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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Celtic Nation off to flying start in first pre-season game

Adam Boyd wasted no time in opening his Celtic Nation account in last night’s 2-1 pre-season victory over Annan Athletic.

The former Hartlepool forward, 30, pounced after the Scottish Division Three side failed to clear a Craig Wilson corner after only four minutes.

In what was a convincing performance from the Northern League Division One outfit, formerly known as Gillford Park, recent additions Boyd and Paul Arnison both started, with fellow debutant Martin Brittain entering the fray in the second half.

Joint boss Steve Skinner was influential in the middle of the park throughout, and capped his display with a goal on 35 minutes after forward Michael Reed had sent him clean through with a perfectly-timed flick on.

At the other end, full-back Jonny Blake’s cross evaded everyone in the area as the Galabankies pushed forward. Steven Sloan also looked lively, but was unable to break down a resolute back four.

The game, which was played at Newton Rigg, belied its status as a warm-up match for the majority of proceedings as both sides played at a frantic pace with plenty of endeavour.

Annan continued to threaten sporadically, and although they pulled a goal back with a quarter of an hour left on the clock, they couldn’t overturn the deficit.

“It was a good workout, and it’s always nice to win,” said Skinner. “The main priority for these friendly games is to get as many players as possible minutes under their belts. For the first game, I’m very impressed with the performance from everyone.”

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