down the line and poked it past Rowney only for the Matlock keeper to crash into Bakkor conceding a penalty with a few seconds left on the clock. 

Bakkor took the penalty himself, blazing it into the corner with Rowney going the wrong way. 

Celtic needed to keep it tight at the start of the second half and weather the storm from a Paul Phillips half-time team talk. 

Declan Walker burst down one wing whilst Alex Byrne burst down the other. Walker whipped a cross to the far post, Byrne rose unchallenged to nod the equaliser into the back of the net. 

It was all Matlock for the next twenty minutes, with Callum Chippendale heading into Lewis Hood’s waiting hands and Reece Kendall heading a corner over the bar, before Celtic’s lead vanished as a through ball freed Byrne, despite calls for offside he kept his cool and flashed his shot past Hood. 

He could have made it three ten minutes later, but Hood was positioned well for the catch off a snap shot and so Celtic went into the last quarter of an hour searching for an equaliser, but despite huffing and puffing made no inroads towards the Matlock goal and the search for a goal from open play continues.

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