Alfreton return to Bower Fold on Saturday for the third match in seven days between the two clubs. We have already played each other in the FA Cup second Qualifying match and the replay after the first game ended 1-1 at Bower Fold. Alfreton will now be looking for revenge after exiting the cup in their own back yard. Alfreton currently top the Conference North with twenty-four points, nine places and twelve points ahead of Celtic. Entrance to this game is FREE, and there will be a live match centre for those that cannot make it.
They had an unbeaten start to the campaign, but lost both of their last home games, first to Boston United 1-0 in the league, and then to us in the FA Cup, although they are unbeaten away from home this season, with four away wins in the league, and a draw in the FA Cup.
Apart from the FA Cup, our previous meetings with Alfreton at Bower Fold have seen them win their last two league visits here in March 2010 and April 2009, although we beat them last season at their place: 5-3. In the last eight visits, Alfreton have won 3, Celtic won 4 and there was one draw (the FA Cup). Although the previous two games have seen the two sides finis 1-1 at the end of ninety minutes, the Automated Prediction Algorithm goes off league games, and Alfreton?s away league form is exemplary, for this reason, there is a predicted outcome of 4-1 to Alfreton, but Celtic have shown that they can beat Alfreton, so hopefully we can continue that.
Alfreton?s top scorers are Jake Moult, Paul Clayton and Liam Hearn, all on four apiece. Moult is currently injured, but is expected to return any day, whilst Hearn was the scorer in the FA Cup match that forced extra time. Alfreton are slow starters, and strong finishers, with eleven of their twenty-four league goals coming in the last twenty minutes. Having conceded just five goals this season (one in each away match, and the last home league defeat to Boston), Alfreton don?t have a weak period defensively. They score an average of 4.2 goals per game away from home (2.7 overall) and concede a goal per game away (0.7 overall).
With Aden Flint?s suspension for his two yellow cards in the FA Cup not kicking in until the 9th October, Alfreton have no suspension worries, though a few players are still returning from injury, including Moult. In their last match the 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup at our hands, Alfreton lined up as:
1. Paddy Gamble
2. Josh Law
3. Chris Shaw
4. Aden Flint
5. Connor Franklin
6. Ian Ross
7. Nathan Arnold
8. Anton Brown
9. Paul Clayton
10. Liam Hearn
11. Anthony Howell
Celtic have a full squad to select from, and in our last match, the 2-1 away win in the FA Cup over Alfreton, we lined up as:
1. Jan Budtz
2. Glen Rule
3. Andy McWilliams
4. Tim Ryan
5. Kristian Platt
6. Jack Rea
7. Conner Jennings
8. Greg Wilkinson
9. Phil Marsh
10. Craig Hobson
11. Lee Elam
If Celtic can reproduce their form against Alfreton in the last two games then there is no reason we can?t take three points. Whilst a win could move us up only one spot, a loss could see us drop to fourteenth, depending on other results. A win could see Alfreton lose top spot and go third if Boston beat Vauxhall and Workington beat Nuneaton, or even drop to fourth if Telford beat Worcester, which would see an end to a week Alfreton would rather forget.
Other matches on Saturday:
AFC Telford (21pts 4th) v Worcester City (11pts 11th)
Gainsborough Trinity (4pts 19th) v Eastwood Town (6pts 17th)
Gloucester City (9pts 13th) v Droylsden (15pts 6th)
Guiseley (18pts 5th) v Corby Town (15pts 7th)
Harrogate Town (9pts 14th) v Hyde (3pts 21st)
Hinckley United (5pts 18th) v Stafford Rangers (8pts 15th)
Redditch United (4pts 20th) v Blyth Spartans (10pts 12th)
Vauxhall Motors (6pts 16th) v Boston United (22pts 2nd)
Workington (22pts 3rd) v Nuneaton Town (14pts 9th)