On Saturday Celtic travel to AFC Telford United for the Conference North match (Kick off 3pm). Telford are currently fifth in the table, on forty-eight points, three points (with an inferior goal difference to Celtic) and three places ahead of Celtic having played five games more. This is a chance for Celtic to get into the play-off spots, replacing Telford. Brian is running a coach to this game, however due to family commitments there will be no match centre for this game. Telford games are sometimes broadcast on BBC Radio Shropshire, check their web site on the day.
Telford have been in the top half of the table all season, dipping to a low point of eleventh after failing to win five games on the trot, despite a good start that saw them reach fifth after eight games. It has taken since that dip of form to get back into the play-off spots. A recent second dip in form has seen them take three points from fifteen, and fail to win in the last five games. After a run of five games that saw them beat Vauxhall (home) and Droylsden (away) 5-1, Harrogate (away) and Redditch (home) 3-0 and draw with Gainsborough at home 2-2, they have lost to Northwich (0-2) and Blyth (4-0) both away from home before drawing 0-0 with Solihull at home and 1-1 with both Hyde (away) and Eastwood (at home).
We have already played Telford three times this season, losing 3-0 back at the start of the season in the league, then drawing at home in the FA Trophy before going to Telford and winning 2-1 in the replay. That win in the Trophy was Celtic?s first win in Telford since 1996, when we won 1-0. In the league, that 1-0 was Celtic?s last victory over Telford after ten games unbeaten by the Shropshire outfit running from 1992 to 1997. We have played eleven games at Telford, won four, drawn five and lost twice. Those two losses being our last two league visits; prior to that, we have mainly drawn.
Andy Brown and Phil Trainer are battling it out for Telford?s Golden Boot with eight and seven goals respectively. Most of the action with Telford happens in the final fifteen minutes, with fifteen of their forty-two scored goals and twelve of their forty-two conceded goals coming in this period, making it their most vulnerable and most dangerous period. On average, they score 1.4 goals per game at home (1.3 overall) and concede 0.9 goals per game at home (1.3 overall). Telford have kept eleven clean sheets (six coming at home) this season and failed to score eleven times (four at home). They hold the current season record for the most number of consecutive clean sheets, at four. Their best home result was the 5-1 win over Vauxhall, and only three times have beaten them at home this season, Southport, Droylsden and Northwich.
Telford will be without Sean Evans for the match, as he is serving a four match ban. Lee Vaughan?s ban for a sending off does not start until the following week, so he will be available. They do not appear to have any injuries and in their last match, the 1-1 home draw with Eastwood Town, Telford lined up as:
1. Ryan Young
2. Lee Vaughan
3. Sean Newton
4. Shane Killock
5. Adam Dugdale
6. Liam Blakeman
7. Kevin O'Connor
8. Carl Rodgers
9. Mark Beesley
10. Andy Brown
11. Phil Trainer
Celtic were without Warren Peyton, Andy Smart and Richard Battersby, and Joe O?Neill was rested, for their last match, the 4-2 home defeat to Hyde United, though all three trained. New signing, defender, Tim Ryan will also be available for selection on Saturday. In the Hyde match, Celtic lined up as:
1. Dave Carnell
2. Graeme Law
3. Danny Adams
4. Steve Woods
5. Michael Twiss
6. John Hardiker
7. Dave Hankin
8. Keith Briggs
9. Connor Jennings
10. Jody Banim
11. Matty Barlow
The automated prediction algorithm is suggesting a rather surprising 3-1 win for Celtic on Saturday, with Telford drawing three of their last four home matches, while Celtic have won two of their last five away matches, the two wins the most recent matches. Celtic are top of the away form chart again, with six wins and one draw over the last ten, the same record as Fleetwood, but with two wins more recently. With Droylsden and Eastwood both having tricky ties, this really is a great chance for Celtic to get back into the top five.
Other games on Saturday:
Alfreton Town (51pts 3rd) v Blyth Spartans (38pts 14th)
Corby Town (41pts 10th) v Hyde United (34pts 18th)
Eastwood Town (47pts 7th) v Workington (41pts 11th)
Gainsborough Trinity (34pts 16th) v Redditch United (34pts 17th)
Harrogate Town (22pts 21st) v Fleetwood Town (66pts 1st)
Hinckley United (49pts 4th) v Gloucester City (31pts 19th)
Solihull Moors (39pts 13th) v Northwich Victoria (40pts 12th)
Southport (66pts 2nd) v Droylsden (47pts 6th)
Stafford Rangers (35pts 15th) v Ilkeston Town (41pts 9th)