Gloucester City couldn’t hold on to their lead as they fell 2-1 to Stalybridge Celtic at Bower Fold.\r\n\r\nCity took the lead through Harry White but Celtic soon equalised through Harley Wigley before a late goal from Tom Bentham gave the Manchester side all 3 points.\r\n\r\nCeltic started well and a free header for Matty Hughes at the back post from a corner was just off target where he should have buried it.\r\n\r\nCity could have had the lead in the 14th minute but for a fantastic save from Ross Etheridge to deny James Bowen his first City goal from the edge of the box.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers began to press their opponents and a teasing ball from Chris Knowles was met by Harry White with a plum header. Etheridge fumbled the initial shot but collected at the second attempt.\r\n\r\nCity took the lead on 24 minutes with Bowen’s long throw causing havoc in the Celtic box leading to a goalmouth scramble with Harry White eventually smashing in the rebound.\r\n\r\nCeltic were nearly back in the game a few minutes later as Ennis had a glorious opportunity to equalise but his shot was heroically blocked by James Bowen.\r\n\r\nStalybridge equalised soon after in the 35th minute through Harley Wigley. Despite what looked like a foul on Paul White in the build up the referee let play continue and eventually Wigley smothered the ball home.\r\n\r\nSahr Kabba beat the last defender in the 40th minute and unleashed a rasping shot across goal but the City striker’s effort was just wide of the post.\r\n\r\nKabba was in again minutes later after a quick counter attack from City but his cross goal shot was again just wide.\r\n\r\nCity came out for the second half and looked the better team, with Harry White going for goal from range but just missing the target.\r\n\r\nAgain another excellent chance for the Tigers as Kabba fed a glorious ball through to Connor Thompson, but the debutants shot was millimetres wide\r\n\r\nWith Paul White off his line, Paul Ennis unleashed an Unbelievable effort from 45 yards trying to lob the City keeper but hitting the bar.\r\n\r\nSam Avery found himself on the edge of the box 10 minutes later with space to shoot but the centre half volleyed his effort high and wide.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers should’ve had a penalty in the 68th minute after a clear handball in the penalty area by the Stalybridge centre back but the referee somehow missed it despite being perfectly placed.\r\n\r\nThen came the sucker punch from Stalybridge as a long goal kick over the top caught the defence napping and Bentham was first to pounce and stick it past Paul White.\r\n\r\nCity pressed hard but could not find the equaliser and so this result means the Tigers are drawn closer to the relegation battle.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nStalybridge Celtic: R. Etheridge, O. Crowley, M. Regan, M. Hughes, H. Wigley (S. Galinski 56’), M. Potts, B. McKenna, S. Kerr (c), A. Chippendale (T. Bentham 64’), P. Ennis, J. Allen\r\n\r\nSubs: J. Cadman, N. Heath, J. Ollerenshaw\r\n\r\nGloucester City: P. White, M. Green, B. Jones, M. Williams, S. Avery, C. Knowles, J. Bowen (R. Staley 83’), T. Webb (c), H. White, S. Kabba, C. Thompson (M. Diop 82’)\r\n\r\nSubs: A. Connolly, F. Orenuga, H. Williams\r\n\r\nReferee: S. Lucas

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