Match Preview :- Hinckley United - Saturday September 22nd, 2007 (3:00PM)
Saturday sees the start of a five home game run when Hinckley United come to visit (kick off 3pm). Hinckley are currently third from bottom ten places and five points behind Celtic, having not won a game all season.

Hinckley have a good record at Bower Fold though, and have never lost here. They have had three draws and a win at Bower Fold in the past. We met four times last season, twice at Bower Fold and twice at the Marston Stadium. Two of those games were in the FA Trophy when Hinckley got a 2-2 draw, before taking us back to Birmingham. Like the league game earlier in the season, we nicked the win at their place, winning 2-1. Out of all the games, home and away, Celtic have won two, lost one and drawn five. Hinckley?s last win at the Fold was back in January 2005, when they won 2-0.

They have not had the best of starts this season though, and have yet to register a win, drawing six of their nine games, and losing the other three. Southport remain the only team to beat them on the road though, with draws at Hucknall, Boston and Leigh RMI. At home, their form has been, if anything, worse. Worcester and Solihull have both beaten them, whilst Telford and Blyth have got score draws. Things may be changing for the Midland?s club though, after they held league leaders Kettering to a goalless draw in their other home game.

That draw was their only clean sheet of the season, and both Worcester and Southport have banged four past them. Celtic will have to be on their toes right up to the final whistle on Saturday, as Hinckley have three times scored late goals to nick a point in matches, against Boston, Blythe and Leigh. Hinckley have yet to find their shooting boots, with only eight goals scored so far, and Jon Stevenson is their danger man with two goals away from home, though Richard Lavery and Colin Marrison both also have two goals, they have come at home.

On average, Hinckley score one goal per game away from home (0.9 overall), whilst conceding two goals per game (1.7 overall). Their average first goal time is fifty-five minutes, whilst their average first concession is forty-two minutes. With five goals in the second half, this is their most dangerous period, especially the last five minutes, with three. Conceding is done fairly evenly throughout the game, with four in the last fifteen minutes conceded, and four in the opening twenty. They have drawn three blanks this season, failing to register against Solihull, Southport and Kettering.

The automated prediction algorithm offers some solace in the 3-2 score-line in Celtic?s favour, if not in terms of points, then in terms of finding the back of the net. Hopefully, Celtic can improve on that score-line. After Tuesday night?s defeat up in Workington the team needs another win to get back on track. The next few games can hopefully provide that, and maybe even end the lack of back-to-back wins jinx currently hanging over the squad.

Hinckley will be without several players due to injury, ex-Celtic striker Leon Kelly amongst them. Others missing will be Gez Murphy, Neil Cartwright and Leon Jackson.

In their 0-0 draw at home to Kettering, Hinckley lined up as:
1. Sean Bowles
2. Dominic Roma
3. Sam Shilton
4. Richard Lavery
5. Tom Birch
6. Tony Butler
7. Stuart Storer
8. Kyle Storer
9. Colin Marrison
10. Owen Story
11. Lee Philpott

Celtic?s injury list of Mark Haran and James Dudgeon meant they both missed the Workington game, it remains to be seen if either will be fit for the Hinckley match, though Mark Haran is not far off. In our 1-0 defeat away at Workington we lined up as:
1. Paddy Gamble
2. Steve Payne
3. Andy Smart
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Ashley Burbeary
6. Paul Sykes
7. Carlos Roca
8. Ashley Winn
9. Lee Ellington
10. Matty Barlow
11. Simon Garner

Hopefully, lessons will have been learned from the defeat at Workington; the biggest lesson being if you don?t score, you cannot win. Morale at Hinckley must be low, and Celtic must give no quarter in taking advantage of that. If we can get ahead, we need to keep looking for goals to prevent Hinckley performing another Houdini act and getting back into the game.
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