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Match Preview :- Hyde United - Wednesday December 26th, 2007 (15:00:00)
The Christmas period will see Celtic have an away match at Leigh RMI sandwiched between the festive fixtures with Hyde United (all games 3pm kick off). Leigh are currently bottom, and Hyde are currently top, with Celtic nearly equidistant between them in tenth, sixteen points behind Hyde (having played two games less) and sixteen points ahead of Leigh (having played one game less).

Our first game will be away at Hyde on Boxing Day (which will be segregated). Hyde have the league?s top attack, and fifth best defence having scored forty-nine goals, while conceding just twenty one goals. Leigh, in contrast have scored seventeen, while conceding thirty-nine. Hyde have beaten Leigh 5-1 at Leigh this season, and were involved in the league?s highest scoring match when they came from 3-0 down to beat Vauxhall 6-3. In addition, they have also hold the league record for the most number of games scored in consecutively at fourteen.

Hyde have been out of the top five for just one week, and have been in the top three for a couple of months now, and looking strong. They have lost five times this season, twice at home (to Southport and Tamworth). Southport also beat them away from home, as did Nuneaton and Harrogate. Their top scorer is Chris Simm (formally at Leigh), whose eleven goals make him the league?s top scorer. Gareth Seddon and Matt Tipton are right behind him on ten goals apiece, putting them joint third in the overall league scorers? chart. Dale Johnson?s seven goals sneak him in to the top ten also. Leigh?s only entry in the top twenty is Keiran Lugsden, who has five goals.

In contrast, Leigh have been in the bottom three for two months, and have recorded just two wins this season, beating Hucknall at home and Barrow away, and are currently without a win since that victory midway through September over Hucknall. They have held Boston, Solihull and Hinckley to draws at home this season, but their last home match was a 3-1 defeat by Nuneaton. Their last two matches have seen Leigh not record a goal, with Kettering beating them 3-0 and Tamworth beating them 2-0. With just three goals in the last seven matches, Leigh are desperately looking to find the back of the net.

Leigh and Hyde couldn?t be more different in terms of goal scoring. Hyde score an average of 2.6 goals per game at home and 2.3 away (2.4 overall), whilst Leigh score 1.1 goals at home (0.9 overall). Meanwhile, Hyde concede 1.1 goals per game at home, a goal per game away (a goal per game overall), whilst Leigh concede 2.2 goals per game at home (two per game overall). Leigh have scored just four of their seventeen goals in the first half, averaging their first goal on fifty minutes, and are at their most dangerous just after half time, when they have scored five). Hyde, in contrast, have scored twenty of their forty-nine goals in the first half, averaging a first goal around the thirty-nine minute mark.

Hyde have conceded just seven of their twenty-one goals in the first half, and are at their most vulnerable just before the final whistle, where they have conceded six goals, and concede on average around the hour mark. Leigh have conceded eighteen of their thirty-nine goals this season in the first half, and are also vulnerable just before half time, conceding eight in the final five minutes. On average, Leigh?s first concession is the thirty-eight minute mark.

Leigh have kept just one clean sheet this season, against Hucknall. Hyde have kept eleven (five at home and six away). Hyde have scored in all but one match (away at Nuneaton), whilst Leigh have drawn a blank in seven matches (twice at home).

Our last meeting with Hyde was in the FA Cup earlier this season when we beat them 1-0. In the league though, last Christmas, Hyde did the double over us, scoring ten goals and conceding four in the process. The last time we beat Hyde in the league was at their place in 2005 ending a decade of dominance, with the New Year seeing a change of fortune, between the two teams. The largest win margin was 6-0 at Bower Fold, in January 2003, with Celtic the victors in the match. Given Hyde?s attacking and defending record, they go into both games as favourites, with the automated prediction algorithm predicting 2-1 to Hyde on Boxing Day, and 4-1 to them on New Year?s Day.

Against Leigh, Celtic are favourites, with the automated prediction algorithm suggesting a 5-1 thumping of the railwaymen. Since Celtic were put through in the FA Trophy due to Leigh?s fielding of an ineligible player back in 2004, Leigh have beaten us just once (at Leigh), with the best result being a 6-1 victory for Celtic in 2006. Our meetings with Leigh have seen them always score at least one goal, and in one case turn around what looked like a comfortable victory for Celtic to draw 4-4 back in 1999.

In Hyde?s last match, the 2-0 win over Nuneaton, they lined up as:
1. Craig Dootson
2. Chris Brass
3. Chris Lynch
4. Dave Morley
5. Peter Band
6. Mark Innes
7. Dale Stephens
8. Steve Pickford
9. Matthew Tipton
10. Gareth Seddon
11. Nicky Clee

In Leigh?s last match, the 3-0 defeat away at Kettering, they lined up as:
1. Tim Dittmer
2. Ryan Mitchell
3. Mark Maddox
4. Steve Brockley
5. Andy Heald
6. Lee Unsworth
7. John Goulding
8. Neil Carrol
9. Robin Gibson
10. Andy Wright
11. Mark Smyth

Due to Celtic?s recent postponements against Burscough (twice), Hinckley and Southport, we haven?t played since we stuffed Solihull Moors away. In that match, we lined up as:
1. Martin Pearson
2. Ashley Woolliscroft
3. Andy Smart
4. Steve Payne
5. Barrie Keeling
6. Paul Sykes
7. James Dean
8. Ashley Winn
9. Chris Hall
10. Matty Barlow
11. Alex Meechan

Ashley Winn?s three match suspension will kick in for the three festive fixtures, however, the enforced lay off has meant Lee Ellington and Mark Haran should be fit again, in addition, James Dean?s loan spell has been extended, meaning he will be available for the three matches.

Celtic will need to be at their sparkling best to overcome a rampant Hyde United. We have beaten them once already this season, but Hyde are on something of a crusade to win the league this season and will be really up for the derby matches to prove their credentials. In contrast Leigh are fighting for survival and do have a good record against us, meaning that although we go into the match as favourites, they will be no pushovers.

Though the three games highlight a huge contrast, Celtic could do with some wins in there to prove their own credentials. The team is capable of that, and they will need to be psyched up for the derby matches. We are currently ten points away from the play-offs, but do have plenty of games in hand. We will need all the points we can get to close that gap.
P Pts
1 Harrogate Town 20 45
2 Kettering Town 19 44
3 Hyde United 21 43
4 Southport 20 43
5 AFC Telford 20 38
Wed 26 Dec 2007Stalybridge Celtic1-3
Sat 15 Dec 2007Nuneaton Town2-0
Sat 01 Dec 2007Hinckley United5-2
Mon 19 Nov 2007Solihull Moors3-0
Sat 17 Nov 2007Hucknall Town4-1
Goal Scorers
Simm, Chris11
Tipton, Matt10
Seddon, Gareth10
Johnson, Dale7
Clee, Nicky3
Previous Meetings
Thursday December 26, 2019
Monday April 22, 2019
Wednesday December 26, 2018
Tuesday September 18, 2018
Saturday July 15, 2017
Home win Redditch United4-0Sat 1st Sep
Away win Leigh Genesis1-5Tue 30th Oct
Home defeat Southport1-3Sat 10th Nov
Away defeat Nuneaton Town1-0Sun 4th Nov
Home score Vauxhall Motors6-3Mon 13th Aug
Away score Leigh Genesis1-5Tue 30th Oct
Games Since... Overall Home Away
Last Scored 111
Last Conceded 221
Last Won 111
Last Drew 542
Distance: 5
Time: 10 minutes

Head down Mottram Road away from Bower Fold to the traffic lights at the t-junction with Acres Lane.
Turn left onto Acres Lane and follow it to the lights at the top of the hill near Morrisons.
Turn left onto Birch Lane, heading towards Hyde.
At the traffic lights with the Duke of Sussex pub on the left, go straight through.
At the next set of lights on Mottram Road, turn right.
Turn left onto Lumn Road at the next set of lights before reaching Morrisons, signposted for the leisure pool.
After approx.
200 yards you will come to a give-way sign, turn left onto Walker Lane, after approx.
50 yards you will see Hyde Leisure Pool on your left.
The entrance to Ewen Field is to the right hand side of the pool.

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