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Match Preview :- Ilkeston Town - Saturday February 13th, 2010 (15:00:00)
On Saturday, Celtic travel to Ilkeston Town for a conference North clash. Ilkeston are eleventh in the league, two places and three points behind Celtic, having played two games more. They have played the fewest home games of any team in the league. Brian is running a coach to this match, and there will be a live match centre.

Ilkeston have won once in the last six games, at home to Droylsden, though they lost their last match, being beaten 4-2 away at bottom placed Vauxhall. Over the last ten games, that result is something of an anomaly, with Ilkeston one of the better defensive outfits in the league, second just behind Workington having conceded just over a goal per game, or twenty-five in total, and hold the league record for the most number of consecutive clean sheets, five. For a bit of good news, Celtic are now the joint third best defence in the league, having conceded the same number of goals as Fleetwood, thirty-one. Ilkeston have scored more penalties than any other team this season, six.

With Amari Morgan-Smith being the player who takes the penalties for Ilkeston, it is no surprise that he is their top scorer, having scored ten goals this season, which is twice as many as his nearest rival for the Golden Boot, Gary Ricketts. On average, Ilkeston score 1.2 goals per game (1.8 at home), whilst conceding a goal per game. They score equally between the two halves, with the first fifteen minutes of the second half their most productive, with eight of their thirty goals coming in that period. They do not concede many in the first half, though they have conceded four in the opening ten minutes, and six of their conceded twenty five have come in the last ten minutes. They have failed to score nine times (only once at home) and kept nine clean sheets (four at home).

This will be a new ground for many Celtic fans, with us having last visiting in the FA Trophy in 1977. Our only previous league meeting with Ilkeston was earlier this season, a game Celtic won 1-0 at Bower Fold. Given Ilkeston's defensive record, and Celtic's recent dip in form, the Automated Prediction Algorithm is suggesting a 1-1 draw. When Celtic have scored first in any match this season, we have gone on to not lose, whilst when we concede first, we have gone on to not win, so scoring first is vital, especially against a team so tight at the back.

Ilkeston appear to be injury free, and have no suspensions ahead of the match. In their last game, the 4-2 defeat at Vauxhall Motors, Ilkeston lined up as:
1. Dan Lowson
2. Tom Bonner
3. Alex White
4. Gareth Holmes
5. Charlie O'Loughlin
6. Luke Waterfall
7. Rory Coleman
8. Paul Dempsey
9. Gary Ricketts
10. Amari Morgan-Smith
11. Matt Godden

Celtic had a full squad to chose from against Workington, and with Matty Barlow's suspension not kicking in until we play Farsley on Tuesday 16th, and Steve Woods's suspension not starting until 2nd March. In our last match, the 1-0 defeat away at Workington, Celtic lined up as:
1. Dave Carnell
2. Richard Battersby
3. Andy Smart
4. Steve Woods
5. Warren Peyton
6. John Hardiker
7. Dave Hankin
8. Keith Briggs
9. Joe O'Neill
10. Connor Jennings
11. Matty Barlow

Celtic need the win on Saturday to keep in touch with the play off pack, and to rebuild confidence. Other games on Saturday:
AFC Telford United (39pts 7th) v Redditch United (29pts 16th)
Blyth Spartans (33pts 12th) v Stafford Rangers (31 pts 13th)
Farsley Celtic (28pts 17th) v Southport (57 pts 2nd)
Fleetwood Town (60pts 1st) v Gloucester City (30pts 15th)
Harrogate Town (16pts 22nd) v Gainsborough Trinity (20pts 20th)
Hyde United (23pts 19th) v Eastwood Town (45pts 4th)
Northwich Victoria (30pts 14th) v Alfreton Town (43pts 5th)
Solihull Moors (23pts 18th) v Corby Town (38pts 8th)
Vauxhall Motors (19pts 21st) v Hinckley United (48pts 3rd)
Workington (34pts 10th) v Droylsden (42pts 6th)
Directions
Distance: 60
Time: 1 hour

Head up Mottram Road towards Mottram.
Join Mottram Road towards Hollingworth.
At the traffic lights with the A57 Woolley Lane towards Glossop, continue straight ahead towards Hollingworth and Tintwistle.
After the lights the road becomes the A628.
Stay on the A628 and it will become the Woodhead pass.
After about 14 miles, you will reach the Flouch roundabout.
Turn right (exit 3 of 4) to join the A616 (signposted M1).
After 9 miles you will reach another roundabout, go straight across (exit 3 of 5) to stay on the A616.
After 1 1/2 miles you will reach the M1.
Join the M1 going southbound towards London.
Stay on the M1 for 41 miles to junction 26 (Nottingham).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, turn right (exit 3 of 4) to join the A610.
After 2 miles, take the slip road (signposted for Ikea) At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, turn left (exit 1 of 4) onto A6096 (Gin Close Way).
After 1/4 of a mile, there is a roundabout bear right (exit 2 of 3) to stay on the A6096 (Awsworth and Crossal By-pass) After nearly a mile there is a right turn (the first right after the roundabout), turn right here onto Newtons Lane.
This road immediately becomes Awsworth Road, and the ground is the only building on the left hand side.

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