Match Preview :- Harrogate Town - Saturday January 11th, 2014 (15:00:00)

On Saturday, Celtic travel to Yorkshire to face Harrogate Town. Harrogate are currently ninth in the table, on thirty-three points, eight places and seven points ahead of Celtic with two games in hand and a three point deduction. There will be a live match centre for this game.

Between the end of October and the start of December, Harrogate ended a run of four straight losses, including a 2-3 defeat at Bower Fold, with seven wins interrupted by a loss away at Solihull Moors. This lifted them to sixth in the table, but since their 1-0 loss away at Worcester City on December 21st, Harrogate have picked up just one point, a 2-2 draw at home to Telford. This is due in part to a poor away form that has seen them win three out of eleven matches, though their home form remains strong with three losses in twelve. Brackley, Histon and (most recently) Guiseley are the only teams to beat them at Wetherby Road this season.

Their top scorer this season is Liam Hardy with seven, but goals are coming from all over the park with fifteen different scorers, and Hardy is being challenged for the Golden Boot by both Ashley Worsfold and Michael Woods both on six. Former Celt, Chris Hall is on four. Harrogate are fairly strong defensively, but the last twenty minutes have seen nearly half of their conceded thirty one goals being netted. Harrogate have kept five clean sheets this season, three of which were at home, but the most recent one was at the start of November when they kept Worcester out finishing the game 2-0. Only Histon and Brackley have shut out Harrogate at home, with Harrogate scoring in every other home match.

Our last five visits have seen Celtic win two, draw two and lose one, most recently a goalless draw in April when Harrogate lost their keeper early on to a handball outside the box, and then effectively shutting up shop for the remainder of the game. In all meetings, Harrogate do have the upper hand, with six wins and three draws out of the last thirteen visits by Celtic to Wetherby Road, and given the relative forms of the two teams (Celtic third bottom, and Harrogate mid table) the hosts are naturally the bookies' favourites.

Harrogate will be without Adam Bolder through suspension, whilst Leigh Franks, Dominic Rowe and Michael Woods will be out through injury, and Ashley Worsfold and Stephen Warnock will both be assessed ahead of the match. In their last match, the 2-2 draw at home to AFC Telford, Harrogate lined up as:
1. Craig McGillivray
2. Dwayne Samuels
3. Dave Merris
4. Anton Brown
5. Matt Heath
6. Shane Killock
7. Steve Mallory
8. Adam Nowakowski
9. Chris Hall
10. Liam Hardy
11. Cleveland Taylor

Celtic were missing Obi Anorou in the last home match against Barrow, due to a foot injury, but should have a full squad otherwise for the trip to Harrogate. In the Barrow match, that finished 3-1 to Barrow, Celtic lined up as:
1. Dave Stevenson
2. Kelvin Bleau
3. Alec Mudimu
4. James Tunnicliffe
5. Joel Bembo-Leta
6. Kristian Platt
7. Adam Parkhouse
8. Keith Briggs
9. Conal Platt
10. Sean McConville
11. Callum Warburton

There is nearly a full programme on Saturday, with a couple of games off due to cup involvement of Guiseley and North Ferriby. The games that are going ahead are:
Altrincham (43pts 3rd) v AFC Telford (45pts 2nd)
Brackley Town (38pts 7th) v Gainsborough Trinity (27pts 15th)
Colwyn Bay (36pts 8th) v Oxford City (22pts 18th)
Gloucester City (19pts 20th) v Bradford Park Avenue (28pts 13th)
Hednesford Town (40pts 6th) v Boston United (40pts 5th)
Histon (27pts 14th) v Worcester City (17pts 21st)
Solihull Moors (42pts 4th) v Leamington FC (30pts 11th)
Stockport County (26pts 16th) v Vauxhall Motors (29pts 12th)

A win for Celtic could lift us to thirteenth and provide a much needed confidence boost, whilst a loss could see teams make up ground, but not overtake us.

Distance: 68
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Head up the M60 towards Oldham.
At junction 18 join the M62 towards Leeds.
After 35 miles you will reach junction 29 (M1).
Join the M1 going north.
Stay on the M1 for 7 miles to the end where it joins the A1 going north.
Stay on the A1 for 5 miles to the junction with the A661 (Wetherby).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road go straight across (exit 2 of 4) to stay on the A661.
After 400 yards there is a set of lights.
Turn left here to stay on the A661 (signposted Harrogate).
The road is called Market Place.
After approximately 6 miles there is a roundabout with the A658.
Go straight across (exit 2 of 4) to stay on the A661.
After a further 2 miles, the ground is on the right, just after a pedestrian crossing.
Parking is available on Lancaster Park Road just past the ground on the right.