Celtic face a tricky Conference North fixture on Saturday as we travel to Alfreton Town for a 3pm kick off. Alfreton are unbeaten at home this season, and currently sit just one point off the play off positions, three points ahead of Celtic, and two places higher in sixth. There will be a live match centre for this game, and Brian will be running a supporters coach, leaving 12:15pm from Stalybridge Bus Station - contact Brian on 07940 825957.
Alfreton have beaten Solihull and Corby Town at home this season, and most recently demolished Telford 4-0. Vauxhall and Southport have both got draws there, but nobody has beaten them. They have lost away from the Impact Arena, with Eastwood beating them 1-0 and Redditch putting three past them without reply. The Redditch game is the only game that Alfreton have not scored in this season, and they have scored one more goal than Celtic, whilst at the other end, they have conceded just ten goals, giving them the third best defence and the fourth best attack. Only Fleetwood and Ilkeston have conceded fewer. Alfreton have kept three clean sheets at home this season.
Their top scorer this season is Liam Hearn, who has five goals, just one more than his closest rival Paul Clayton. With fourteen of their twenty-one goals coming in the second half, and eleven of those in the last twenty minutes, Alfreton like to leave it late, whilst they concede equally between the two halves, five in each. On average they score 2.2 goals per game at home (2.1 overall) and concede 0.6 goals per game at home (1 overall).
Alfreton beat us home and away last season, 2-0 at Bower Fold and 2-1 at the Impact Arena, ending a run of five meetings with Celtic winning all five. Our last win at Alfreton was January 2008, when we beat them 4-3 thanks to a personal four for Chris Hall. The automated prediction algorithm is not predicting a goal-fest for this game, suggesting a 1-1 draw.
Alfreton will have not one but two former goalkeepers for the Celts in their line up with Craig Dootson and Paddy Gamble both on Alfreton's books. In their last match, the 4-0 win at home over Telford, Gamble was on the bench and Dootson was between the sticks. In that match, they lined up as:
1. Craig Dootson
2. Matt Wilson
3. Kyle McFadzean
4. Aden Flint
5. Richard Pell
6. Dominic Roma
7. Jordan Hall
8. Anton Brown
9. Paul Clayton
10. Liam Hearn
11. Anthony Howell.
Celtic now have Osebi available, now that his international clearance has come through. In our last match, the 2-2 home draw with table-toppers Droylsden, we 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. Connor Jennings
A win for Celtic wouldn't lift us above Alfreton, who have the advantage of a goal difference nine better than Celtic, so we would have to beat them by five goals, however, it could lift us to within striking distance of the top five. A win for Alfreton would probably put them into the top five.
Other games this Saturday:
Droylsden (21pts, 1st) v Corby Town (17pts, 7th)
Eastwood Town (20pts, 3rd) v AFC Telford (15pts, 9th)
Gainsborough Trinity (10pts, 13th) v Northwich Victoria (7pts, 19th)
Gloucester City (8pts, 18th) v Blyth Spartans (12pts, 11th)
Harrogate Town (10pts, 15th) v Stafford Rangers (9pts, 17th)
Hinckley United (14pts, 10th) v Ilkeston Town (19pts, 5th)
Hyde United (12pts, 12th) v Fleetwood Town (20pts, 3rd)
Redditch United (7pts, 20th) v Workington (10pts, 14th)
Southport (21pts, 2nd) v Farsley Celtic (0pts, 22nd)
Vauxhall Motors (9pts, 16th) v Solihull Moors (7pts, 21st)