On Saturday, Celtic visit newly promoted Basford United (kick off 3pm). Basford finished top of the Evostik Division One South last season, cantering to first place on a hundred points, fifteen points clear of second placed Alvechurch. They have adapted well to life in the Premier and currently sit third in the table, one point and four places above Celtic. There will be a match centre and Twitter feed for this game.
Last season, Basford won thirty-one of their forty-two games, never losing a single home game, drawing only four. They had the second best attack with only Frickley scoring more and the second best defence, with only Stamford conceding fewer. This season, after losing their first home game 2-1 to Hednesford Town, Basford have gone on to win all their subsequent home games, scoring twenty-one goals in the process, giving them the best home attack in the league. Away, it's a different matter, with a 4-1 win over Marine being their only away win. They haven't won since their last home game, drawing 1-1 away at second-bottom club Lancaster and, most recently, losing 3-2 away at Gainsborough.
Nathan Watson is currently the top scorer of both Basford and the league, with nine goals. He has scored nearly a third of all Basford's goals this season. Matthew Thornhill and Kole Lambert are already trailing some distance behind on four each. On average, Basford have been scoring 3.1 goals per game at home (2.2 overall), keeping both their clean sheets at home, and scoring in every home match. They have conceded just nine goals at home, from twenty-two overall, at a rate of 1.3 goals per game (1.6 overall). They have the league's top attack, five clear of Scarborough, but have conceded more than any other team in the top half of the table, with the fifth worst defence.
We've never been to Basford, with this being the first meeting of the two teams.
In Basford's most recent match, the 3-2 away defeat to Gainsborough, they lined up as:
1. Kieran Preston
2. Liam Bateman
3. Kieran Fenton
4. Matt Thornhill
5. Dominic Roma
6. Deon Meilke
7. Jack Thomas
8. Greg Tempest
9. Nathan Watson
10. Courey Grantham
11. James Reid
In Celtic's last match, the 3-2 home defeat by Scarborough, Celtic lined up as:
1. James Aspinall
2. Niall Flint
3. Scott Wilson
4. Liam Tongue
5. Danny Brady
6. Michael Clarke
7. Scott Bakkor
8. Ross Dent
9. Neil Kengni
10. Matthew Wolfenden
11. George Hughes
James Caton remains an unlikely starter after straining a hamstring in the opening half hour against North Ferriby, whilst Tom Brown is still a few weeks away with his hamstring as is Jake Turner with his wrist. Greg Wilkinson came through his cameo against Scarborough, whilst Chris Sharp and Glenn Rule should both be fit for Saturday's encounter. Josh Solomon-Davies will have to be assessed to see if he is now fit to play, after struggling through against North Ferriby.
Celtic could theoretically go third with a win over Basford, notching our second away win of the season and Basford's second home defeat, whilst a draw could see us go fourth, and a loss could see us drop a couple of places.
|Home win||Matlock Town||6-0||Mon 10th Sep|
|Away win||Marine||1-4||Sat 25th Aug|
|Home defeat||Hednesford Town||1-2||Mon 20th Aug|
|Away defeat||Stafford Rangers||3-1||Tue 25th Sep|
|Home score||Farsley Celtic||4-3||Sat 1st Sep|
|Away score||Gainsborough Trinity||3-2||Tue 9th Oct|