On Saturday, Celtic travel to the capital of Lancashire to face Lancaster City at the Giant Axe. Lancaster are currently flying high in second place on thirty-five points, three places and four points ahead of fifth placed Celtic.
Lancaster are having a great season and are unbeaten at home so far with five wins and three draws. They have just finished a run of three away games in which they beat Scarborough 1-0, before losing to FRC United 3-2 and drawing 0-0 at Buxton. Their last home game was a 2-2 draw with Hyde at the start of November, whilst their last win was mid-October when they beat Radcliffe 1-0. In their last five home games they have had three wins and two draws, in their last ten games overall, they have lost one, drawn two and won seven and hold the league record for consecutive games unbeaten at nine games. This purple patch has seen them rise to second and stay there, chipping away at South Shields's lead, putting them one point behind top spot.
Lancaster currently hold the record for number of consecutive games scored in, with thirteen games scored in, so far! The last time they failed to score was a home match at the start of September, when they had a goalless draw with FC United of Manchester, the only time this season they have failed to score. Only FC United have scored more goals than Lancaster this season, with Lancaster finding the net thirty-five times at a rate of 1.8 goals per game. At home they have scored thirteen at a rate of 1.6 per game. Their top scorer is David Norris, who has eleven, making him the second highest goal scorer in the league. At the other end, they have conceded twenty-six goals, one less than Celtic, at a rate of 1.3 goals per game, with only six of them at home, at a rate of 0.8 per game. They have kept seven clean sheets in total, with five of them at home, with three of those clean sheets coming in their last four games. With six goals coming just before half time, this is their most dangerous period, indeed, they do most of their damage in the first half, with two thirds of their goals coming before the interval, whilst most of their conceding happens in the second half.
In the last forty years, we have visited the Giant Axe ten times in the league, winning three, losing four and drawing three times. In the last two seasons, we lost 1-0 there in a games best forgotten thanks to Celtic failing to turn up both times. Our last win there was 2006, with Mark Hume scoring the only goal.
Lancaster were in league cup action on Tuesday night, losing on penalties to Ashton with a mismatched squad. Their last league match was a 1-1 draw away at Buxton. In that match they lined up as:
1. Sam Ashton
2. Lewis Fensome
3. Jack Evans
4. Niall Cowperthwaite
5. Glenn Steele
6. Benjamin Hudson
7. Robert Wilson
8. David Norris
9. Bradley Carsley
10. Kieran Feeney
11. Paul Dawson
Celtic are on a great run at the moment. We do not need to fear anybody; it is Lancaster looking over their shoulder at us, although with South Shields also being in the FA Trophy, Lancaster will know that a win would put them top. Celtic owe Lancaster a performance, though; hopefully we can catch them napping.
|Home win||Ashton United||3-0||Sat 12th Oct|
|Away win||Mickleover FC||1-3||Sat 19th Oct|
|Home defeat||Never lost at home|
|Away defeat||Basford United||4-1||Sat 24th Aug|
|Home score||Grantham Town||3-3||Sat 14th Sep|
|Away score||Gainsborough Trinity||2-4||Sat 31st Aug|