Blue Square Bet North – Saturday 30 March 2013

 by Gary Owen

 It was honours even in this fairly lacklustre Tameside derby, with the hosts adding a point to their ailing survival plan, and the Celts remaining in mid-table mediocrity – and themselves not yet comfortable from escaping the clutches of the final relegation spot.

The Celts were in the ascendancy early on with two free kicks failing to really test Dale Latham, and Lewis Hatch lobbing over when trying to catch the Droylsden ‘keeper off his line.

 Chris Hall did strike the foot of the post as Droylsden failed to clear a corner, but that was not before Luke Gallagher had broken through for the hosts, only to square the ball when Alex Cairns was there to be tested.

The Bloods then missed two good chances. Firstly, Steve Hall cut inside his man to test Cairns on his near post, with the Celtic ‘keeper turning the ball away at the expense of a corner. Shortly afterwards, Jason Gilchrist should have given the hosts the lead, but he failed to beat Cairns as the ball dropped nicely over his shoulder for a clean strike, but Cairns was equal to it.

 However, The Bloods’ failure to capitalise on their chances was punished by Hall, who took a touch from Greg Wilkinson’s pin-point pass to slot beneath Dale Latham on 37 minutes. Adam Pepper then wriggled through and looked set to double the visitors’ lead, but Latham was down quickly to save his low effort.

 Droylsden struck level seven minutes after the break when Andy Langford stooped to head home Carlos Logan’s corner kick in a crowded goalmouth.

The Bloods sniffed some local pride as the experienced John Grant missed the target with only Cairns to beat. Droylsden again tried their luck as Rob Sissons let fly from 30 yards, only to see Cairns at full stretch to make a great save.

Tom Buckley saw an effort ruled out for a marginal, but correct, offside decision for Stalybridge, and Langford almost stole the points with a far post header for The Bloods.

In added time, Wilkinson was dismissed for his second bookable offence, and the shared spoils were probably a fair reflection of both team’s efforts on the day.


Droylsden:                  Latham, Minihan, Logan, Langford, McEvilly, Sissons, Derbyshire, Gallagher, Grant, Gilchrist (Ward, 84’), Hall S. (Cox, 68’).

Subs. not used:            Watson, O’Neill, Chalmers.

 Stalybridge Celtic:            Cairns, Bleu, Lees, Platt, Bembo-Leta J. (Lindsay, 60’), Pepper (Haywood, 75’), Buckley, Warburton, Wilkinson, Hatch (Gregory, 71’), Hall C.

Subs. not used:            Parkhouse, Bembo-Lita F.

REFEREE:                                        Mr. M. Bristow (Manchester)

ATTENDANCE:                             356



WORD COUNT:                                 364

Category: Match Reports