On Saturday, Celtic host Stafford Rangers. Stafford had a good September, winning four of their five games in that month, but since then have won just once in their last ten games giving them twenty points and leaving them in the bottom third in seventeenth; six points and six places below Celtic. There will be a match centre and Twitter feed for this game.
Stafford’s last win was away at North Ferriby when they beat the Humberside club 2-1. They drew their last away match, 0-0 at Lancaster, but their away record since September is lost three, won one and drawn one. Their last away loss was a 1-0 defeat to Marine back at the start of October, with six home matches since, although they drew 1-1 at home to Gainsborough and 3-3 with Whitby, they have lost four , most recently losing 1-0 to Buxton. A winning September saw them rise to eighth, but since then they have slid nine places.
Nobody is leading their goal scorer’s chart, with thirteen different players weighing in with their twenty-four goals this season. Joe Cuff, Izak Reid and Sam Coulson all have three each, whilst former Celtic striker, Jake Charles, is on two. Stafford have scored seven goals away from home this season, five of them coming against Hednesford and North Ferriby. They score at a rate of 0.9 goals per game away (1.2 overall), whilst conceding their thirty-five goals (seventeen away) at a rate of 2.1 goals per away game and 1.9 goals per game overall. Only Workington have scored fewer away goals this season. Stafford have kept one away clean sheet and failed to score in four away matches. Their most dangerous period is the opening half an hour, where they have scored nearly half of their goals, whilst their most vulnerable period is the last half hour, where they have conceded half of their goals, with a quarter coming in the last five minutes.
We have already met Stafford this season, during their purple patch in September, when they beat us 2-0. Their last visit to Bower Fold was last season when Celtic won 2-0, both goals coming from Connor Hughes. Going further back, Celtic won the previous visit of Stafford in 2008, winning 3-2, with goals from Connor Jennings, Arthur Gnahoua and Joel Bembo-Leta enough to see off a late Stafford comeback. The last time Stafford won at Bower Fold was in 2005, when Stafford won 3-2, overturning Lee Ellington’s two first half goals to win 3-2. Over their last ten visits, Celtic have won five, Stafford have won four and there was a goalless draw in 2010.
In their last match, the 1-0 home loss to Buxton, Stafford lined up as:
1. Adam Whitehouse
2. Lewis Banks
3. James Askey
4. Luke Jones
5. Jack Sherratt
6. Daniel Burns
7. Theo-Bailey Jones
8. Tom Thorley
9. Jake Charles
10. Andras Jones
11. Joe Cuff
In the Celtic’s last match, the 3-0 away defeat to Bamber Bridge, Celtic lined up as:
1. Jake Turner
2. Liam Tongue
3. Elliott Cook
4. Chris Smalley
5. Danny Brady
6. Michael Clarke
7. Scott Bakkor
8. Ross Dent
9. Chris Sharp
10. Matthew Wolfenden
11. Greg Wilkinson
Josh Solomon Davies and Scott Wilson were both injured against Bamber Bridge, whilst Glenn Rule was suspended. Hopefully, Josh and Scott will be available for selection on Saturday, but Glenn is still suspended.
A win could see us rise three places, though Buxton and Matlock both have winnable games, whilst Hyde will have to overcome flying Scarborough in Scarborough. A loss could see us drop two places, depending on the Hednesford Whitby game, with both teams right behind us, and Bamber Bridge’s result in Witton.
|Home win||Basford United||3-1||Tue 25th Sep|
|Away win||Hednesford Town||1-3||Tue 4th Sep|
|Home defeat||Hyde United||1-3||Sat 20th Oct|
|Away defeat||Bamber Bridge||6-1||Sat 29th Sep|
|Home score||Whitby Town||3-3||Sat 24th Nov|
|Away score||Bamber Bridge||6-1||Sat 29th Sep|