On Saturday, Celtic travel to Nuneaton for another vital game in the campaign to retain our Conference North place. Nuneaton are currently nine points and three places above Celtic in eighteenth on nineteen points. Kick-off is 3pm, there will be a match centre for this game.
Nuneaton have won four matches this season, scoring four goals in three of them, and three in the other. They have beaten us 4-0, Altrincham 4-1, Worcester 3-2 and, most recently, Alfreton 4-1. Their last home defeat was four games ago, when Curzon Ashton beat them 1-0. Their recent home win over Alfreton was their first win in eight games, though they have had three draws. In their ten home games this season, they have won two and lost four, drawing four. With three wins, two draws and a loss, September was their best month that raised them to thirteenth in the table. Since then, four losses, three draws and a win have seen them drop back towards the bottom three.
Nuneaton’s top scorer is Joe Ironside who has nine league goals, though Aaron Williams is right behind him on seven. They score an average of 1.5 goals per game and concede 1.6 goals per game (1.4 at home). They have never kept a clean sheet at home, and have failed to score three times on their own ground. If losing at half time, they have never gone onto win, losing three and drawing two.
Celtic’s last win over Nuneaton, in Nuneaton, was back in August 2013, when we won 2-1, with Phil Marsh scoring at the end of each half, securing the win with a late penalty after Nuneaton had thought they’d secured a point with Lee Smith’s late equaliser. Celtic’s last visit was in September 2015 when we drew 3-3 with goals from Aidan Chippendale, Alex Johnson and Darius Osei all scoring in the second half to cancel out Nuneaton’s three goal half time lead. In our last nine visits, we have won twice, lost five and drawn twice.
Nuneaton’s last match was a 3-1 home win in the FA Trophy over Stocksbridge Park Steels, the team that beat us a few days earlier. In that match, Nuneaton lined up as:
1. Christian Dibble
2. Exodus Geohaghan
3. Daragh Leahy
4. David Morgan
5. Kelvin Langmead
6. Greg Tempest
7. James Clifton
8. Tom Elliott
9. Joe Ironside
10. Reece Styce
11. Jordan Nicholson
Celtic’s last match was the moral boosting 1-0 home win over Curzon Ashton in the Manchester Cup. In that match Celtic lined up as:
1. Paul Phillips
2. Danny Morton
3. Adam Mather
4. Keil O’Brien
5. Daniel Hall
6. Aaron Chalmers
7. Kieran Dunbar
8. Gary Gee
9. Danny Wilkins
10. Florian Da Silva
11. Adam Morning
Aidan Chippendale and picked up a knock prior against Stocksbridge and was rested against Curzon, but should be fit again for Saturday. Matty Hughes and Scott Spencer may also be fit again and will have a fitness test ahead of the match; whilst Nick Ryan, Jay Gorton and Danny Wisdom are all still on the recovery table. It may be that Liam Dickinson is once again drafted in to the defence to partner Keil O’Brien.
A win or draw for Celtic would not see us move from our current second bottom spot, but a loss could put us bottom if Altrincham beat Stockport in Stockport. Other matches this weekend:
Alfreton Town (20pts 16th) v Salford City (34pts 6th)
Bradford Park Avenue (16pts 20th) v Brackley Town (33pts 8th)
Chorley (40pts 3rd) v Tamworth (39pts 4th)
Curzon Ashton (20pts 17th) v Harrogate Town (31pts 10th)
FC Halifax Town (33pts 7th) v AFC Telford (21pts 14th)
FC United of Manchester (26pts 12th) v Boston United (21pts 15th)
Gainsborough Trinity (19pts 19th) v Worcester City (22pts 13th)
Gloucester City (30pts 11th) v AFC Fylde (47pts 1st)
Kidderminster Harriers (40pts 2nd) v Darlington (38pts 5th)
Stockport County (32pts 9th) v Altrincham (7pts 22nd)
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 84 miles to junction 3 (Bedworth).
The M6 Toll can be used to cut out Birmingham if desired.
At the roundabout at he end of the slip road turn left (exit 2 of 5) onto the A444.
Stay on the A444 for 5 miles to a roundabout with the A4254 (Avenue Road).
Stay on the A5254 for half a mile across a roundabout.
Turn left onto Townsend Drive.
After half a mile, turn right onto Liberty Way.