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Match Preview :- Droylsden - Saturday September 12th, 2009 (15:00:00)
Celtic?s next opponents are table topping Tameside neighbours, Droylsden. Droylsden are currently a point clear at the top of the table, six points and eight places ahead of Celtic. They have been going great guns and have scored an incredible thirty goals in nine matches, and twenty in their last four, which is an average of five a game. There will be a live match centre for this game.

Droylsden have won every game at home this season, but away from home have just one win under their belt when they beat new boys Gloucester City 4-1. They drew 1-1 with Hinckley and 2-2 with Blyth. It is their eye catching home form that is grabbing the headlines, putting seven past Stafford and five past Harrogate in their last match. They are scoring an average of 3.3 goals per game overall (2.2 away), whilst conceding 1.1 overall (two away). Their top scorers are Shaun Whalley and Tony Gray, both formerly at Southport, who have seven and six respectively, which puts them second and third in the league goal scorers? chart behind Southport?s Ciaran Kilheeney. To top this off, they are not too shabby in defence either, and have kept three clean sheets at home, though they have conceded in every away game. Of Droylsden?s thirty goals, twenty of them have come in the second half, with ten of them in the last ten minutes.

Previous meetings between the clubs also favour Droylsden. Although we drew 2-2 and 1-1 at home and away with them last season, we last beat Droylsden four years ago in the FA Trophy, beating them 1-0 at Bower Fold, whilst our last league victory over the Bloods came five years ago in the Unibond Premier when we beat them 2-1 at home. Our last league away win over Droylsden was back in 2001 with a 1-0 win. In the 06/07 season, Droylsden beat us home and away and are unbeaten by us in the league in eight league encounters. It is unsurprising then that the automated prediction algorithm is suggesting a seven goal thriller with Celtic on the wrong end of a 5-2 loss.

Droylsden appear to be injury and suspension free ahead of the match, and in their last match, the 5-0 home victory over Harrogate, they lined up as:
1. Craig Mawson
2. Lee Roache
3. Liam Brownhill
4. Mike Byron
5. Steve Halford
6. Neil Sorvell
7. Steve Beck
8. Rob Lloyd
9. Tony Gray
10. Simon Yeo
11. Shaun Whalley

Celtic have still not received international clearance for Osebi, but are also suspension free. In Celtic?s last match, the 3-1 away win over previous table toppers, Eastwood Town, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paul Phillips
2. Richard Battersby
3. Graeme Law
4. Steve Woods
5. Warren Peyton
6. John Hardiker
7. Dave Hankin
8. Keith Briggs
9. Joe O?Neill
10. Matty Barlow
11. Conner Jennings

Droylsden are a very good attacking side, and will be keeping the Celtic back line busy, hopefully, Celtic can narrow the gap on them, though breaking into the top five would require us to catch up goals on Corby Town who are three points ahead of us, with a three better goal difference. If we can win by a goal, and Corby lose by two, we could go above them on the Goals For column.
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