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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Celtic Nation ease to win at Newcastle Benfield

A Jeff Smith-inspired Celtic Nation recorded an emphatic win at Newcastle Benfield last night.

Jeff Smith photo
Jeff Smith

Goals from Michael Reed, Steve Skinner, Smith and a first for the club for Nathan Porritt sealed a 4-0 away victory on a windy night on Tyneside for Tony Lee’s rapidly improving side.

After a scrappy opening, the prolific Reed opened the scoring on 11 minutes when he intercepted Luke Gilhespy’s misjudged pass to race through and slot home through keeper Andy Grainger’s legs.

Though Liam Henderson, a former Nation loanee, went close with a curling free kick, the visitors were firmly in the ascendancy as Dean Douglas was somewhat harshly denied a penalty having been felled in the box.

The Lions’ most threatening attack was then thwarted by a combination of Smiths - first keeper Ryan parried Stephen Young’s effort, then full back Jeff cleared under pressure from Gary Ormston.

Craig Wilson’s effort was narrowly turned round the post on the stroke of half time, and the second period started just as the first had ended as Douglas saw his drive charged down.

Wilson’s persistence and Stephen Archibald’s guile then created an opening for Skinner, who slotted past Grainger on the hour having been slid through by the former Annan man.

Ten minutes later, Jeff Smith exchanged passes with Reed before clipping delightfully over the advancing custodian to put the result beyond doubt. It was no less than the former Carlisle winger desreved, having turned in a classy display after being switched to full back in order to accommodate the in-form Douglas on the wing.

Substitute Porritt added extra gloss to the scoreline with just a few minutes remaining as he raced onto Smith’s through ball before lobbing Grainger.

Though the hapless stopper got a hand to it, he couldn’t prevent the ex-Middlesbrough flier from grabbing his first goal for the club he joined last month.

Tony Lee was understandably delighted with his team’s performance as they maintained an unbeaten start under his stewardship.

“I thought we worked so hard and restricted them to just the one chance, really” he said. “The conditions were difficult but I thought we were excellent. If we work as hard as that and play like that we’ll be hard to beat.”

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