STALYBRIDGE Celtic picked up £3,000 in prize money as they set out on the road to Wembley by beating Nantwich Town at home in the first round of The Buildbase FA Trophy.
Scott Bakkor’s late penalty was the matchwinner in a game when the big surprise was this was the only goal of an entertaining game.
Celtic could have won by a far wider margin as they twice struck the frame of the Nantwich goal.
And the Dabbers also hit the Celtic woodwork and had chances to at least force a replay.
Celtic manager Simon Haworth was pleased with the performance after a woeful showing in Tuesday’s loss at Lancaster City.
“It was a good response as Tuesday was the first time the lads had let me down. That was more like it,” he said.
Celtic, who had Stockport County centre-back Chris Smalley making his debut following a loan move, were first denied by the upright in the sixth minute from a Chris Sharp header.
Matty Wolfenden twice and Glenn Rule also had chances while Rule also had a penalty appeal rejected as he was clearly taken out by goalkeeper Fabien Speiss.
Nantwich also had a couple of openings and it was a surprise the opening period ended goalless.
It remained a similar story in the second period, though Nantwich had a good spell in which Matt Bell was denied by a super stop by Aiden Winterbottom while Craig Lindfield was left unmarked to head against the crossbar.
Celtic weathered the storm and Wolfenden and Bakkor had chances before the deadlock was finally broken just when a replay was looking likely.
Speiss failed to claim the ball in a goalmouth melee in which Jamie Morgan shoved Bakkor off the ball, something spotted by referee Liam Corrigan.
Bakkor sent Speiss the wrong way with a well-executed spot kick.
Late on Celtic should have sealed victory when Sharp forced Speiss into a fine save and Smalley headed against the crossbar as he almost marked his debut with a goal.
Celtic: Winterbottom, Tongue, Wilson, Dent, Brady, Smalley, Bakkor, Rule, Sharp, Wolfenden, Caton (Kengni 62). Subs (not used): Hughes, Brown, Wilkinson.