Celtic ease relegation fears
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Welkom - Bloemfontein Celtic striker Darrel Smith’s 48th minute goal earned Bloemfontein Celtic a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows at the North West Stadium in Welkom and eased their relegation fears.
But Celtic fans spoilt the day when they forced that match to be help up twice and are likely to face disciplinary action from the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
Celtic fans did themselves and local soccer a huge disservice by arriving late and forcing the match to start 10 minutes late and then there was more trouble after 24 minutes into the first half when referee Peter Mabuza in conjunction with the match commissioner Steve Goddard were forced to stop the match when fans broke a gate and started causing problems inside the ground.
Goddard said that the safety of the players and supporters was paramount. He said: "There was trouble inside the stadium when fans broke in through a gate. We had no option but to stop the match."
The game was held up for a further 30 minutes before the unruly situation was brought under control.
Added Goddard: "We managed to stabilise the situation and were able to get the game restarted once we called for extra police and security back-up to control the crowd."
For months now the 2010 Local Organising Committee who are running both the Confederations Cup in June and the World Cup next year have been trying to change local fans mindset to arrive early and buy tickets in advance. That appears to have fallen on deaf ears. It is a pity this happened as Celtic fans are amongst the most passionate in the league. But the club will face the wrath the disciplinary committee for the delays and lack of proper security.
There were few chances in a stop-start first half. The best fell to Arrows when Philani Shange’s goal bound shot was deflected after 33 minutes.
There was a further delay when Arrows rookie keeper Thulasizwe Khuzwayo, making his debut was accidentally injured by Smith two minutes before halftime.
Smith missed a great chance when he beat the offside trap in injury time and with only Khuzwayo blocking his path he blasted wide.
But Smith made amends three minutes into the second half as he sent in a close range header that Khuzwayo got a hand to but was unable to hold on to and the striker stabbed home the loose ball for the only goal of the game.
But there was little to enthuse over in a scrappy match that never rose out of first gear. Arrows had the better of the second half but failed to make any impact on the makeshift Celtic defence.
The win gives Celtic 24 points but they are still second from the bottom, however, they are four points ahead of relegation-bound Bay United with a game in hand.