On Saturday, Celtic are back in League action when we travel to the New Bucks Head to face AFC Telford. Telford are currently bottom of the league on five points, after one win and two draws; they are thirteen places and thirteen points behind Celtic. There will be a match centre for this game.
Telford have not had the best start to a season ever, and apart from a single home win over next bottom, Brackley Town, they have had nine losses so far this season, though they have managed two draws, one in their opening home game of the season which was a goalless game against Curzon, and the other their most recent home game, a 1-1 over Celtic's next FA Cup opponents, North Ferriby United. They have scored in just three games, getting a total of four goals, and only have one goal away from home (a 2-1 loss at Tamworth). Their leading goal scorer is Sean Clancy with two. Telford have kept two clean sheets this season, their 0-0 draw and their 2-0 win, and have conceded seventeen goals. Five of those goals came in the opening fifteen minutes, suggesting that hitting them early pays dividends.
All the stats this season are pointing to a win for Celtic, but, Telford have a reasonable record against us. They have beaten us home and away in the last two seasons we faced them before their promotion in 2014, and we only managed one goal through all four of those games. Our last win was in 2010 when we beat them away from home 1-0, even though we didn't score – it was an own goal. In November 2009, we also won at the Bucks Head, when we put Telford out of the Trophy in a replay match, winning 2-1 with goals from Keith Briggs and Joe O'Neil cancelling out a first minute opener. In fourteen visits since 1990, we have won four and lost seven. They have also beaten us five times at Bower Fold.
Telford are running a free under sixteens ticket offer as part of their Spirit of 04 day on Saturday (click here for details).
Telford should have a full squad to choose from, including former Celtic midfield wizard Jack Rea, and in their last match the 1-0 away defeat to Boston United, lined up as:
1. James Montgomery
2. Graham Hutchison
3. Darren Campion
4. Robert Paratore
5. Paul McCone
6. Curtis Tilt
7. Josh Ashby
8. Jack Rea
9. David Hibbert
10. Connor McCarthy
11. Kyle Brownhill
Liam Watson is no stranger to the New Bucks Head, having managed Telford, and he will be looking to maintain Celtic's excellent start to the season. We have not lost away from home in the last four away games, we've scored in all but one game, the travesty that was the home match against Chorley. Danny Wisdom and Alex Mudimu continue to edge towards full fitness, and Celtic have cleared all their suspensions now. In our last match, the 2-0 home win over Chasetown in the FA Cup, Celtic lined up as:
1. Tony McMillan
2. Oliver Crowley
3. John Shaw
4. Matty Hughes
5. Jack Higgins
6. Aaron Chalmers
7. Bohan Dixon
8. Dale Wright
9. Alex Johnson
10. Steve Tames
11. Adam Farrell
There is a full program on this weekend, with Worcester playing on Sunday. A win for Celtic could (and say this quietly) lift us into the top spots, depending on how other games go, though it may only be for a day anyway, when Nuneaton travel to Worcester. Games this weekend:
Boston United (19pts 8th) v Alfreton Town (16pts 11th)
Brackley Town (10pts 21st) v Gainsborough Trinity (15pts 13th)
Bradford Park Avenue (11pts 18th) v Gloucester City (11pts 20th)
Chorley (17pts 10th) v Hednesford Town (16pts 12th)
Corby Town (11pts 19th) v AFC Fylde (26pts 2nd)
Curzon Ashton (14pts 14th) v Stockport County (22pts 4th)
Lowestoft Town (12pts 17th) v Harrogate Town (23pts 3rd)
North Ferriby United (19pts 6th) v FC United of Manchester (14pts 12th)
Tamworth (19pts 7th) v Solihull Moors (27pts 1st)
Worcester City (12pts 16th) v Nuneaton Town (21pts 5th)
From the M67 join the M60 towards Stockport.
After 7 miles, leave the M60 at Junction 4 (Chester, M6) to join the M56 Stay on the M56 for 7 miles, coming off at junction 7 (Northwich, M6) to join the A556.
The roundabout can be avoided by using the slip road.
Stay on the A556 for 5 miles to the roundabout with the M6.
Join the M6 southbound (Birmingham) avoiding the roundabout by using the slip road.
Stay on the M6 for 52 miles, coming off at junction 11 (Wolverhampton).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road turn right (exit 4 of 5) onto the A460.
Stay on the A460 for 2 miles to the junction with the M54.
At the roundabout with the M54, turn right (exit 3 of 4) to join the M54 towards Telford.
Stay on the M54 for 17 miles to junction 6 (Telford West).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road turn right (exit 3 of 4) onto the A518 (you will go down a hill and past Tesco).
Almost immediately, there is a roundabout.
Go straight across (exit 2 of 3) to stay on the A518.
Almost immediately, there is a roundabout.
Go straight ahead (exit 2 of 4) to stay on the A518, following the signs for Whitchurch A442.
After 300 yards, there is a roundabout dominated by Furrows Ford garage.
Turn left (exit 1 of 5) onto Haybridge Road.
As you cross over a railway bridge, there is parking for the ground on your left (in Telford college of technology).
The ground is opposite the college.