On Tuesday, Celtic have their thrice re-arranged match against Harrogate Town at Bower Fold, kick off 7:45pm. Harrogate are currently eight places and sixteen points ahead of Celtic, in fourth on fifty-two points. There will be a match centre for this game.
Harrogate have been in and around the top five all season, because they are winning most of their games. They have won nine games on the road, lost four and drawn only once. In their last five games they have won four and lost one: away at FC United, a game that finished 4-3, so they can be beaten. However, with their last game being an away win over North Ferriby, they are definitely favourites for Tuesday night’s match. They ran rampant over league leaders, Solihull Moors, with a 6-0 win at Wetherby Road.
Harrogate’s top scorer this season is Brendon Daniels, whose twelve goals make him joint seventh in the overall goal-scorers’ chart. On average they are scoring 1.9 goals per game and conceding 1.1 goals per game away from home (1.3 overall). They have kept five clean sheets on the road, and nine overall, failing to score only twice on the road and four in total. Twenty-six of their fifty-one goals have come on the road, whilst sixteen of their conceded thirty-four have come away. At half time, so far this season, they have never been losing at half time. They currently hold the longest scoring streak in the league, with sixteen games, stretching back to the start of October. The last time they failed to score was in September, at home to Nuneaton. They have the second best attack in the league, just behind North Ferriby, but only just scrape into the top ten defences.
Our history with Harrogate goes back a long way, but in their last three visits, Celtic have one all three, which given the relative finishing positions of the two teams over the last three seasons, is remarkable. Harrogate’s last win at Bower Fold, was a 1-0 game back in August 2010. Celtic’s last win was last season in April, when we won 2-1, Aidan Chippendale’s match winner going a long way to saving Celtic’s season after a penalty wiped out Michael Powell’s opener. Since 2000, Harrogate have won five of the encounters at Bower Fold, and Celtic have won nine. We’ve never had a draw here with them.
Harrogate will be without James Cadman and Paul Thirwell, both due to injury, and Louie Swain, who is serving the second game of his three match suspension. In their last league match, the 1-0 away win at North Ferriby, Harrogate lined up as:
1. Peter Crook
2. Lewis Turner
3. Mason Warren
4. Warren Burrell
5. Danny Ellis
6. Nathan Brown
7. Jack Emmett
8. Lloyd Kerry
9. Paul Clayton
10. Jordan Thewliss
11. Brendon Daniels
Celtic should have a full squad to choose from, and are on a bit of a run of their own, with no league goals conceded in the last three matches, and three wins in all competitions on the bounce. In our last match, the 3-0 win away at top-five team, Boston, Celtic lined up as:
1. Tony McMillan
2. Peter Wylie
3. Danny Wisdom
4. Matty Hughes
5. Jack Higgins
6. Dale Wright
7. Bohan Dixon
8. Alex Mudimu
9. Chris Simm
10. Steve Tames
11. Adam Farrell
A win for Celtic would only move us up one place (should Curzon also lose away at Tamworth), two if there are some remarkable score-lines, due to Celtic’s -5 goal difference. Only Gloucester are within striking distance should we lose, and they beat Chorley.
Other midweek games this week (BPA is on Wednesday):
Chorley (39pts 10th) v Gloucester City (36pts 13th)
Hednesford Town (26pts 20th) v North Ferriby United (52pts 2nd)
Lowestoft Town (26pts 22nd) v AFC Fylde (52pts 3rd)
Tamworth (39pts 9th) v Curzon Ashton (38pts 11th)
Bradford Park Avenue (30pts 17th) v FC United of Manchester(32pts 15th)