Celtic travel to Chorley on Bank Holiday Monday, fresh from the news that manager Liam Watson has resigned for non-footballing reasons. Kick-off is 3pmand there will be a match centre.
Chorley finished last season in eighth, on sixty-three points, ten points and four places above Celtic. They scored sixty-four goals, just two more than Celtic, but conceded fifty-five, twenty-less than Celtic. Their top scorer last season was Darren Stephenson who got eighteen goals, six more than his nearest rival, Josh Hine on twelve. They kept eleven clean sheets and failed to score in ten games. At home, they only lost four times, and away managed seven wins.
This season sees them already in sixth place, having won three of their opening games. So far this season, they have only lost once. That loss came away from home, suggesting that their home form will be as tight as last season, seeing them lose very few home games. However, they have drawn at home this season, a 3-3 with FC United.
Our last visit to Chorley last season was 0-0, with Chorley winning the reverse fixture 1-0 at Bower Fold. The season before was three wins and a draw for Chorley, after we faced them in the FA Trophy, holding them to a 2-2 draw at their place (Ennis and Dickinson with the goals), only to lose 2-1 at home (Kevin Holsgrove with a consolation at the end). You have to go back to October 1991 for Celtic's last victory at Victory Park, when we won 3-2. We've visited four times since, and had two draws and two losses. In a more positive spin, our last two visits have been draws, after losing in the previous two.
Only Andy Teague was missing (through illness) from Chorley's last match, the 1-0 away win at Worcester. In that match they lined up as:
1. Sam Ashton
2. Matt Challoner
3. Will Beesley
4. Keiran Charnock
5. Scott Leather
6. Stephen Jordan
7. Jake Cottrell
8. Dale Whitham
9. Marcus Carver
10. Sefton Gonzales
11. Josh O'Keef
Celtic are starting to see some players return from injury, with Jimmy Ball and Andy Owens both playing on Saturday. In that match, the 3-1 defeat at home to Gloucester, Celtic lined up as:
1. Tony McMillan
2. Peter Wylie
3. Graham Kelly
4. Nick Ryan
5. Matty Hughes
6. Aaron Chalmers
7. Liam Hynes
8. Jimmy Ball
9. Adam Farrell
10. Steve Tames
11. Danny Wisdom
Celtic have exalted company in the yet to really get going group this season. We are in the bottom four with both Altrincham and Nuneaton, and we've won more games than both of them combined. Such are the swings at this stage of the season that a win could propel us half way up the table as this season's table starts to take shape. This game is taking on massive proportions, with Celtic having now lost five consecutive games, possibly our worst start to the season, and to face a team we've not beaten on their own ground in twenty-five years without a manager…
There is a full program on Monday. The other games are:
Alfreton Town v Tamworth
Bradford Park Avenue v AFC Fylde
Curzon Ashton v Salford City
FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town
FC United of Manchester v Darlington
Gainsborough Trinity v Brackley Town
Gloucester City v Boston United
Kidderminster Harriers v Altrincham
Nuneaton Town v AFC Telford
Stockport County v Worcester City
Take the M60 to junction 16 (M61) and join the M61 northbound following signs for Preston.
Stay on the M61 for 9 miles to junction 6 (A6027, Chorley).
At the roundabout, turn right (exit 2 of 3) onto the A6 (Chorley Road) towards Chorley.
After six and a half miles, turn left at the roundabout (1 of 4) onto Duke Street.
Take the second left onto Ashby Street and the entrance to the car park is the second right.