On Saturday, Celtic are back in league action when we host Whitby (kick off 3pm). Whitby are currently twelfth in the league on twenty-one points, seven points and six places behind Celtic although they have played five fewer games.
Whitby had a great start, going on a six game winning streak that lifted them to the number one spot. Since then, they have lost three and drawn two. Their last win was at the end of September, when they beat Ashton 1-0 away. They followed this run up with two losses at home to Matlock and Warrington, before scoring two late goals to half a potential third defeat at home to Nantwich, finishing 3-3. It was another late goal that snatched a draw away at Basford to have that game finish 3-3 also, but there was no such saviour moment in their most recent game, away at Scarborough when they lost 2-1.
With four consecutive clean sheets, they currently hold the league record, meaning they conceded seven in their opening eight games, but since then have conceded a further twelve in their last five making nineteen in total (ten away). On average, they concede an average of 1.5 goals per game (1.7 away from home). Those four clean sheets are all their shutouts for the season, with two of them coming on the road. At the other end, their top scorer is Bradley Fewster, with seven, contributing to twenty-three total goals (thirteen away), scored at an average of 1.8 goals per game (2.2 away). They have only failed to score once on the road, back at the start of the season when they lost 2-0 to Gainsborough, but have also failed to score in two home matches (Warrington and Matlock).
Whitby have had the edge in the last two years; in the four meetings, they have won three of them. Last season, they won both encounters, 1-0 at Bower Fold and 2-1 in Whitby. The season before, it was honours even, with the home teams winning both matches, so Celtic's last win over Whitby was a 3-1 win in 2017 with goals from John Cofie, Ross Killock and Liam Dickinson. In ten visits, Celtic have won four, Whitby four and there have been two draws..
Whitby's last match was the 1-0 away defeat in Scarborough. In that match, they lined up as:
1. Shane Bland
2. Bradley Mils
3. Jake Hackett
4. Kieran Weledji
5. Luke Bythway
6. Jassem Sukar
7. Matthew Dixon
8. Adam Gell
9. Aaran Wearmouth
10. Daniel Rowe
A win for could put us back into the top five, with Warrington (away at South Shields), Basford (at home to Ashton) and Radcliffe (away at Stafford) all within three points, though Celtic need to improve their goal difference in order to catch Warrington and Basford. Four teams are within reach of Celtic should we lose, with Witton (at home to Grantham), FC United (at home to Matlock), Nantwich (away at Morpeth) and Hyde (away at Atherton) all hot on our heels..
|Home win||Hyde United||2-0||Sat 14th Sep|
|Away win||Grantham Town||0-4||Sat 31st Aug|
|Home defeat||Matlock Town||0-3||Sat 28th Sep|
|Away defeat||Gainsborough Trinity||2-0||Tue 20th Aug|
|Home score||Nantwich Town||3-3||Sat 2nd Nov|
|Away score||Buxton||3-4||Sat 24th Aug|