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Match Preview :- Harrogate Town - Saturday November 6th, 2004 (15:00:00)
The next visitors to Bower Fold on Saturday are Harrogate Town in the FA Trophy (kick off 3pm). Harrogate are one of the several teams to have beaten us this season, but their away form does not match their home form, and with ?1,800 up for grabs to the winners, Celtic will have to turn their season around in order to advance.

Like Celtic, Harrogate were dumped out of the FA cup by lower league opposition, and though they beat Holker Street Old Boys in the first round of the FA Cup away from home, they haven?t beaten higher league opponents away from Wetherby Road since mid-September when they trounced Lancaster City 3-0, which was their only away win of the season. Their home form is a different story as they have yet to lose at home, and they score quite freely.

The major source of these goals is joint third in the league goal scorers chart, Colin Hunter with 9. He is currently having something of a drought ahead of the game, as he?s not put the ball in the back of the net for three games, which means that they are now relying on loan signing York City player Clayton Donaldson who has scored in 50% of his 8 games, and ex-Celtic winger James Turley.
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James Turley

Away from home, Harrogate are scoring 1.1 goals per game, and conceding 1.5, as opposed to Celtic?s home record of scoring 1.6 and conceding 2. Both teams have scored in every home game, but away from home, Harrogate have failed to get on the score-sheet twice, and have conceded in every away match this season bar their win at Lancaster. As Celtic have conceded in every home game this season, it is likely we will see some goals in this cup clash.

Harrogate are currently 13 points and 17 places above us in the league, and given their poor away form, it is merely an indication of how wide open this year?s competition is.

With a large squad, and no injury worries ahead of the game, the only doubt is Clayton Donaldson, who York City may not want to be cup-tied, and ex-Celt James Turley may well get the nod in an out and out striker?s role, which will cause problems for the defence, given his pace.

1. Paul Pettinger
2. Grant Black
3. Mark Barnard
4. Leigh Wood
5. Mark Haran
6. Richard Dunning
7. Paul Shepherd
8. Dominic Krief
9. Marc Smith
10. James Turley
11. Colin Hunter

With the injury to Craig Dootson, new signing Phil Priestley will be wearing the number 1 shirt, allowing Paul Sykes to return to his more usual role of roving midfielder. With Gregg Pearce and Dean Calcutt still not fit to play, and Chris Denham still months away, Celtic?s team just about picks itself. The two full-backs for Harrogate are more of the attacking nature than defending, so a 4-4-2 formation with the pace of the Smiths on the wings may be what Celtic need to unlock this stubborn defence that ranks 4th in the league overall.

1. Phil Priestley
2. Dave German
3. Danny Caldecott
4. Terry Bowker
5. Barrie Keeling
6. Nathan Wharton
7. Ben Smith
8. Paul Sykes
9. Andy Hayward
10. Phil Eastwood
11. Steve Smith

The Celtic bench would then contain Kev Parr, Scott Bonsall, Tony Whealing, Damien Hindle and Darren Bowman.

This season, Celtic have not lost a home game under Peter Wragg, and hopefully, this is a sign that the manager is returning Celtic to something of a fortress. And whilst the Trophy is something of a distraction from the more important job of climbing the league table, winning at home is a must to get back into that winning habit, making Saturday?s game a must win.
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