A LATE penalty from substitute Kyle Hawley earned Stalybridge Celtic victory and local bragging rights with Mossley in their pre-season friendly at Bower Fold.
Former Morecambe professional Hawley sent Lilywhites’ goalkeeper Liam Lovell the wrong way as Celtic came from behind to snatch the win in the 87th minute.Kyle Hawley
The penalty was carelessly conceded by trialist centre-back Paul Riley as he tussled with fellow substitute Krisel Prifti.
In what was a highly competitive friendly – Celtic manager Simon Haworth admitted his young side failed to match Mossley’s physicality – the Lilywhites impressed in their first friendly.
By contrast this was Celtic’s fourth warm-up match in which they have won three and drawn once.
Mossley took a 15th minute lead as Celtic goalkeeper Tom Stewart conceded his first goal in four games.
And Stewart, who made one first-team appearance for Morecambe, was helpless as a 30-yard drive from Jordan Butterworth deflected past him after he appeared to have it covered.
Celtic equalised in first half stoppage time through a spectacular free kick from Harry Freedman.
Keano Deacon was fouled about 25 yards from goal and Freeman bent an exquisite free kick over the defensive wall into the top corner.
Albanian midfielder Prifti, a half-time substitute, fired a free kick narrowly wide late in the game before winning the decisive penalty.
Mossley also had claims for a spot kick rejected at the death, claiming handball.
Celtic manager Simon Haworth was pleased with the workout but admitted the games against Glossop and Mossley have exposed a lack of creativity in his side.
“We have scored nine goals in four games, though that is flattering as six were against Cheadle Town. We are not creating enough in the final third, something we need to address,” he said.
By contrast, Haworth is delighted with his side’s defensive solidity with only once goal conceded in four games and that was a “lucky” one.
Mossley manager David Fish praised the spirit of his new-look side.
He said: “Even in the 90th minute the attitude was right and there was a will to try and nick an equaliser.
“The players were willing to put bodies on the line and that sort of attitude is something who cannot coach into them.”