On Saturday Celtic travel in the regional section of the FA Cup to County Durham to face Shildon AFC. Shildon are currently eighth in the Northern Premier League on seventeen points. There will be a match centre for this game.
Shildon's position is a little artificial, with their success in the FA Cup this year, they have played only nine games, to the league leaders, Bedlington Terriers's thirteen games. In the league, Shildon have won five of their nine games, and drawn two. Their home record is very good, they have yet to lose at home. Morpeth Town and Whitby Town have held them to draws, the former in the league, the latter in the FA Cup.
Shildon's FA Cup exploits this year saw them start back in mid-August when they thumped Crook Town 7-0 in the Extra Preliminary Round, before beating Padiham 1-0 away from home in the Preliminary Round, and getting a big tie at Whitby Town in the First Qualifier. Shildon were at home, but Whitby drew with them 1-1, taking Shildon back to Whitby on a Wednesday night. Anyone who thought this meant Whitby in the next round were wrong, as Shildon won the tie 2-1.
Shildon have continued their good form, and beat Whickham in the League Cup 4-1, although they did lose away at West Auckland Town in the league last Saturday.
Shildon have only failed to score once this season, away at Guisborough, and have kept three clean sheets, the last one away from home in the FA Cup against Padiham.
In Shildon's last match the 4-1 home win over Whickham in the League Cup, Shildon lined up as:
1. Kyle Hayes
2. Darren Craddock
3. Carl Jones
4. John Brackstone
5. Sam Hodgson
6. Chris Emms
7. Lee Paul Scroggins
8. Billy Greulich-Smith
9. Ben Wood
10. Michael Rae
11. Daniel Moore
In Celtic's last match, the 2-1 away defeat at Gainsborough Trinity, Celtic lined up as:
1. Lewis King
2. Kelvin Bleau
3. Nathan Heath
4. Matty Hughes
5. Matt Regan
6. Sam Staunton-Turner
7. Wade Joyce
8. James Cadman
9. Ben McKenna
10. Charlie Ennis
11. Liam Dickinson
On paper, with the difference in the respective leagues, Celtic should win this one, but as Whitby found out, it's all about the day, and Shildon are unbeaten at home this season. Their danger man is Michael Rae, who has played at a higher level, and has scored five goals in seven appearances, including their last match. He is partnered up front by Ben Wood, who has twenty-three goals in his fifty-nine appearances.
It's a long journey for this stage of the FA Cup, but hopefully, Celtic can inflict Shildon's first home defeat of the season.
Take the M62 towards Leeds for 75 miles from junction 18 to junction 29 and join the M1 north bound.
Stay on the M1 for 7 miles to the A1(M).
Stay on the A1 for 7 miles to junction 58.
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, take the first exit onto the A68 (West Auckland Road).
After one and half miles, at the roundabout take the second exit onto the A6072 (Coatsay Moor Lane).
After 4 miles at the roundabout, take the second exit onto the B6282.
At the next immediate roundabout take the first exit onto Byerley Road.
After half a mile, at the roundabout, take the second exit onto Main Street.
After a few hundred yards, turn left onto Dean Street and the club is at the end.