On Thursday, Celtic play their final game of the year on our Boxing Day fixture when we visit Hyde United. Hyde are currently two points and one place behind seventh Celtic in eighth on thirty points, though they have played a game more.
After a great start to the season, winning five of their opening seven matches, Hyde topped the league table for a week, but then went into a downward plummet that saw them go nine games without a win, losing five and drawing four that saw them fall fourteen places. They have recovered somewhat since and have only lost once in their last six games, winning three and drawing the other two. Their most recent game was a 4-1 away demolition of Basford, ending a run of three games without a win. Hyde's last home matches have both ended in draws, most recently a 1-1 draw with Gainsborough Trinity.
Former Celtic defender, Liam Tongue is currently sharing the lead goal-scorers chart alongside Daniel Turner, both of whom have seven goals. They have the third best attack in the league, with only FC United and Lancaster scoring more, with Hyde scoring thirty-eight goals this season (sixteen away from home) at a rate of 1.8 goals per game (1.3 on the road). They have failed to score in four away matches (once at home) and have kept one clean sheet away from Ewen Fields (from four in total), in their second away match at South Shields, which they won 1-0. They have conceded in every game since, conceding thirty-four in total (twenty-one of which came on their travels) at a rate of 1.5 goals per game (1.8 away).Twenty-two of their thirty-eight goals have come in the second half, whilst they have conceded fifteen of their thirty-four goals in the last twenty minutes.
In the last thirty years, Celtic have visited Ewen Fields twenty-eight times, winning fourteen of them and losing ten, with four draws. In the last five years, we've visited Hyde five times; Hyde won the last three visits (including a friendly in 2017), and Celtic winning once back in 2014, with the other game a 2-2 draw in the Ray Stanley trophy. We last visited at the end of the 2018/19 season, losing 1-0, adding to the 2-2 draw on Boxing Day at Bower Fold and our 4-2 loss at Ewen Fields in the League Cup. Our last win there was a 4-2 win, Boxing Day 2014 when a certain young Dominic Calvert-Lewin (currently second top scorer at Premiership side, Everton with seven this season) found his stride to score two and make two for Kevin Holsgrove and Paul Ennis.
Hyde's last match was a 4-1 away win at Basford, in which they lined up as:
1. Luke Mewitt
2. Bradley Roscoe
3. Kyle Brownhill
4. Liam Tongue
5. Tom Dean
6. Jordan Fagabola
7. Connor Hughes
8. Alex Starcenko
9. Dan Turner
10. Tom Pratt
11. Paddy Lane
As well as being vital to get past the wobble of the last two games and to get back to winning ways against Hyde, a win for Celtic could lift us to fourth, with Radcliffe (at home to Atherton), FC United (away at Ashton on Saturday) and Warrington (at home to Witton) all within two points of us, whilst Basford (away at Mickleover) are within three points but have a better goal difference. A loss would definitely see Hyde leapfrog us, with Witton (away at Warrington) also in position to push us down to ninth.
|Home win||Stafford Rangers||4-0||Sat 31st Aug|
|Away win||Basford United||1-4||Sat 21st Dec|
|Home defeat||Mickleover FC||2-3||Tue 1st Oct|
|Away defeat||Warrington Town||4-1||Sat 2nd Nov|
|Home score||Ashton United||3-3||Sat 28th Sep|
|Away score||Basford United||1-4||Sat 21st Dec|