STALYBRIDGE CELTIC 1, CURZON ASHTON 3: New signing Walker off the mark


GOALSCORING right-back Declan Walker, Stalybridge Celtic’s most recent summer signing, got off the mark with a spectacular strike in their home pre-season friendly against Curzon Ashton.

Walker, club captain at Welsh side Aberystwyth for the last two seasons, was the club’s top scorer in 2017-18 with 14 goals from right back.

It was a total even more extraordinary bearing in mind Walker, 27, a former Eire under-19 international, did not take penalties.

Celtic fans discovered why Walker is such an exciting attacking player in the friendly against Curzon.

In the opening 10 minutes he had two decent strikes at goal before finding the net with an 80thminute thunderbolt free kick which found the net with the aid of a deflection.

Walker’s goal proved a consolation as National League North side Curzon emerged victors.

There was a six-minute stoppage in the opening half when Celtic’s newly signed central defender Ross Killock was taken from the field on a stretcher with what appeared a serious knee injury.

Killock will probably have a scan to determine the extent of the damage.

Curzon took a 38thminute lead through a spectacular free kick from Liam Davies which found the top corner.

Davies doubled their advantage early in the second half when Davies struck again as his floated cross deceived goalkeeper Aidan Winterbottom as it looped in.

Walker halved the deficit before Jack Bannister sealed victory for the visitors in stoppage time with a near, low finish from a right-wing cross.

  • New striker Craig Hobson, who rolled his ankle in the home defeat by Barnsley, is expected to return in Celtic’s next friendly against Burnley on Wednesday, July 17 at Bower Fold.

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