On Saturday, Celtic travel to the dreaming spires of Oxford when we take on Oxford City. Oxford are currently seventh in the league, thanks in large part to their away form, they’ve won seven and drawn three of their opening seventeen matches, putting them fourteen places and thirteen points ahead of Celtic. There will be a match centre for this game.
With the table ordered on home results only, Oxford drop down to fourteenth. They have won less games at home than Celtic, but drawn more (Celtic in eighteenth in that table). Like with Colwyn Bay, who are in the bottom two on home results, when the table is ordered by away results, it is a very different picture, and Oxford leap to fifth, just two points behind leaders Solihull. For further good news, Oxford are on something of their own losing streak, with four consecutive losses, two at home and two away. Their last home win was at the start of October when they beat Stockport County 2-1, with their other win being a 2-0 win over Gainsborough. In their last five home matches, they have conceded sixteen goals, and scored six, they’ve not kept a clean sheet since September, so with Celtic’s away record and Oxford’s home record, one thing is almost guaranteed: a nil-nil draw.
To return to the bad news, we’ve met Oxford four times, and never beaten them, there have been three draws, and one home win for Oxford. Our last trip to Oxford was 2-1 defeat, with Callum Warburton grabbing a goal back after Oxford scored twice in a minute.
Last season, Oxford finished in the bottom three, but were reprieved due to the demise of Vauxhall Motors. They’d had a terrible start to the season, started to pull it round around January, but dropped off again at the tail end of the season. Their top scorer last year was Tom Winters, on twelve, with Darren Pond and Kayden Jackson right behind him on ten each. All three players are still at the club, but this season’s top scorer is Adi Yassuf with eight goals, putting him joint third in the overall league goal-scorers chart.
In Oxford’s last game, they were leading 3-1 at half time, but North Ferriby exploited Oxford’s defensive frailties to finish 4-3. In that match, Oxford lined up as:1. Iustin Cerga
Celtic will still be without Matty Hughes, who is serving the last game of his three match ban, and in our last game, Celtic lined up as: 1. Lewis King
2. Kelvin Bleau
3. Nathan Heath
4. Todd Jordan
5. Matt Regan
6. Sam Staunton-Turner
7. Ben McKenna
8. Kevin Holsgrove
9. Anthony Malbon
10. Paul Ennis
11. Liam Dickinson
Celtic need a win. Even with a win, the best we can do is draw level on points with fourth bottom Tamworth, but a win will provide a much needed confidence boost, and with the Oxford game being impossible to predict, there’s no reason why our losing streak won’t end here.
Other games on Saturday:
Chorley (27pts 4th) v Boston United (24pts 6th)
Colwyn Bay (20pts 12th) v Bradford Park Avenue (15pts 18th)
Gloucester City (12pts 20th) v Harrogate Town (19pts 13th)
Guiseley (23pts 8th) v Lowestoft Town (16pts 15th)
Hednesford Town (25pts 5th) v Barrow (32pts 1st)
Hyde (7pts 22nd) v Gainsborough Trinity (15pts 17th)
Stockport County (23pts 9th) v Brackley Town (16pts 16th)
Tamworth (14pts 19th) v North Ferriby United (22pts 10th)
Head away from Bower Fold towards Glossop.
At the traffic lights at the Glossop turning, continue straight to join the A628.
Stay on the A628 through Tintwistle to where it becomes the Woodhead Pass.
Stay on the A628 Woodhead Pass to the Flouch Roundabout (about 11 miles from Tintwistle).
Turn right (exit 3 of 4) onto the A616 (signposted for the M1).
After nine miles, there is a roundabout with the A61; continue straight across (exit 3 of 4) to stay on the A616 (signposted M1 Southbound).
After a mile join the M1 Southbound at junction 35a.
Stay on the M1 for 102 miles to junction 15a (A43).
At the second roundabout, turn right (exit 3 of 4) onto the A43.
Stay on the A43 for 20 miles to the M40.
Join the M40 towards Oxford.
Stay on the M40 for 5 miles to junction 9 (A41/A34).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, turn right (exit 3 of 4) onto the A34.
After 6 miles, take the A44 exit towards Oxford and the A40.
At the second roundabout, bear left (exit 2 of 6) onto the A40.
Stay on the A40 for 2 miles and take the Marten/Elsfield exit.
The club is half a mile on the left.