4:38pm Tuesday 18th March 2014
Cwmbran Celtic 2-1 Aberdare Town
Celtic welcomed back skipper Craig Cheedy after a three match injury absence and Curtis Patel stepped into central defence, replacing the injured Luke Jones.
After an uneventful first 15 minutes, the visitors took the lead with a goal fashioned in bizarre circumstances.
Billy Crees, standing way up in the opponent's half, overdid the "play the way you're facing" adage by walloping the ball back into his own half.
Rhys Hodges was always stretching to reach the ball as it passed over his head but he seemed to have put enough weight on his headed back pass to the keeper.
However Lewis Watkins appeared to hesitate for a split second as he came off his line and in stepped Shaun Chappell to intercept, run past Lewis and place the ball into the empty net.
Celtic's first chance fell to midfielder Spike Baugh whose shot was parried by keeper Tom Bradley, Dom Connor following up to spoon the ball just wide of the post but the linesman had already flagged for offside.
Craig Cheedy hit a weak shot straight at Bradley, then Josh Bull cut in on the right flank but put the ball behind the incoming Connor and Owen Llewellyn.
On 30 minutes Bradley rushed his clearance and set up Baugh but his shot when well-placed passed harmlessly across the goal. On 37 minutes Celtic equalised when Chris Ham got to the left byline and pulled the ball back to Bull. His first shot was blocked but he made no mistake with the rebound to equalise with his eighth goal of the season. A minute later Sam Small shot over the bar for the visitors.
The first chance of the second half fell to Ham in the 57th minute who shot from 35 yards but straight at Bradley.
Celtic were having all the possession. Dom Connor burst through the middle and Bradley did well to block Dom's shot with his feet.
Ham had a shot blocked by a defender and then, on the hours, Celtic went ahead, the ball falling to Spike Baugh in the middle of the 18 yard box who toe poked over the stranded keeper's head into the net.
Celtic continued to dominate. Cheedy shot straight at Bradley, Ham's free kick was deflected over the bar and Kesh Patel blasted a knock down from Connor's corner over the bar.
Celtic took off the injured Cheedy and Ham and replaced them with Lee Challenger and Dan Davies, the latter making his first team debut and Dan was straight into the action, his header being saved by Bradley.
In the last 10 minutes, the visitors pressed hard for the equaliser. Chappell hit the ball over the bar and defender Aaron Jewell, pushed up into attack, hit one shot over the bar and another shot wide.
Celtic held out and the final whistle signalled a second successive hard-earned but well deserved home win.
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