BetVictor Premier Division: Stalybridge Celtic 2-3 FC United
Celtic hosted FC United of Manchester for a Northern Premier League fixture between two sides close to each other in the table.
Celtic couldn’t have asked for a much better start. After just two minutes, Darius Osei put Celtic ahead. Osei had been fouled just outside the penalty area, Declan Walker took the set-piece which was parried by Paddy Wharton into the path of Osei who couldn’t miss.
The visitors, backed by a strong travelling support started to create chances of their own. On five minutes, Jordan Buckley was allowed to break into Celtic's box but was denied by Fojticek who raced out of his goal to make the save. Celtic who were looking to make it three wins out of three pushed for a second goal. On nine minutes, Craig Hobson turned his man inside the box but saw his shot saved by Wharton. The end-to-end play continued, a clearance fell to Alex Babos however Fojticek was equal to his ambitious volley. Jonathan Ustabasi continuously looked threatening down the left-wing and managed to pick out Hobson and Osei a number of times, the latter saw a shot blocked on the turn from Ustabasi’s cross.
After a blistering start, the game slowed down with the teams sharing an equal amount of the ball. FC United captain Mike Potts did force Fojticek into a good save at his near post as the midfielder was picked out with a low cross from the right. Just before the break, Celtic had the ball in the net for a second but the goal was disallowed after the referee adjudged that Osei handled the ball in the process.
Celtic went into the break deservedly ahead.
The away side started the second half in search of an equalising goal and they were successful after 57 minutes. Tunde Owolabi was found inside the penalty area, by former Celt Paul Ennis, and he was able to slot the ball past Fojticek. The visitors then took the lead shortly after. A defensive mix-up saw Owolabi beat Fojticek to a back-pass, he picked out Paul Ennis who put the ball into the empty net.
Celtic were able to equalise after 82 minutes. Walker delivered a free-kick into the box which met the head of Osei who scored his second of the game, heading past Wharton. Celtic then nearly scored a third. Another Walker delivery this time found Valentine whose header cannoned off the post.
There was to be late drama however, FC United had a free-kick which was taken by Ennis. His cross went through everyone and into the back of the net.
The game finished in defeat for Celtic who were narrowly beaten 3-2.
By Taran Dhamrait