Vs: Caerau Ely
Match Type: League (A)
Date: 23-09-2017 14:30
Cwmbran Celtic brought their win less run of 7 league games (2 draws 5 losses) since last April to an end with a thumping 5-0 win at Caerau. No doubt there will be a chorus of “Ah, they were only playing bottom of the league” but this was a vintage display which equalled the team’s previous best away performance, a 5-0 win at Penrhiwceiber Rangers in 2010/11. The goals for Celtic came from a hat-trick by Chris Ham and a brace by Josh Bull who were backed by stellar performances all round the pitch from their team-mates.
Celtic were back to full strength with the return of key defenders Rakesh Patel and Rhys Williams. Caerau have lost a lot of experienced players in the close season and are a youthful side in the process of rebuilding. A win was imperative because the loser would be firmly anchored at the bottom of the table.
The opening 10 minutes were quiet but after Chris Ham had shot over the bar Celtic took the lead in the 12th minute. Defender Phillip Quick lost the ball just inside the 18 yard box letting Bull clean through on goal. His reaction was to pull the striker down and Ham stroked the resultant penalty into the net. Connah Hughes headed Caerau’s first chance wide from a free kick. On 20 minutes Celtic should have increased the lead. Simon Prangley found Lloyd Kinsella on the right who crossed with his wrong right foot to Ham who blazed over the bar with the open goal beckoning. The miss mattered not because in the 21st minute the second goal did come and what a goal it was. Bull ran on to Patel’s long ball and was challenged by keeper Scott James. The ball ran to the right touchline. Bull chased after it, turned and swung a superbly judged shot into the net – a great goal.
Celtic then missed another open goal when Ham and Bull combined to put Owen Cook in but he shot over the bar of the gaping goal. Caerau’s second chance came in the 28th minute Alex Davies hitting a free kick harmlessly over the bar. Bull was in sparkling form forcing two corners and in the 33rd minute Celtic were 3 up, Kinsella crossing from the right to the far post where Ham timed his run perfectly to stroke the ball in from close range. Caerau responded with shots from Connor Rav and Davies both wide. In the 43rd minute Celtic scored their 4th. Patel played the ball down the channel to Bull who displayed outrageous wizardry to wriggle past the defenders and place the ball into the net – another stunning goal from Celtic’s goal maestro.
Half time: Caerau (Ely) 0 Celtic 4
The question on Celtic supporters’ minds during the break was could they re-produce the performance in the 2nd half. As is so often the case, the answer was no but the game was already won and the points in the bag.
Kinsella was quickly into the action with two efforts on goal. The first was wide, the second was deflected for a corner. Ham shot over the bar but the next two chances fell to the home side. Ajijeoidua mis-kicking his shot straight to Watkins and substitute Harry Short firing over the bar. On 60 minutes Celtic were 5 up. Ham played the ball through to Bull on the left of the goal. He was bundled over and Ham stepped up to convert the penalty and notch his 2nd hat-trick for the club.
On 62 minutes Dominic Connor replaced Ham. In the 65th minute Celtic had the ball in the net again but Kinsella’s ‘goal’ from Cook’s pass was ruled offside. Callum Wakeham came on for Prangley. Connor hit a Patel cross over the bar. Lee Penry replaced Bull. Watkins easily saved a shot from Short. Wakeham and Connor combined to put Penry in but he shot wide and the last chance fell to Sam Cawley who shot over the bar.
Full time: Caerau (Ely) 0 Celtic 5
Josh Bull was Celtic’s man of the match with two goals and two assists. He revelled in the service he got from his team-mates. Chris Ham was also at his imperious best, giving Celtic width by hugging the left touchline, showing superb ball control to bring down and kill high and long balls out of defence and having the ability to race into the box at the right time to shoot on goal. Behind them Celtic’s midfield purred like a well-oiled machine. Prangley had another fine match, putting some great crosses to the left wing. Cook had his best game of the season prompting and probing down the middle and James Young also had his best season’s performance showing a new side to his game when he took over from Prangley in the centre of the park. Kinsella had a lot of the ball on the right and laid on two of the goals. The back four was quietly efficient against an impotent Caerau attack.
The win took Celtic 5 places up the table into 10th place and they are back at Caerau in a fortnight in the Welsh Cup.
STATS: Celtic: corners 5 shots on target 9 shots off target 8. Caerau: corners 0 shots on target 3 shots off target 6
Ref watch: Darren Adie had a very good game, giving only one yellow card to Quick for his penalty foul on Bull. He talks the players through decisions and potential flash points and is certainly one of the best referees on the circuit.