STALYBRIDGE CELTIC 3, MARINE 2
Stalybridge Celtic made life unnecessarily hard for themselves as they beat Marine to record their first Evo Stik League, premier division victory of the season.
Celtic, who at times played some sublime football, were their own worst enemy as they gifted the Crosby club their two goals from an errant back pass and penalty.
Manager Simon Haworth accused his side of being “too kind” as they handed Marine a way back into a game they had been comprehensively outplayed.
He said: “We were tremendous in the opening half hour and had we scored a third goal it would have been game over.
“May be we were too confident and cocky at 2-0 and a sloppy back pass opened the door for them.
“And after making it 3-1 we gave Marine a penalty that made it a headache for the last five minutes, something we didn’t need.
“We were excellent in patches, average in others and we also need to be more ruthless in front of goal as we created a lot of other chances.
“We were worthy winners and four points from a ;possible six is a good start.”
Celtic could not have wished for a better start as they were 2-0 ahead inside nine minutes, through a goal-of-the-season contender from Tom Brown and a remarkable 40-yard effort from the touchline by Liam Tongue which was surely a cross.
Celtic could have added to their tally – Greg Wilkinson hit an upright – before a wayward back pass from captain Danny Brady presented Josh Hine with an easy finish in the 43rd minute.
Suddenly Celtic, so much in control, were nervous and jittery as they went to pieces. Gerard Kinsella ought to have made it 2-2 on the stroke of half time, but blazed over from seven yards.
Celtic keeper Jake Turner made a great save early in the second half to deny James Murray.
They eventually regained their composure and Brown made it 3-1 with 13 minutes left with another super strike, bending in a left-foot shot from outside the box.
It ought to have been match over, but Celtic’s game management needs improving after Tongue needlessly gave away a penalty for a shove on Danny Mitchley who scored from the spot.
That made a nervy finish – five minutes and a further five of time added on – but Celtic held on for an important victory.