Match Preview :- Ilkeston Town - Saturday December 5th, 2009 (15:00:00)
Celtic finally get back to league action on Saturday after over a month without a single league game when ninth placed Ilkeston Town visit for the Conference North clash in their first competitive visit to Bower Fold. Celtic have now played the least number of games in the Blue Square North but still sit one place above Ilkeston despite having three games in hand. The two teams are level on twenty-eight points, but Celtic have a superior goal difference.

Ilkeston have the meanest defence in the league, having conceded just eighteen goals this campaign, which is just a goal per game, and hold the record for the longest run this season without conceding standing at five games. They have also converted the most number of penalties this season, with six spot kicks converted. Ilkeston have conceded just four goals in the first half of their games this season, and their most vulnerable point is the middle of the second half, where they have conceded six of their eighteen conceded goals this season. Their most dangerous period is also the second half, but just after half time when they have scored eight of their twenty-six goals this campaign. Ten of their goals have come from Amari Morgan-Smith, who is head and shoulders above his nearest rivals, Gary Ricketts and Sam Duncum, who both have four.

Ilkeston score an average of 1.1 goals per game away from home (1.4 overall) and concede 0.9 away from home (one overall). They have kept four clean sheets on the road, and seven overall, whilst they have failed to score in five away games, and only once at home. In their last ten games, they have beaten Solihull, Vauxhall, Blyth and Harrogate, who are all bottom half teams, though they did earn a very creditable draw away at Southport, coming away 1-1, after beating Southport earlier in the season in Ilkeston. Though they have only lost four times this season, three of those four have been in their last ten games, with their points coming from three wins and three draws.

Ilkeston do not have any suspension worries ahead of the match, and in their last game, the 1-0 defeat of Harrogate at Harrogate, they lined up as:
1. Dan Lowson
2. Aaron Mitchell
3. Tom Bonner
4. Dan Holmes
5. Charlie O'Loughlin
6. Luk Waterfall
7. Rory Prendergast
8. Paul Dempsey
9. Gary Ricketts
10. Amari Morgan-Smith
11. Sam Duncum

Celtic will be without Barrie Keeling, who is on loan at Radcliffe Borough, but are also suspension free. In our last match, the 2-1 away win over AFC Telford United in the FA Trophy, we lined up as:
1. David 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

The automated prediction algorithm is suggestion a 2-1 win Celtic to keep up their eleven game unbeaten league run going. Despite falling behind due to lack of games, Celtic are still in touch with top spot, and should we win our games in hand, would go top. A loss would see us drop a place in the table, whilst a win could move us up to 6th.

Other games this Saturday:
AFC Telford (25pts 10th) v Fleetwood Town (32pts 5th)
Alfreton Town (31pts 6th) v Hyde United (18pts 17th)
Droylsden (34pts 2nd) v Hinckley United (33pts 4th)
Eastwood Town (34pts 3rd) v Harrogate Town (13pts 22nd)
Farsley Celtic (19pts 14th) v Redditch United (18pts 18th)
Gloucester City (21pts 12th) v Northwich Victoria (16pts 19th)
Southport (42pts 1st) v Solihull Moors (19pts 15th)
Stafford Rangers (19pts 16th) v Blyth Spartans (20pts 13th)
Vauxhall Motors (13pts 21st) v Corby Town (31pts 7th)
Workington (23pts 11th) v Gainsborough Trinity (16pts 20th)
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