Match Preview :- Vauxhall Motors - Tuesday November 9th, 2004 (7:45PM)
Vauxhall are the next visitors to Bower Fold arriving on Tuesday night at 7:45pm to contest the Cheshire Senior Cup. Vauxhall got to this stage by beating current holders Woodley Sports.

Indeed, they are on something of a winning streak since becoming the first team for Celtic to beat a few weeks back. They are through to the next round of the FA Trophy having put fellow Tamesiders Ashton United out of the cup. Prior to this, they earned a good draw against Bury in the FA cup having beaten Northwich Victoria. They haven?t had it all their own way, as Runcorn put them out of the Carthium Cup, or whatever they call it these days. In the league, their recent form is just as impressive, with wins over Bradford Gainsborough and Hucknall, and draws against Worcester and Stafford. They are now two points and two places above us in the table.

If that wasn?t bad enough, they also hold the longest winning streak in the league, having scored in every game that they?ve played in. That?s some record.

It?s concessions that have stopped them streaking up the league, whilst they score an average of a goal per game, they concede over two. And they don?t have an out and out goal scorer, with the goals coming from all over the pitch, and Jamie Olsen being the primary outlet with just three goals. Most of their conceding is done in the second half, with a quarter coming in the first half, while they score equally well in both.

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Kev Parr in action two years ago

It?s not all doom and gloom. Celtic have won every home game under the new management, and though we have not halted the conceding in every game, we have retained the ability to score in every game also, improving our goal/concession ratio to 1.5 to 2.0. In addition, Vauxhall were the first team Celtic beat, albeit in a dissatisfying way.

Ahead of the game, Vauxhall do not appear to have any injury worries, and will probably line up as they did against Northwich:

1. Tim Dittmar
2. Lee Woodyatt
3. Wayne McDermott
4. James Glendenning
5. Carl Spellman
6. Phil Brazier
7. Carl Nesbitt
8. Robbie Lawton
9. Darren Wright
10. James Olsen
11. Peter Cuminskey

Celtic have well documented injury worries. Craig Dootson, Gregg Pearce, Phil Eastwood and Chris Denham are all definitely out. While Dean Calcutt is short of match fitness, and probably will not make the starting line-up, but almost certainly will feature at some point in the game, after his performance against Harrogate.

Indeed, despite the worries, Peter Wragg will be struggling on how to form his midfield, given the performances recently. He may well use the opportunity of the Cheshire Senior Cup to experiment in formations again, though the way the 4-4-2 formation worked against Harrogate, seeing it gel could see Celtic turn these cup performances into league performances. Steve Smith has surely done enough to earn a start, and with the likely move of Paul Sykes up front, this could be the game.

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

The likely bench could be: Terry Bowker, Tony Whealing, Scott Bonsall, Dean Calcutt and Darren Bowman.

Despite the diverting nature of this competition, it is vital that Celtic keep the momentum going into their next league match against Hucknall, which will be a stern test, especially as it is away.
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