On Saturday, Celtic host Basford United for a top of the table clash (kick off 3pm). Basford are currently third in the table on forty-two points, five points and three places above sixth placed Celtic, though they have played two games fewer.
In the league, Basford have lost just once in their last six (4-1 at home to Hyde), winning three, including their most recent match (3-0 at home to Bamber Bridge) and their most recent away match (1-0 over Matlock). Matlock exacted some measure of revenge when they went to Basford in the League Cup on Tuesday, smashing five without reply past Basford. Back in the league, they have lost five times all season, three of these coming away from home and are flying, having been in the top five for most of the season.
Their away form is down on their home form by a little, with twenty-three from thirty-three points at home and from nineteen from thirty-six points away. They scored their forty-one goals (sixteen away) at a rate of 1.8 goals per game (1.3 away) with Nathan Watson leading the goal scoring chart on nine, just ahead of Courey Grantham on seven. They have failed to score in four away games (from six overall) going on to lose three of them and get a goalless draw at Stafford in the other. Their twenty-nine conceded goals (fourteen away) have come at a rate of 1.3 goals per game overall (1.2 away), and they have kept two clean sheets on the road from six overall. They have the fourth best attack and the fourth best defence in the league.
Celtic have played Basford three times: twice last season and once this season. They have beaten us in each game, the most recent a 3-0 win for Basford at their place. Their last visit here was a 2-0 win for Basford.
Basford's last match was the 5-0 home defeat by Matlock in the cup. In that match they lined up as:
1. Kieran Preston
2. Liam Bateman
3. Cieron Keane
4. Josh Law
5. Lewis Carr
6. Brad Gascoigne
7. Rev James
8. Jack Thomas
9. Courey Grantham
10. Nathan Watson
11. James Carvell
If Celtic win, we could go fifth, as Warrington Town are within three points, though they are away at Stafford and the bookies favourites to win. We would also reduce the gap to Basford to two points, bringing them within reach. A loss, on the other hand, could allow Nantwich (at home to Hyde) and Radcliffe (at home to Gainsborough) to overtake us.
|Home win||Bamber Bridge||3-0||Sat 11th Jan|
|Away win||Atherton Collieries||1-3||Sat 2nd Nov|
|Home defeat||Hyde United||1-4||Sat 21st Dec|
|Away defeat||Radcliffe||3-0||Sat 23rd Nov|
|Home score||Gainsborough Trinity||4-3||Sat 5th Oct|
|Away score||Hyde United||2-3||Sat 17th Aug|