On Saturday, Celtic face Worcester City (kick off 3pm). Please note, the venue is Altrincham FC’s Moss Lane ground due to the waterlogged Bower Fold pitch. Worcester are eleven points and two places above Celtic in nineteenth on thirty points. There will be a match centre and Twitter feed for this game.
Worcester are one of two teams Celtic can catch with our games in hand, making a win in this game vital. They have not won a game since the start of November, and have lost their last two games (both at home) to Brackley and Boston. Their last away match was a 1-1 draw with Nuneaton Town. They have won twice this season on the road, beating Brackley (2-0) and Bradford (3-0), both of those games were in September during their best spell that saw them lose just two in nine matches, and win six. Since then, they have gone eighteen games without a win, which is a league record this season.
Worcester finish games strongly, scoring seventeen of their thirty-nine goals in the last fifteen minutes. On average they score 0.7 goals per game away from home, which is eleven goals. Out of the fifty-four they have conceded, half were away at a rate of 1.6 goals per game. They have kept four clean sheets on the road, and failed to score eleven times. Their top scorer this season is Lee Hughes, who has eleven goals, with Colby Bishop the closest rival for the golden boot at eight.
Worcester have won the last two games over us, both of them away. One earlier this season, the other in February when they won 5-0. Their last visit to Bower Fold saw Celtic win 3-1 (Jack Higgins with a brace and Chris Simm with the third); that said this game is at Altrincham’s ground, a ground they lost at earlier this month when Altrincham beat them 2-0. Worcester’s last win at Moss Lane was in January 2014, when they won 2-1, the same season they beat us 2-0 at Bower Fold. In four visits, this was their only win. In their eleven visits to us, they have won five, including beating us 1-0 in the Trophy back in 2000.
In their last match, the 2-1 defeat at home to Brackley, Worcester lined up as:
1. Nathan Vaughan
2. Andy Gallinagh
3. Tyler Weir
4. Tom Sharpe
5. Graham Hutchinson
6. Tom Rose
7. Ebby Nelson-Addy
8. Jordan Keane
9. Junior English
10. Pa Suley Njie
11. Cieron Keane
Celtic’s last match was the goalless draw, ironically at Moss Lane, against Altrincham. 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. Keano Deacon
11. Danny Pilkington
Celtic will need to do something that they’ve not done in at least sixty years: win a league game at Moss Lane. Our future is currently in our own hands. We are eleven points behind the two teams above us (Gainsborough and Worcester) with four games in hand. This makes Saturday’s game doubly important. Not only is it a six pointer, it prevents Worcester from getting away from us. As well as loaning us their ground on short notice, Altrincham could do us another favour this weekend by beating Bradford Park Avenue, taking us to within eleven points of them, should we beat Worcester. Other games to watch are Gainsborough hosting Darlington, should we and Darlington win, we will be eight points behind Gainsborough and still have four games in hand – the same as where we would be against Worcester. It all comes down to beating Worcester.
Other matches this weekend:
Boston United (39pts 16th) v Salford City (64pts 3rd)
Brackley Town (55pts 9th) v AFC Telford (34pts 17th)
Bradford Park Avenue (34pts 18th) v Altrincham (17pts 22nd)
Chorley (63pts 4th) v Curzon Ashton (44pts 12th)
FC United of Manchester (43pts 13th) v FC Halifax Town (61pts 5th)
Gainsborough Trinity (35pts 20th) v Darlington (60pts 6th)
Gloucester City (53pts 11th) v Alfreton Town (40pts 15th)
Kidderminster Harriers (66pts 2nd) v Harrogate Town (54pts 10th)
Nuneaton Town (42pts 14th) v AFC Fylde (75pts 1st)
Stockport County (60pts 7th) v Tamworth (56pts 8th)
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.