Gloucester City crumbled to a desperate home defeat to fellow relegation battlers Stalybridge Celtic in a Vanarama Conference North six-pointer.\r\n\r\nThe game was a scrap from start to finish, but the dice decisively rolled the Mancunian’s way as Stefan Galinski slotted a vital winner early in the second half.\r\n\r\nCity threatened meagrely throughout the contest as the Bower Fold outfit took the iniative early and rarely relented until the final whistle.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers’ best opportunity coming in injury time as the oncoming wave of players, including goalkeeper Jasbir Singh, forced the ball onto the line where Stalybridge’s impermeable back-line cleared the danger.\r\n\r\nIt was a contest that the Tigers looked as a winnable game, but Celtic have now closed in on City; as both teams remain rooted in the relegation places.\r\n\r\nCeltic began the brighter as Aidan Chippendale, Ben McKenna and Paul Ennis all showing Stalybridge’s intent in the opening 10 minutes.\r\n\r\nSingh, Gloucester’s on-loan keeper from Kidderminster Harriers, produced a save of the highest quality to parry away Matthew Regan’s header at the back post.\r\n\r\nHe was called into action again minutes later, this time brilliantly stopping Todd Jordan’s stooped header after Ennis had his opportunity deflected wide.\r\n\r\nGloucester began to enter the fray with young striker Harry White unlucky not to connect properly with Charlie Griffin’s high header that landed straight at his feet.\r\n\r\nCeltic continued to pressure, with Kevin Holsgrove unlucky not to open the scoring sliding a shot agonisingly wide.\r\n\r\nMike Green and White helped colour City’s attacking chances, both unleashing shots, before George Miller was distracted as he looked to lash at goal; as another White effort finished a frustrating half.\r\n\r\nA brief moment of prowess from the Tigers, with White spearheading an excellent breakaway, ended with Tom Webb hitting wide.\r\n\r\nBut, the game’s decisive moment swung Stalybridge’s way on 53 minutes; Ennis’ low drive proved too hot to handle for Singh, causing him to push into Galinski who simply couldn’t miss.\r\n\r\nA wayward strike by Holsgrove after Ennis drove the ball into the area saved City’s blushes as the big forward caused problems again making Singh save well.\r\n\r\nGloucester couldn’t find the key to unlock the rigid defence; every ball forward was met with a thumping clearance.\r\n\r\n10 minutes from time Holsgrove could’ve easily killed the game but blasted way over from 12 yards.\r\n\r\nTime was running out, and in desperation Singh was thrown forward to force a goal, which almost happened if it wasn’t for Celtic’s determined defending in a sea of bodies, but it was all in vain.\r\n\r\nThree shots from Miller and White failed to trouble Lewis King as Stalybridge celebrated a crucial away victory as City were left with plenty more questions to answer.\r\n\r\nGloucester City: J. Singh, S. Avery (J. Nkunga 88), M. Green, J. Harris, M. Williams, A. Connolly, G. Miller, T. Webb, H. White, C. Griffin (N. Modest 65), C. Jones\r\nSubs not used: M. Richards, B. Jones, H. Rivers\r\nStalybridge Celtic: L. King, O. Crowley, N. Heath, T. Jordan, M. Regan, S. Galinski, A. Chippendale (A. Mudimu 86), S. Kerr, B. McKenna, P. Ennis, K. Holsgrove\r\nSubs not used: J. Cadman, H. Wigley, G. Lomax, A. Windle\r\nGoals: Galinski 53\r\nAttendance: 223

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