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Match Preview :- Altrincham - Saturday March 18th, 2017 (15:00:00)

On Saturday, Celtic go to Altrincham (kick off 3pm). Altrincham are currently bottom in the league on sixteen points, one place and two points behind Celtic having played three games more. There will be a match centre and Twitter feed for this game.

Altrincham have been in the bottom three for most of the season, occupying the bottom spot since November. Between the start of the season and the end of February, Altrincham won one match – beating us at Bower Fold. In their last five matches, though they have won two and drawn one, beating Boston away (1-0) and Worcester City at home (2-0). That Worcester win is their only win at home all season, though they have also picked up three draws. The Boston win was their most recent game and lifted them off the bottom for a few days, until Celtic's win on Tuesday. They have had twelve losses at home, more than any other team – including Celtic!

Altrincham usually start brightly and a third of their goals have come in the opening quarter of an hour. Their top scorer is James Lawrie, who has seven. They have scored twenty-nine goals this season (fifteen at home), at a rate of 0.9 per game, whilst they have conceded seventy-two goals (thirty-five at home) at a rate of 2.2 goals per game. Only Alfreton have conceded more. They have kept four clean sheets (two at home) and failed to score fifteen times (eight times at home).

We have played Altrincham a lot over the years. The most recent match was the 2-0 loss at home to them earlier in the season. Our last visit to Moss Lane was in March 2014 when we went out of the Cheshire Senior cup there, losing 2-1, with Sean McConville getting Celtic's goal. They'd already beaten us 5-0 home and away at that season. The last time we beat Altrincham was October 2011, when we won 5-1 at home. The last time we won at Moss Lane was a 2-0 win back in 2003 in the Cheshire Senior Cup! The Celtic website records do not go back far enough to see the last time we won in the league over Altrincham at Moss Lane. In our last twenty visits, Celtic have only won twice at Moss Lane (the other was the Trophy), whilst Altrincham have won twelve times.

Altrincham have former Celts Andy Owen, Chris Lycnh, Andy McWilliams, Tom Hannigan and Craig Hobson in their squad, though the last two have been missing of late through injury. In their last match, the 1-0 away win over Boston, Altrincham lined up as:
1. Stuart Tomlinson
2. Chris Lynch
3. Andy McWilliams
4. Laurence Taylor
5. Sam Heathcote
6. John Cyrus
7. Elliott Newby
8. Gary Jones
9. Simon Richman
10. James Lawrie
11. Nicky Clee

Celtic's last match was the important 4-3 home win over Bradford Park Avenue on Tuesday. In that match, Celtic lined up as:
1. Grant Shenton
2. Danny Morton
3. Danny Wisdom
4. Matty Hughes
5. Matt Regan
6. Aaron Chalmers
7. Kieran Dunbar
8. Gary Gee
9. James Roberts
10. Danny Wilkins
11. Danny Pilkington

Celtic will need to do something that they've not done in at least thirty years – beat Altrincham at Moss Lane if they are to continue their momentum. Altrincham, too, will be out for a win, with both teams having won their most recent match. A win for Celtic, with other results going our way (Tamworth beating Gainsborough and Boston beating Worcester), Celtic will be nine points behind Worcester and Gainsborough, with three games in hand…however, Celtic's goal difference is twenty-seven worse than Worcester and twelve worse than Bradford, so we would need another win or draw on a day when they fail to pick up points. It's not impossible!

Listen to Steve Burr's thoughts ahead of the game here.

Other matches this weekend:
AFC Fylde (73pts 1st) v Kidderminster Harriers (62pts 3rd)
AFC Telford (34pts 16th) v Bradford Park Avenue (31pts 18th)
Alfreton Town (34pts 17th) v FC United of Manchester (43pts 12th)
Curzon Ashton (41pts 13th) v Nuneaton Town (39pts 14th)
Darlington (57pts 7th) v Brackley Town (52pts 9th)
FC Halifax Town (58pts 5th) v Gloucester City (50pts 11th)
Harrogate Town (51pts 10th) v Chorley (62pts 4th)
Salford City (62pts 2nd) v Stockport County (58pts 6th)
Tamworth (53pts 8th) v Gainsborough Trinity (30pts 20th)
Worcester City (30pts 19th) v Boston United (36pts 15th)

Distance: 20
Time: 35 minutes

M60 to the M56 Sharston Exit (Junction 4), first exit onto A556 to Altrincham (Junction 2).
Follow signs to Altrincham staying on the A556.
You will reach a set of traffic lights with a Shell garage on the right, and a lacrosse/cricket club on the left.
Go straight through these lights to the next set just past the golf course on the left.
At these lights, turn left onto Stockport Road.
Follow this road all the way to the Tesco at the end, and turn left onto Moss Lane.
The ground is approximately half a mile along this road, find somewhere to park as soon as you see the ground, as it gets packed quickly.

Main club sponsor
Dream Bi-Folding Doors Official Shirt Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Warm-up Kit Sponsor
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Site Sponsor
MG Domestic - Official Site Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Hospitality Providers
Bower Fold Events - hospitality providers