Match Preview :- Droylsden - Saturday April 9th, 2005 (3:00PM)
Saturday is derby day at Bower Fold when the visitors are title contenders Droylsden. Droylsden are in impressive form, and are currently only two points behind leaders Southport, thirty-one points and sixteen places above Celtic.

Droylsden are the team at the moment. They have the best attack in the league, are on the league?s longest current scoring and winning streak (of eight games), and have conceded only one goal in the last eight matches, and that was a last minute penalty at Moor Green. Manager Dave Pace claimed a fortnight ago that in order to win the league, they would have to win all of their remaining fixtures, and they have been going about it in the right way.

Will Saturday see Celtic put a dent in that ambition?

After an indifferent start to the season, Droylsden have climbed the table steadily, even topping it briefly, but their recent form is what has propelled them into contention for the title. In their last twenty games, they have lost only four, to Southport, Worksop, Kettering and Ashton. Their most recent loss was away at Southport, back at the beginning of February. They have taken six points off Alfreton, Barrow, Runcorn and Vauxhall, though they drew at the start of the season with Celtic in a 0-0 draw. Lately, drawing is something Droylsden don?t do, with their last draw a 2-2 draw in October, twenty-two games ago.

Their top scorer is Jody Banim, with fourteen goals (which puts him joint eighth in the league scorers chart). However, David Cameron and Gareth Morris are both right up there too with ten and eight respectively. Droylsden like to score early, with twenty-five goals in the opening twenty-five minutes. They?ve also scored ten on the hour mark, and eleven around the eighty minute mark. They?re quite mean defensively in the first half, too, letting in just fifteen of their conceded forty-five goals in the first half. The last ten minutes of the match is when they have conceded most heavily, seeing fifteen goals go past them in this period. Away from home, they score an average of 1.6 goals per game, and concede 1.2.

There doesn?t seem to be a problem with injuries for the Bloods, and they lined up in their last game away at Moor Green as:
1. Paul Phillips
2. Neil Hall
3. Danny Warner
4. Steve Halford
5. Gary Burke
6. Gareth Morris
7. Ged Murphy
8. Steve Brodie
9. David Cameron
10. Jody Banim
11. Robbie Talbot

Celtic are still awaiting on the fitness of Craig Dootson, though Phil Robinson has been doing an outstanding job in Celtic?s net, also Aron Wilford had a slight knock, but should be fit to play. In our fantastic win over Accrington in the GLS Cup, Celtic lined up as:
1. Phil Robinson
2. Terry Bowker
3. Andy Haskins
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Paul Sykes
6. Mark Atkins
7. Kev Parr
8. Scott Bonsall
9. Andy Parton
10. Andy Hayward
11. Nathan Wharton

As Paul Shepherd, Grant Black and Scott Willis were all cup tied for that game, it is unlikely Celtic will field the same team again.

Our last league outing saw a late equaliser from Worksop deny us the three points, and Celtic desperately need those three points to pull away from the bottom. With Ashton playing for their place in the league against Runcorn at the same time as this game, a win could extend the gap between Celtic and the bottom, though if both Celtic and Moor Green win, Ashton would be relegated regardless of their result. Droylsden, too, need the win in case Southport slip up at Redditch, so this is a massive game on top of the fact that it?s a derby match.
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