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Match Preview :- Atherton Collieries - Saturday January 11th, 2020 (15:00:00)

On Saturday, Celtic travel to a new ground when we visit Atherton Collieries. Atherton are currently nineteenth in the table on twenty-two points, fifteen points and fourteen places below fifth placed Celtic, though they have played five games fewer.

Although they won twice on their travels, it wasn't until the end of November that they finally got a second home win, when they beat Bamber Bridge 4-1 after beating Nantwich at the end of August 3-1. Since then, they have played twice more at home and won both, beating Hyde 2-1 and Lancaster City 2-1. The win over Lancaster was a double over the Lancashire outfit, something they will be aiming to do over us, after already beating us once this season. In their last six games, they have lost only once, away at Radcliffe, winning three and drawing two, most recently a 1-1 draw away at Warrington.

With thirty goals, they are mid-table in terms of attack and with thirty-four conceded they are mid-table defensively. The lack of games has somewhat put them in a false position. Only Morpeth and Whitby have played fewer. Tom Bentham is leading the pack for their scoring chart, his nine goals more than the next three combined. On average they score two goals per game at home and 1.4 overall. Although they have never kept a clean sheet at home, they have never failed to score either (they have failed to score five times on the road). Their defence concede two goals per game at home, and 1.8 overall.

We've never visited Atherton, but earlier this season they visited us, a pre-Darius Osei Celtic pulling one back in the second half after Bentham had put them into an early lead Celtic never recovered from.

Atherton's last match was a 2-0 away defeat to Barrow in the FA Trophy. In that match they lined up as:
1. Paddy Wharton
2. Clive Smith
3. Gareth Peet
4. Josh Thompson
5. Danny Laffety
6. Niall Battersby
7. Ben Conway
8. John Welsh
9. Tom Bentham
10. Vinny Bailey
11. Danny Lambert

Celtic's last game was our 1-1 away draw with Scarborough. In that match, we lined up as:
1. Alex Fojtíček
2. Declan Walker
3. Kallum Mantack
4. Ross Dent
5. Stephen O'Halloran
6. Chris Smalley
7. Scott Bakkor
8. Anthony Whitehead
9. Neil Kengni
10. Darius Osei
11. Harry Freedman

Alex Fojticek has extended his loan with Celtic until the end of the season whilst Toby Savin has returned to Accrington. Max Taylor has joined from Manchester United on loan until the end of the season, joining parent club teammate Alex Fojticek. Jonathan Ustabasi is available after serving his suspension, whilst Craig Hobson sat out the match against Scarborough through injury. Atherton's keeper is Paddy Wharton who was on loan with Celtic during the 2018/19 season, is one of two former Celtic players among Atherton's ranks, the other is Tom Bentham, who made eight appearances for us in in 2015.

Only Basford are within three points of Celtic, so a win could make us fourth, if Basford lose at home to Bamber Bridge. Nantwich (away at Scarborough), Radcliffe and Warrington (who play each other) are all within three points of Celtic, so a loss could see us tumble to seventh.

P Pts
14 Witton Albion 24 31
15 Bamber Bridge 26 28
16 Atherton Collieries 20 25
17 Grantham Town 23 25
18 Matlock Town 21 24
Sat 11 Jan 2020Stalybridge Celtic3-0
Sat 04 Jan 2020Warrington Town1-1
Wed 01 Jan 2020Lancaster City2-1
Thu 26 Dec 2019Radcliffe0-1
Sat 07 Dec 2019Hyde United2-1
Goal Scorers
Bentham, Tom10
Cover, Jordan3
Lafferty, Daniel3
Peet, Gareth2
Bailey, Vincent2
Previous Meetings
Saturday October 17, 2020
Tuesday March 03, 2020
Saturday January 11, 2020
Saturday September 14, 2019
Home win Bamber Bridge4-1Sat 30th Nov
Away win Gainsborough Trinity0-2Sat 12th Oct
Home defeat Basford United1-3Sat 2nd Nov
Away defeat Morpeth Town3-0Tue 15th Oct
Home score Warrington Town2-4Tue 20th Aug
Away score Ashton United2-2Sat 17th Aug
Games Since... Overall Home Away
Last Scored 111
Last Conceded 111
Last Won 214
Last Drew 141
Distance: 24
Time: 40 minutes

Take the M60 to junction 15 and join the M61.
Stay on the M61 for 4 miles to junction 4 (A6, Atherton).
At the roundabout, take the first exit and then at the immediate second roundabout, turn right (exit 3) onto the A6.
After a mile, at the lights, turn left onto A579 Newbrook Road.
After 2 miles, turn left onto Bolton Old Road and then left onto Alderfold Road.
The ground is at the end of the road.

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