On Saturday, Stalybridge Celtic travel to Yorkshire to face Farsley Stalybridge Celtic. Farsley are currently topping the table on seventy-one points, fourteen places and thirty-two points above Stalybridge Celtic. There will be a match centre and Twitter feed for the game.
Farsley's lead is slender at the top, just one point clear of South Shields, but they are one win away from securing a definite top four finish. They have been in the five since beating Stafford Rangers 3-1 away back at the start of October. They then proceeded to embark on a fourteen game unbeaten run (a current league record), with nine wins (eight on the bounce, also a current league record) and four draws, including a 2-2 against Stalybridge Celtic. After losing 1-0 away at South Shields a run of four straight wins put them in top spot, and apart from a dip losing twice on the bounce, they have remained there. Farsley have played a lot of away games recently (though they at least got a home game in March), with five home games in 2019. They have won two, lost one and drawn two. Their most recent home game was a 2-0 win over Workington at the start of Match, whilst their most recent home loss was a 1-0 defeat by Witton at the end of February. Farsley have won their last three games, most recently beating Bamber Bridge 3-0 away.
With sixty-seven goals, Farsley have the second best attack in the league, just behind South Shields, and the third best defence, behind Warrington and South Shields. With fourteen goals, James Spencer is Farsley's top scorer, four behind the league's top scorers, Alistair Waddecar of Bamber Bridge, James Walshaw of Scarborough and Nathan Watson of Basford. Stalybridge Celtic have a striker in the top ten league scorers in Neil Kengni. They scored in every game until mid-January, setting an unassailable league consecutive scoring record of twenty-three games. They have failed to score just once at home (their 1-0 defeat by Witton), and kept four home clean sheets, most recently their 2-0 win over Workington. They score an average of two goals per game, whilst conceding 1.1.
Since 1999, we've played Farsley ten times. Our last meeting was at Bower Fold earlier in the season when we drew 2-2, with Ross Dent grabbing two equalising goals. Our last visit to Farsley last season is best glossed over after racing into a three goal lead through Alex Honeyball and Theo Bailey-Jones, only to lose 5-4, Liam Dickinson with Celtic's fourth. In our other two league visits, Celtic have won one 3-2 back in 2008 (goals from Lee Ellington, Chris Williams and Andy Smart) and drawn the other 1-1 in 2007, with Matty Barlow grabbing Celtic's goal.In their last match, the 2-1 away win over Marine, Farsley lined up as:
In the Stalybridge Celtic's last match, the 2-1 away win over Scarborough, Stalybridge Celtic lined up as:
1. Paddy Wharton
2. Josh Solomon-Davies
3. Douglas Nyaupembe
4. Mark Lees
5. Chris Smalley
6. Liam Tongue
7. Scott Bakkor
8. Glenn Rule
9. Neil Kengni
10. Greg Wilkinson
11. Michael Howard
A win, however unlikely on paper, could lift Celtic to eleventh, with Matlock, Whitby (away at Mickleover), Hednesford and Lancaster (away at Scarborough) all just one point above Celtic. Matlock and Hednesford play each other in Hednesford. A draw there would help Celtic. A loss for Stalybridge, however, would see us looking at Marine (at home to South Shields), Grantham (at home to Witton) and Stafford (away at Hyde), who are all one or two points behind, and could leave us in eighteenth. With seven games left, a win would lift Celtic to forty-two points, and should Mickleover lose, would leave them twelve points adrift of us, with six games left, giving the indication that forty-two points will be the safety margin this season. For those that like unlikely scenarios, a loss for Celtic would make it mathematically impossible to get into the top five.
Join the M60 towards Oldham, and at Junction 20, join the M62 towards Leeds.
Stay on the M62 until junction 26, the M606 towards Bradford.
Stay on the M606 until the very end, and join the A6177 (Eastbound towards Leeds and Pudsey).
After 3 miles, turn right on the Thornbury roundabout onto the A647 towards Leeds.
Stay on the A647 for two miles across two roundabouts to a third roundabout - go straight across onto the B6157 (Bradford Road).
After a few hundred yards, turn left onto New Street (by the Tradex store).
After 400 yards, turn right by the Nursery school onto Newlands.
The Throstle Nest is at the end of Newlands.