There was a carnival atmosphere at IBS when both teams made their way down the tunnel. With over 900 supporters packed into this magnificent multi-discipline stadium for this eagerly awaited encounter. Who would win out: experience or youth. With and the China Club Football faithful all expecting a routine three points from bottom of the league opponents.
The game started very evenly with both teams testing each other out in what resembled a chess match. Then just after twenty minutes from a home team free kick the deadlock was broken, this was due to a lack of communication in the rear guard of the Celtics.
The away teams heads didn't go down, as had happened in previous weeks. After some great work on the right wing from Sean McSheffrey, and a clinical finish from Dominic Lytwyn (on loan from the first team) the Celtics found themselves on level terms. Then just before half time disaster - the away team took a sucker punch and the team looking to 'gatecrash the party' were 2-1 down.
Half time came and after a few words of wisdom from Manager - Ciaran Fallon aka Mike Bassett which seemed to stir something in the Celtics loins. The 'gatecrashers' came out firing on all cylinders with a point to prove. Then after some good pressing from Club Captain - Kieron Nolan earned the Club a corner, of which another loanee from Beijing Celtics Chris LM - after two bites of the cherry and a 'slight' deflection deceived China Club Captain's Goalkeeper Warren Eben and the team in green and white were level.
The crowd were still in shock when the impressive stand in Captain Charlie Scott won a header on the edge of the box, which landed on to grateful head of Dominic Lytwyn and still with work to do, he jumped made a decent connection and the ball looped over the out-stretched arms of a helpless Warren Eben and flew into the back of an empty net, to the delight of a few travelling supporters.
The green and white hoops could smell their first victory of the season. This wasn't to be as the home team calved open the rear guard of their opponents with fifteen minutes to go and made the score line 3-3
There was one further opportunity of note in the dying moments of this six goal thriller, when good work from the veteran Jeffry Young set-up the impressive Dominic Lytwyn. After producing a clever nut-meg he looked to have the goal at his mercy; then he tried lifting the ball over the on-rushing oppositions goalkeeper only for Warren to make a great save and deny the hoops a much needed victory. A draw was a fair result on reflection of the game, as a whole.
I would like to take this opportunity to make a special mention for Koffi who was a Man of the Match performance in his rightful position of central defence. Another couple of mentions for Paul McMahon and Hernan Benitez who made their debuts and very impressive starts to their Celtic's careers.