Match Preview :- Gloucester City - Tuesday December 8th, 2009 (19:45:00)
Stalybridge Celtic take on Gloucester City in the Conference North tonight, in a must win game for Celtic if they are to get back into the play off mix. Gloucester are currently fourteenth in the Conference North, seven places and ten points behind Celtic in their first season at this level in the pyramid, having played three games more. There will be a live match centre for this game.

This is Gloucester?s first visit to Bower Fold for a league match, and though they won their last away match, beating Eastwood Town 3-0, it is their only away win since August, when they thrashed Corby Town away 6-3 in the league?s highest scoring match this season. Gloucester?s only other away win this season came at Solihull Moors, a team they beat 1-0. They are no strangers to taking on the league?s top half teams and beating them. At home, it?s a different story, and their wins there have come against Blyth, Gainsborough and Hyde.

Gloucester?s danger man this season is Lee Smith, with seven goals, with Mike Symons trailing behind him on four. Whilst they are midtable in terms of form, scoring and defence they are stronger away from Cirencester than at the Corinium, their temporary home. Four of their six clean sheets have come away from home, and they concede just 0.9 goals per game away (1.3 overall), and score 1.3 goals per game (1.1 overall). They score roughly equally between the two halves, with twenty-two goals in total (thirteen of which came away from home). Their most vulnerable period is just after half time, where they have conceded ten of their twenty-six goals against, only nine of those twenty-six goals have come away from home, which makes them the meanest defence while on the road in the league.

Gloucester have a clean bill of health and though they had a recent flurry of red cards, the suspensions don?t kick in until Saturday, so they are also suspension free. In their last match, the 1-0 home defeat to Northwich Victoria, Gloucester lined up as:
1. Mike Green
2. Neil Mustoe
3. Lee Marshall
4. Marc Richards
5. Tom Hamblin
6. Matt Rose
7. Lee Smith
8. Tom Webb
9. Jack Pitcher
10. Mike Symons
11. Jack Harris

Celtic, too, have a full squad available, with the exception of Barrie Keeling who is on loan at Radcliffe Borough. In our last match, the 1-0 home win over Ilkeston Town, Celtic lined up as:
1. Dave Carnell
2. Graeme Law
3. Andy Smart
4. Steve Woods
5. Warren Peyton
6. John Hardiker
7. Dave Hankin
8. Keith Briggs
9. Joe O?Neill
10. Matty Barlow
11. Michael Carr

Celtic are currently on a twelve league game unbeaten run, taking in eight wins and four draws. We are unbeaten home and away since mid-August. Another win would put us either fourth or fifth depending on how Fleetwood fare against Farsley. The automated prediction algorithm is suggesting a 2-1 win for Celtic, which would be ideal; we would be well placed in the play offs, with games in hand, and have clawed back three more points on Southport.
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