Friendly: Stalybridge Celtic 0-5 Barnsley
Stalybridge Celtic began their pre-season campaign with a 5-0 defeat to Championship outfit Barnsley at Bower Fold on Wednesday night.
For quarter of an hour Celtic held their own, but once Barnsley got into stride, there was only going to be one outcome.
Neil Kengni had a chance early on to shock the visitors, latching onto Scott Bakkor’s waist-high cross, spinning his shot over the bar, whilst Kengni’s cross found Ross Dent at the back post, his tap in thwarted by a good reaction stop from visiting keeper, Samuel Radlinger.
After the quarter of an hour mark, Cauley Woodrow hit an effort on the run from thirty-five yards that flew towards goal, smacking the post with Celtic’s trialist keeper still reaching. There was nothing Celtic’s keeper could do when Alex Mowatt showed composure and class from the corner of the box to lift a lob over the keeper and into the far top corner. Three minutes later and Steve O’Halloran was undone by a twist and burst of pace from Jordan Williams catching the fullback’s foot and conceding a penalty that Woodrow blasted into the back of the net.
Celtic might have pulled one back through a set piece, Clayton Kershaw arriving to meet a curling free kick with an excellent stop from Radlinger. Instead two rockets from the edge of the box, the first from Woodrow, the second from Jordan Green neither of which left Celtic’s custodian any chance of reaching them.
The second half saw Barnsley’s second string replace the first team. They were still too powerful for Celtic to break the back line, though lacked that cutting edge up front. One more goal was added midway through the half, when Luke Thomas put in a low cross that Greg Wilkinson reached first only to turn it into his own net. The only other chance of note was just before the final whistle when Luke Thomas tried to turn a cross in at the far post, with Celtic’s keeper reacting well to deny him.
Hopefully, Simon Howarth got some information from the game and the team got a run out at some pace despite the warm evening, but as a first run out that’s about all that could be taken from it.
Celtic’s squad was made from several trialists, plus all signed on players.
By Deborah Taylor