Stalybridge Celtic 1, King's Lynn 1

Martin Davis For their first ever visit to Bower Fold to take on one of the pre season BSN North promotion favourites Stalybridge Celtic the Linnets were hoping to end their club record sequence of five starting draws with a first win of the season.

Martin Davis

For their first ever visit to Bower Fold to take on one of the pre season BSN North promotion favourites Stalybridge Celtic the Linnets were hoping to end their club record sequence of five starting draws with a first win of the season. Celtic were also hoping to gain a first victory namely their first home win of the campaign having drawn with Telford and lost to Southport at their two previous Bower Fold outings. Both sides had drawn their bank holiday matches with Vauxhall Motors and Hinckley United respectively.

The team news, manager Keith Webb made three changes to the starting line up from the side that had began against Hinckley, Simon Weaver returned at right back in place of Charlie Defty, Ben Sedgemore returned at number eight with David Bridgwater taking the number ten shirt instead of Danny Bloomfield who returned to the bench along with Julian Joachim, new midweek signing Adam Smith who was making his return to the club following his release by Peterborough United and John Turner who replaced Andrew Fisk, there was no place for Charlie Defty, Rob Murray returned as substitute goalkeeper following his outing for the Reserves on Wednesday.

Greg Crane won the toss and elected to kick down the considerable slope at Bower Fold in the first half. An early mis-kick by Keeling the Celtic centre back looked dangerous but keeper Phillips was quick off his line to smother the ball before Jack Defty could react.

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In reply Celtic's right back Wooliscroft crossed deep from the right with Joynes only able to get a slight touch and his effort went wide.

Good play from Williams saw Meynell cross from the left but Howie made a secure catch.

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For Lynn Joe Francis set free by Chapman on the Lynn left put in a teasing cross which goalkeeper Phillips finger tipped away from danger.

A good Lynn move between Peters and Defty allowed Francis to cross but appeals for a corner were waved away.

From a long clearance by Peters headed on by Jack Defty to Joe Francis who in turn found Michael Frew ,who was robbed as he lined up the shot.

For Celtic a mazy run by Torpey having taken a pass by the busy Williams was only stopped by a good tackle by Weaver.

Lynn replied with Bridgwater putting Francis away on the left whose cross bypassed Defty going on to Frew who powered a shot wide of the post.

The game flowing from end-to-end next saw Wooliscroft put in a deep cross on the right which Joynes climbed highest to head narrowly over the crossbar.

After the Lynn midfield players won a series of crunching tackles, Jack Defty was fouled with Chapman taking the kick but unfortunately for Lynn Crane was unable to make a good headed contact and the ball drifted out for a goal-kick.

On 20 minutes Sedgemore fired the ball cross field to Frew whose cross shot took a deflection but the corner proved fruitless.

Chapman played the ball to Defty whose knockdown found Frew, whose cross was turned behind for a corner. Taken by Francis the ball was flicked on by Frew for Sedgemore to force Phillips into a good save.

Celtic attacked in turn through Williams who crossed for Briggs to force Howie to a fine save, Howie then again saving the Celtic captain's follow-up effort.

A foul by Peters which might have earned him a caution went unpunished and Lynn cleared the kick to enable a speculative shot by Frew to be saved by the keeper.

Howie was again forced to make a full-length save when from a pass by the impressive Williams, Ellington hit a shot which the keeper saved at full-length and again from the follow-up effort.

Sedgemore for Lynn replied with a volley but his effort went wide.

Celtic with good interplay between Ellington and Joynes set up WILLIAMS for a shot - a chance which he tucked away from 12-yards to give the home side the lead on 32 minutes.

Celtic were now getting up ahead of steam and Howie was again called upon to save from Joynes - holding the ball at the second attempt before Camm hacked clear.

On 35 minutes Celtic's centre half Barwick was shown a straight red card for appearing to elbow Bridgwater.

Five minutes later Sedgemore himself went into the book following a foul on Joynes.

Last action of the half saw Peters make a fine last ditch saving tackle from Briggs as he burst into the box.

t Half-time: Stalybridge Celtic 1, King's Lynn 0

After 50 minutes Lynn brought on their acquisition Adam Smith in place of Ben Sedgemore.

A quick break by Celtic saw Chapman make a timely interception as danger threatened the Lynn goal. Minutes later Jack Defty had a fine chance for Lynn as he took the ball round the goalkeeper but was forced wide and Keeling got back to make a saving tackle.

Lynn equalised in the 60th minute following a deep cross from Francis which was headed home by JACK DEFTY at the far post, following good work by Chapman and Bloomfield, who had replaced Bridgwater some four minutes earlier.

A good run by Frew looked promising but his cross went behind Bloomfield and was cleared. At the other end Crane had to concede a corner following a shot from Torpey.

On 65 minutes Lynn took off goalscorer Defty to be replaced by John Turner, who almost immediately got onto a through ball but was knocked over Keeling.

Weaver and Torpey were involved in a scuffle but neither went into referee's Davies notebook, both escaping with a ticking off.

Meynell almost got through with a chance to chip Howie but Crane and Chapman were alert to clean up the dangerous situation.

For Lynn an Adam Smith pass from midfield gave Turner a chance of a rightwing run from which he forced a corner that Francis' flag-kick was cleared.

Williams found Wooliscroft on the Celtic rightwing and Crane had to make a last ditch effort to clear from the fullbacks driven ball.

Shots from Briggs and Barwick were both blocked as Celtic, although playing 10 men pressed hard. They now took off Joynes and replaced by Barlow and continued their hard fight against an equally determined Lynn side which was making for pulsating watching as the second half ebbed and flowed.

For Lynn Simon Weaver found Smith whose shot was blocked. Howie was forced to make a brave fall in the ensuing penalty area scramble.

Celtic attacking on the right so a cross from Torpey give Briggs a heading chance which Howie and Crane did well to block on the line. Then an offside flag came to Lynn's relief when substitute Barlow was clean through.

Celtic playing down the slope in the second half had at this stage got up one of the famous heads of steam for which they are renowned when playing down hill.

Williams for me their man of the match again went on a great run and was only just wide with his finish. A back pass from Smith put Howie in trouble but the big Lynn keeper was just able to hack the ball clear.

Lynn responded with Smith passing to Turner who in turn found Frew who delivered the ball to Francis whose curling shot brought a good save by Phillips.

Williams again to the fore who set up Torpey who unleashed a fierce shot which was brilliantly tipped over by the flying Lynn keeper - the corner proving fruitless.

Celtic substitute Barlow out jumped Crane and Peters put his headed effort wide from Wooliscroft's deep cross.

Lynn had worked hard to gain their sixth consecutive draw and remain unbeaten in the league.

t Result: Stalybridge Celtic 1, King's Lynn 1

t Attendance: 489

t King's Lynn: Howie, Weaver, Chapman, Peters, Crane, Camm, Frew, Sedgemore, J Defty, Bridgwater, Francis.

Subs: Bloomfield, Joachim, Turner, Smith, Murray.

t Stalybridge Celtic: Phillips, Woolliscroft, Meynell, Keeling, Barwick, Sykes, Torpey, Briggs, Ellington, Joynes, Williams.

Subs: Barlow, Wilkinson, Platt, Wood, Smart.

t Ref: Mr P Davies, Lymm, Cheshire,

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