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Match Preview :- Worcester City - Saturday March 22nd, 2008 (15:00:00)
Saturday sees Celtic take on Worcester City at home with a 3pm kick off. Worcester are currently tenth in the league, seventeen points and seven places behind Celtic, having played the same number of games. There will be a match centre for this game.

After a really good December and four wins out of six matches, Worcester climbed to their highest point of this campaign, an inconsistent 2008 has seen them tail off to their current tenth place, with four wins since New Year?s day. Only one of those wins has come away from home, when Worcester beat Southport back at the end of January. Worcester have lost their last two away matches, with Kettering and Hyde both putting three goals past Worcester to record wins.

When we met Worcester earlier in the season, they recorded a 2-1 win over us at St George?s Lane, and their visit last season to Bower Fold saw them draw 1-1 with us. Their last win was the season before, when they beat us 3-2. Our last win at Bower Fold over Worcester was back in March 2005, in our first Conference North season, and in the last ten years, it stands as the only time we have beaten them at home, with Worcester also putting us out of the FA Trophy in 2000, although we have beaten them away in March 2006.

Worcester?s top scorer this season is Emeka Nwadike with eight goals, though two goal hero on Saturday Ryan Clarke is right behind him on six, as is Craig Wilding. On average, City score 1.2 goals per game away (1.3 overall), and concede 1.8 goals per game (1.6 overall). Away from home, they score on average in the fiftieth minute and concede in the twenty-second. They have kept three clean sheets on their travels this season at Southport, Harrogate and Tamworth, all games that they won. Worcester?s most dangerous period is the last five minutes, when they have scored eleven of their forty-six goals this season, whilst the opening twenty minutes is their most vulnerable when they have conceded eighteen of their fifty-seven goals this season. Indeed, Worcester are a bit of a late goal specialist team and have snatched several points in the dying moments with their last game, the 3-3 draw with Tamworth a prime example, coming from 3-1 down to get two stoppage times goals and grab a point.

Worcester have been sweating on the fitness of several players, but slowly they are returning to the first team to help Worcester with their run in. Mark Danks was not expected to play any further part this season, but made it to the bench in their 3-3 draw against Tamworth, with Rapinder Gill, Chris Smith and Jon Munday all returning to the starting line up. As a further plus, Worcester have no suspension worries ahead of Saturday. In their 3-3 comeback draw at home to Tamworth, Worcester lined up as:
1. Cameron Belford
2. Ryan Clarke
3. Rapinder Gill
4. Chris Smith
5. Jon Munday
6. Jamie Price
7. Graham Ward
8. Gary Walker
9. Matt Dinsmore
10. Craig Wilding
11. George Clegg

Celtic also have a full squad to choose from, with no suspensions or injuries. In our last match, the 3-2 away defeat over Southport, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paddy Gamble
2. Ashley Woolliscroft
3. Andy Smart
4. Steve Payne
5. Terry Barwick
6. Paul Sykes
7. Steve Torpey
8. Ashley Winn
9. Chris Hall
10. James Dean
11. Alex Meechan

The automated prediction algorithm is suggesting a 3-2 score line in Celtic?s favour. This is certainly no banker result for Celtic, and Worcester have a good record at Bower Fold, and to top it off, have an excellent record away at the top teams in the league, having beaten Southport and Harrogate. They were unable to beat Hyde or Kettering, but did draw with Nuneaton and Telford. With five league away wins and five away draws, Worcester a solid outfit away from home, though they have not won away in their last three, they will be looking to dent our play-off chances. It is up to Celtic to dig deep and produce the kind of form that has seen us top the form table with six straight wins.

Other games of interest on Saturday are Telford hosting Southport, where Southport could do us a big favour ahead of our game against Telford, by allowing us to get within a point of second place. Kettering are hosting Nuneaton and Nuneaton will be hoping that they can stay in the top five with a result at the league leaders. Harrogate are hosting the league?s bottom club Leigh RMI and will be hoping to get through their current wobble whilst Leigh will be attempting the impossible, and escaping the relegation spots when nine points adrift with twenty-four points left. Harrogate have lost three of their last four, and could well fall out of the top five if Leigh manage to beat them.
Match Sponsor
E Taylor and Son
HN Nuttall Ltd
Ball Sponsor
Matt Winston
Man of the Match Sponsor
HMG Paints
Programme Sponsor
Taylor Properties
Sponsors
Main club sponsor
Dream Bi-Folding Doors Official Shirt Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Warm-up Kit Sponsor
Mulgrew Haulage - Official Warm-up Kit Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Site Sponsor
MG Domestic - Official Site Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Hospitality Providers
Bower Fold Events - hospitality providers