Vs: Monmouth Town
Match Type: League (A)
Date: 30-09-2017 14:30
Cwmbran Celtic followed up their 5-0 demolition of Caerau (Ely) the previous weekend with another impressive performance to put Monmouth Town to the sword at the Chippenham Sports Ground. Celtic fielded an unchanged side for the first time this season. Monmouth forged the first two chances, both efforts, from Sam Palmer and Rob Laurie, going wide. Celtic’s first strike on goal came from a cross by Lloyd Kinsella which James Young hit just wide. On 14 minutes Celtic took the lead. Josh Bull received the ball on the right and as he strode into the penalty box he was unceremoniously upended by a strong challenge by Aaron Davies. Chris Ham took the penalty and sent the keeper the wrong way – his 3rd penalty goal of the season and his 7th successive spot kick goal.
Ham next turned provider putting Cook in for a shot which was blocked. Ham was getting plenty of the ball on the left wing, He cut in and shot wide, then his cross skidded wide off the head of Kinsella. The hosts responded when a Mitchell Palmer free kick was mis-kicked by Richard Crees and Lewis Watkins had to push a follow up shot away for a corner. From Celtic’s first corner the ball fell to Kinsella, to Patel, to Simon Prangley whose 30 yard shot went just over the bar. Kazeem Kareem crossed from the right, the ball was cleared and tricky winger Elliott Ford, back this season from a spell at Cinderford Town, headed over the bar.
Midfielder Rob Laurie got a yellow card for backchat to referee Thomas Bevan. On 32 minutes Celtic went two up. Ham got the ball on the centre left of the middle of the park and, with a superb piece of ball control, wrong footed two opponents and then put a slide rule pass into the path of Owen Cook who strode forward and picked his spot for his 1st goal of the season – a superbly worked goal. Celtic were now playing with supreme confidence. A sweet move between Prangley, Kinsella and Young ended with the ball back at the feet of Kinsella whose cross found nobody in the box.
On 36 minutes Bull was flattened once more in the box but Mr Bevan waved play on – it was a clear penalty, Bull protested too vehemently and he was booked. Bull dusted himself down and in the 44th minute he was all smiles finishing off another superbly worked goal. It started with a crunching challenge on Laurie by Young. The ball fell to Prangley who played it through the middle to Bull who manouevred left then right to wrong foot the defence and the advancing keeper to place the ball into the net. Sam Palmer was booked for his protest about the challenge on Laurie.
Half time: Monmouth 0 Celtic 3
Celtic carried on where they left off after the break, when, in the 47th minute Patel found Bull on the right, The striker cut in and smashed the ball into the net for his 2nd goal. Cook played to Bull who was denied his hat-trick by a great save by Asa Kirkwood. Laurie was working hard in midfield and his header from a free kick brought a diving save from Watkins. Celtic then missed an open goal when Kinsella’s cross from the right was met by Cook who hit the bar from just a few yards out.
Monmouth were not lying down. Mitchell Palmer’s free kick was headed over by Aaron Davies and a speculative shot by new boy Lewis Clare went over the bar. On 65 minutes Prangley found Bull and the striker and Kinsella were denied by a header off the line and a brilliant save by Kirkland. Substitute Callum Wakeham was quickly into the action when Bull dummied a Patel cross to give him a chance which he screwed just wide. Hesitation in the Celtic defence gave Clare another chance which he put over the bar. Wakeham and Bull combined for the teenager to shoot over the bar.
On 75 minutes Crees was booked for a challenge on Ford. Laurie’s header from a throw in was saved by Watkins. Substitute Rhodri Lewis was booked. Prangley shot over the bar. A cross into the edge of the Celtic penalty area brought about a collision between Watkins and Clare. It was a 50/50 ball which left Clare requiring attention. When the game re-started the referee gave a free kick to Celtic much to the consternation of the Monmouth contingent. For the 3rd time in the half Clare shot over the bar and in the final play deep into time added on Laurie rose to head a corner into the net for a Monmouth consolation goal.
Full time: Monmouth 1 Celtic 4
Celtic’s performance in this game mirrored their display the previous week at Caerau (Ely) – superb in the 1st half, tailed off in the 2nd half. The current starting line up looks very settled. What a difference the introduction of Ham and Prangley has made – not just in their own contributions but to the morale of the team. Cook, Young and Kinsella are thriving on the chance to get forward knowing that Prangley is guarding the back four. Andrew Larcombe was faultless at the back and skipper Rhys Williams was solid alongside him and he put a couple of superb long balls to Ham on the left. However the man of the match for the 2nd week was Josh Bull – two goals and an assist to take his tally for the season to 6 goals and 5 assists.
STATS: Celtic: corners 3 shots on target 8 off 11 ; Monmouth: corners 1 shots on target 5 off 7
SUBSTITUTIONS: 56 Dominic Connor for Cook; 70 Wakeham for Kinsella; 85 Lee Penry for Young
REF WATCH: Thomas Bevan did not enamour himself with the Monmouth players when he allowed play on for the 3rd goal after Laurie was flattened and there were calls from the home players and supporters over the assistant referees not raising their flags for off sides for two of the goals. Our reporter’s view was that the challenge on Laurie was legitimate – Young won the ball albeit the challenge was robust. As for the off sides – this is the old horse chestnut – how many times do the arms get raised after the player receives the ball, not when it was played?