On Saturday, Celtic face the other Celtic, Farsley (kick off 3pm). Farsley finished last season in fifth, losing out in the Play-Off Semi-final to Ashton United. This season, they are once again in fifth, on twenty-three points, two points and four places above Stalybridge. There will be a match centre and Twitter feed for this match.
Last season, Farsley finished on eighty points, fifteen points behind champions Altrincham. This season, they have once again had a solid start, scoring in every match so far, losing three of their twelve games. They have only played a third of their games away from home this season, and so far have had two away losses and two away wins, beating Warrington on the opening day and, most recently, Stafford. Their away losses have come to Nantwich and Basford.
William Hayhurst is leading the pack of their leading goal scorers, his six goals putting him just one ahead of James Spencer, between them and former Stalybridge player, Jack Higgins, scoring half of their twenty-five goals this season. Nine of these have come away from home. They have scored their goals at a rate of 2.2 goals per game away and 2.1 overall, due to their ratio of home to away games. They have kept three clean sheets, one of which was away (against Warrington on the opening day), conceding a total of sixteen goals, seven of which were away at a rate of 1.8 goals per away game and 1.4 overall.
Farsley won both their league games over us last season, beating us 4-1 at Bower Fold during our April from Hell, and although Stalybridge got to a 4-2 lead at the Throstle's Nest, an eight minute spell in the second half saw us throw it away to lose 5-4. Prior to last season, Stalybridge's record against Farsley has been decent, knocking them out of the FA Cup three times, most recently last season with a 2-1 win thanks to Theo Bailey-Jones's stoppage time winner. In six visits, Stalybridge have won four and lost two, how last league win coming in 2009 when we won 1-0, thanks to John Hardiker's second half goal.
In Farsley's most recent match, a 3-2 away win over Bamber Bridge, they lined up as:
1. Kyle Trenerry
2. Lewis Turner
3. Isaac Baldwin 4. Chris Atkinson 5. Jack Higgins 6. Adam Clayton 7. Luke Parkin 8. Ben Arkinson 9. Jimmy Spencer 10. Paul Walker 11. William Hayhurst
In Celtic's last match, the 5-2 away defeat to BAsford, Celtic lined up as:
1. James Aspinall
2. Niall Flint
3. Liam Tongue
4. Ross Dent
5. Danny Brady
6. Michael Clarke
7. Scott Bakkor
8. Glenn Rule
9. Chris Sharp
10. Matthew Wolfenden
11. Neil Kengni
Tom Brown has recovered well and may feature, though James Canton and Jake Turner are still a little way off. Greg Wilkinson Chris Sharp and Glenn Rule are all once again fit. Josh Solomon-Davies is unavailable playing for Saint Lucia.
Stalybridge would leapfrog Farsley, with a win, whilst a loss could see us drop three places, a win could see us rise three as South Shields and Gainsborough play each other this weekend so one, the other or both could lose points; one would expect Buxton to win at home over North Ferriby, but it is important we stay in touch with the top spots.