Written by IainB
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Monday, 2 May 2011

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Celtic's first team strike force

The final day of the Conference North saw one of the most interesting clashes take place at Bower Fold, the home of Stalybridge Celtic who were hosting Stafford Rangers.

Celtic's nearest rival in the league is Hyde, a mere two miles away.

Hyde needed to win their final game of the season to avoid relegation into the Evo-Stik Premier, and hope that Stafford won their game...At Stalybridge Celtic.

Rumours were flying around the league that Stalybridge would put out a youth side, and give Stafford the easiest three points in the entire season. However, given that Celtic's first team are all kids anyway, this would have been difficult to prove. Never the less, the directors at Hyde already had the lawyers on standby in case both Hyde and Celtic lost.

"We wanted to be sure that Celtic would actually try and win the game," said chairman of Hyde, Tim Manshop. "Otherwise we'd have sued the arse off them."

Manager of Celtic, Jim Harvey, was unworried by Hyde's accusation. "Ah to be sure," he said, being Irish, "We could have relegated Hyde. So I sent out a strong team, basically my first team. I gave them strict instructions to get a goal up and hold it there until we knew what was happening in the Corby Hyde game."

Such was the difference in class between Celtic and Rangers that this was something that they could do. Fifteen year old Connor Jennings grabbed the opening goal early on. Stafford looked unlikely to score as Celtic kept missing glorious chances to produce a cricket score.

It wasn't until news came through that Hyde were winning that Celtic started playing, and routed Rangers making it look easy. Goals from teenagers Arthur Gnahoua and Joel Bembo-Lita came at the right time, but Celtic didn't dare get too far ahead, so let Rangers pull two back, just in case Rangers needed two stoppage time goals should Corby actually muster some kind of come back of their own.

"It was a very professional performance," said Harvey afterwards. "They wanted to beat Stafford by a record margin, but I said no, and they didn't. I'm very pleased. To be sure."

Manshop, Hyde chairman, glared at the news, but Celtic had won, so there was nothing he could do.

Unfortunately, it meant that Stalybridge Celtic's 3-2 win relegated Stafford Rangers instead.

"I feel sorry for Rangers," said Harvey. "Nice club. Still that's football."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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