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Match Preview :- Workington - Saturday October 13th, 2007 (13:00:00)
Saturday sees Workington come to Bower Fold for the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with a 1pm kick off. This is the third time in five years that we have drawn Workington in the world?s premier knock out competition. In the previous two times, Workington have held Celtic to a draw at Bower Fold and then beaten us in a replay back at Borough Park.

Workington?s last visit to the saw them come away with three points, as they beat us 2-1 to take all six points off us, and earlier this season, we travelled to Workington and lost to an unlucky deflected goal at the start of the second half. Thus in the last three encounters, Workington have beaten us on each occasion. The season before, Celtic beat Workington twice, and our only other recent victory over the Cumbrians came in the President?s cup in 2002. In the league currently, Workington are level on points and one place behind us on goal difference only. The tie therefore is delicately poised, and the automated prediction algorithm is using home advantage to suggest a 3-2 win for Celtic.

Workington beat Consett FC 2-0 to progress into the third qualifying round, whilst Celtic beat Hyde 1-0. In the league, Workington recently drew 1-1, meaning that they have won just one match since the loss of their manager to Newcastle Blue Star. And that was against us. In their last three away trips, they have won one (3-1 against Hucknall at the start of September), drawn one (1-1 against Barrow) and, most recently, lost one (2-0 against Tamworth).

That away loss at Tamworth was only the second time that Workington have failed to score this season, the other their opening game away at Boston. They have kept clean sheets against us, Nuneaton and Blyth. On average they score 1.8 goals per game away from home (1.6 overall), whilst conceding 1.6 (1.2 overall). They keep it tight at first, with their average conceded goal coming at forty-five minutes, whilst their first goal comes at twenty-seven minutes. They have conceded only two goals in the opening half hour, and have scored two in the opening minutes of a game. The current Golden Boot leader is Michael Reed who is on six (putting him third in the league golden boot), one ahead of Johnny Wright.

Workington came through the Redditch game with no new injuries, and are currently suspension free. In that 1-1 draw, they lined up as:
1. Adam Collin
2. David Hewson
3. Gari Rowntree
4. Kyle May
5. Alan Gray
6. Daniel Gullen
7. Graham Anthony
8. Tony Hopper
9. Johnny Wright
10. Michael Reed
11. Craig Johnston

Celtic?s last match was a cracking affair, and Celtic found their shooting boots to dominate Gainsborough, thrashing them 5-1. Paul Sykes missed the match through injury and Barrie Keeling will be unavailable due to being cup-tied, Steve Payne received a knock during the match, and will be assessed ahead of the cup-tie. Chesterfield have requested that we do not play Gareth Davies, so he too will be unavailable. In that match we lined up as:
1. Paddy Gamble
2. Steve Payne
3. Simon Garner
4. Gareth Davies
5. Mark Haran
6. James Dudgeon
7. Lee Ellington
8. Ashley Winn
9. Chris Hall
10. Matty Barlow
11. Carlos Roca

Celtic?s squad will be stretched pretty thin for this match, but we have proved that we are a formidable force at Bower Fold, and this should see us through to the next round. We could do without another draw, so the team need to get past Workington at the first time of asking.
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