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Match Preview :- South Shields - Saturday February 1st, 2020 (15:00:00)

On Saturday (kick off 3pm), Celtic are at home to face South Shields. The North East outfit are currently top of the table, on fifty-one points, fourteen points and seven places above eighth placed Celtic, though they have played three games fewer.

Shields are level on points with second placed Basford and though they have scored two fewer, Basford have conceded eleven more. Shields also have two games in hand on Lancaster, so are looking good for automatic promotion. They've occupied the top spot since September, though a poor spell in October that saw them win two of their five games allowed the chasing pack to catch them. They've since dropped points in three games, which has been enough for Basford to now breath down their knock, whilst FC United and Lancaster are only six points away. Their last two away games were both wins, including beating play-off hopefuls, Lancaster. Their last loss on the road was Boxing Day when Whitby beat them 2-1. They hold the league record this season for the most consecutive wins, at eight, between the end of August and the start of October.

They have kept four clean sheets from ten away games, and failed to score only against Scarborough (which finished goalless). In total, they have scored forty-four goals, with only fifteen of these on the road, at a rate of 1.8 goals per game (1.5 away). They have conceded the fewest number of goals in the league, at 20, with only nine conceded on the road, at a rate of 0.8 goals per game (0.9 away). Jason Gilchrest and Robert Briggs are both on eight goals so far this season, vying for the golden boot, but with sixteen different scorers, goals have come from all over the pitch.

We've played Shields three times in the league and come close to drawing three times, losing out in the dying moments of each game. Their most recent visit was in the Trophy, where Shields eased through with a 2-0 score line after holding on to an early two goal lead. In their last league visit here, last season, they won 1-0 after knocking in a rebound.

Shield's last match was in the Integro Cup, which finished goalless, Shields going through on penalties. In that match they lined up as:
1. Myles Berry
2. Jordan Hunter
3. Kieran Charlton
4. Wouter Verstraaten
5. Dillon Moore
6. Gary Brown
7. Craig Baxter
8. Callum Ross
9. Sefton Gonzales
10. Josh Gillies
11. Lee Mason

In Celtic's last match, the 2-0 home defeat to Nantwich, Celtic lined up as:
1. Alex Fojtíček
2. Declan Walker
3. Kallum Mantack
4. Max Taylor
5. Stephen O'Halloran
6. Chris Smalley
7. Scott Bakkor
8. Patrick Lacey
9. Darius Osei
10. Adam O'Reilly
11. Ethan Walker

Jonathan Ustabasi and Craig Hobson are both doubts, whilst Neil Kengni, Nathan Valentine and Jack O'Leary are all out on loan. Celtic are looking to end a slump that started on Boxing Day and get back to winning ways. Only Witton (at home to Stafford) are within striking distance of Celtic, should we win, with the play-offs now six points away. Our five games without a win have allowed five teams to get within three points of Celtic, meaning a loss could see us drop to thirteenth! Mickleover (away at FC United), Radcliffe (away at Morpeth) and Hyde (away at Matlock) are all within a point, whilst Scarborough (at home to Ashton) are two points behind and Bamber Bridge (away at Nantwich) three points behind.

Table
P Pts
1 South Shields 25 52
2 Basford United 27 51
3 Lancaster City 28 48
4 FC United Of Manchester 25 46
5 Nantwich Town 25 44
Results
Sat 01 Feb 2020Stalybridge Celtic2-2
Sat 25 Jan 2020Witton Albion1-2
Sat 18 Jan 2020Lancaster City2-1
Sat 11 Jan 2020Mickleover FC5-2
Sat 04 Jan 2020Ashton United2-0
Goal Scorers
Briggs, Robert8
Gilchrist, Jason8
Shaw, Jon4
Lowe, Nathan4
Mason, Lee3
Previous Meetings
Saturday February 01, 2020
2
2
Tuesday October 29, 2019
0
2
Tuesday October 08, 2019
2
1
Saturday December 15, 2018
3
2
Tuesday September 04, 2018
0
1
Records
Home win Mickleover FC5-2Sat 11th Jan
Away win Ashton United0-2Sat 4th Jan
Home defeat Witton Albion1-2Sat 25th Jan
Away defeat Witton Albion3-1Sat 12th Oct
Home score Mickleover FC5-2Sat 11th Jan
Away score Witton Albion3-1Sat 12th Oct
Games Since... Overall Home Away
Last Scored 111
Last Conceded 111
Last Won 221
Last Drew 113
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Sponsors
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