Match Preview :- Stafford Rangers - Saturday February 24th, 2018 (15:00:00)

On Saturday, Celtic travel to face Stafford (kick off 3pm). Stafford are nine points and six places ahead of Celtic in fifteenth on forty-one points. There will be a match centre and Twitter feed for this game.

After losing only once in their opening seven matches, Stafford rose to first in the league, but with three wins in their last seventeen, they have fallen to mid-table. Stafford's last home match was at the start of February and was a 2-2 draw with Whitby, whilst their last home win was the game before at the end of January, when they beat Matlock 2-0. Their last home loss was mid-January when Altrincham beat them 2-0. In their last six home matches, they have lost three, drawn one and won two. Their last match was a 2-1 away win over Rushall.

Dan Westwood is Stafford's top scorer this season, with eight, mainly away from home and mainly in the second half. His closest rival is Richard Gregory on three. Only Halesowen have scored fewer goals than Stafford this season, with Stafford's thirty-six goals coming evenly between home and away at a rate of 1.1 goals per game. They have conceded forty-seven, with twenty-seven at home, at a rate of 1.4 per game (1.7 at home).

We met Stafford only a few weeks ago, when they visited Bower Fold, and Celtic came away 2-0 winners thanks to two second half Connor Hughes goals. Celtic's last visit to Stafford was in September 2010, when we won 3-1, with goals from Connor Jennings, Phil Marsh and Tim Ryan. Celtic have a good record against Stafford, with six wins and a draw in our last seven meetings. Stafford's last win over Celtic was their 1-0 home win in March 2006. In our last eight visits to Stafford, we have won the most recent three, lost four and drawn one.

Stafford's last match was the 2-1 away win over Rushall Olympic. In that match, Stafford lined up as:
1. Adam Whitehouse
2. Daniel Vann
3. Kieran Westwood
4. Kieran Morris
5. Jordan Brown
6. Joshua Craddock
7. Izak Reid
8. Levi Reid
9. Kyle Perry
10. Robert Thompson-Brown
11. Massiah McDonald

Celtic's last match was the 2-2 home draw with Hednesford Town. In that match, we lined up as:
1. Jack Walton
2. Danny Morton
3. Alex Honeyball
4. Tom Brown
5. Luke Ashworth
6. Ross Killock
7. Jake Charles
8. Oli Roberts
9. Liam Dickinson
10. Matty Wolfenden
11. Connor Hughes

Celtic were without Theo Bailey-Jones who strained ligaments against Warrington and will have to be assessed.

Celtic are now unbeaten in four and only the 1-0 away loss at Barwell blots our 2018 results. We will be looking to build on that. Celtic are nine points behind Stafford, but winning our games in hand would see us overtake them – as long as we win on Saturday! A loss could see Marine overtake us and drop us a place.

Other games this weekend:
Ashton United (54pts 5th) v Altrincham (66pts 1st)
Barwell (50pts 7th) v Workington (46pts 10th)
Buxton (40pts 16th) v Stourbridge (43pts 12th)
Halesowen Town (26pts 23rd) v Matlock Town (38pts 20th)
Hednesford Town (50pts 8th) v Warrington Town (57pts 2nd)
Lancaster City (44pts 11th) v Rushall Olympic (40pts 18th)
Marine (32pts 22nd) v Mickleover Sports (41pts 13th)
Nantwich Town (41pts 14th) v Grantham Town (54pts 3rd)
Shaw Lane (54pts 4th) v Coalville Town (40pts 17th)
Sutton Coldfield Town (26pts 24th) v Farsley Celtic (54pts 6th)
Witton Albion (48pts 9th) v Whitby Town (39pts 19th)

Distance: 68
Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

From the M67 join the M60 towards Stockport.
After 7 miles, leave the M60 at Junction 4 (Chester, M6) to join the M56 Stay on the M56 for 7 miles, coming off at junction 7 (Northwich, M6) to join the A556.
The roundabout can be avoided by using the slip road.
Stay on the A556 for 5 miles to the roundabout with the M6.
Join the M6 southbound (Birmingham) avoiding the roundabout by using the slip road.
Stay on the M6 for 38 miles to junction 14 with the A34 (Stafford).
At the roundabout at the bottom of the slip road, turn left exit 1 of 5 onto the A34 (signposted Uttoxeter).
After 3/4 of a mile there is a roundabout - go straight across (exit 2 of 4) to join the A513 (Beaconside).
After 1/2 a mile, take the third right (immediate next right after the first left onto Marston Lane) onto Common Road.
The club is one mile down Common Road opposite the Audi garage.