Match Preview :- Barrow - Saturday December 11th, 2004 (3:00PM)
Saturday, 3pm, Celtic will travel up the M6 for a league encounter with fellow strugglers Barrow. Like us, Barrow must be wondering how they ended up where they are, and how they will get out of it. The last time the two sides met, was in the FA cup, when Celtic made a dramatic comeback to force a replay, we subsequently won.

Barrow are currently 8 points and 5 places above us in the table, the points garnered over 5 league wins this season, plus 5 draws. Their recent form has been improving, seeing them go three league games unbeaten now, though Runcorn recently dumped them out of the National Conference Cup at Holker Street. So far this season, we have played them three times, twice at Bower Fold and once at Holker Street, and it would be fair to say that honours are currently even, with a victory each and a draw.

In their last 6 home league games, Barrow have lost 4, won one, and drawn one. Celtic's away record though, does little to inspire confidence, with 4 straight losses, and a statistic that makes sober reading: we have not won away from home this season in the league. Recent cup heroics aside, this is a statistic that Celtic must change if we are to get out of the relegation zone, and live to build another day.

Barrow score 1.3 goals per game at home, conceding 2.6, whilst Celtic score 0.6 goals per game away from home, conceding 1.6 ? so it looks like there should be some goals at Holker Street. Glenn Murray is Barrow's highest scoring player, an ex Workington player who scored over 25 goals in his last season with the other Cumbrian outfit. He last scored on Tuesday night, in Barrow's visit to Hurst Cross, where they recorded their third away victory of the campaign. All 6 of Murray's goals have come in the last 5 games, so he is a danger man of high importance, which the Celtic defence need to watch closely. This is not to say he is the only man to watch, as 11 other players have scored for Barrow this season.

The second half is where Barrow concede most of their goals, especially half way through the half. Scoring-wise, they score equally in both halves. Celtic, for comparison, concede and score equally in both halves, and Andy Hayward's return to form sees him now top the goal-scorers chart with 4 league goals and 9 over all. He has scored in both his last two matches, and scored 6 in his last 9 games overall.

Barrow have injury worries ahead of the game, with last season's goalkeeper Simon Bishop out until the Christmas fixtures, and striker Neil Campbell out for longer still.

They will probably line up as they did in their win against Ashton mid-week:
1. Adam Capp
2. Guy Heffernan
3. Scott Maxfield
4. Jamie Cotterill
5. Karl Colley
6. Graham Anthony
7. Phil Rowland
8. Garreth Simpson
9. Glenn Murray
10. Andy Hill
11. Steve Ridley

Celtic are still without the services of Chris Denham and Craig Dootson, and may well still be without the services of Scott Bonsall who lacerated his arm when he fell at home last week. Kevin Parr didn't play against Harrogate due to a knock picked up against Worcester, but should be fit to play against Barrow. On the bench against Harrogate was Gregg Pearce who has made the long journey back from the nasty break suffered at Nantwich many moons ago. It is unlikely he'll start, but (if things are going well) may get a run out at some point in the game. Danny Caldecott limped off against Harrogate after pulling a calf muscle, and will probably be rested against Barrow.

1. Phil Priestley
2. Dave German
3. Tony Whealing
4. Terry Bowker / Gregg Pearce
5. Lee Connor
6. Nathan Wharton
7. Ben Smith
8. Kev Parr
9. Andy Hayward
10. Paul Sykes
11. Barrie Keeling

Celtic need to go into this match with a positive frame of mind. They need to think about the previous two games with Barrow, and how we matched them and eventually surpassed them. They need positive thoughts, because this is our chance. This is when we can notch up our first away win. Celtic can win this. Celtic need to win this, anything else would leave us adrift at the bottom of the table needing a Christmas miracle.
Directions
Distance: 118
Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

From the M60, take M61 (junction 15) to Preston.
Follow the M61 right to the end and join the M6 towards South Lakes.
After about 40 miles on the M6 take Junction 36 onto the A590.
On the roundabout at the end of the slip-road, turn left (exit 1 of 4) onto the A590 proper.
Stay on the A590 following signs for Barrow in Furness.
You will pass through Ulverston.
You will be on the A590 for about 10 miles.
As you enter Barrow, you will pass some industrial units and Kimberley Clarks soft tissue factory.
The road will start to rise as you pass over the railway line.
This is near Bradys Road Haulage and warehousing on your left.
Opposite, on your right, is the Fire Station.
The football ground is now to your left.
ASDA, MFI and Stollers entrance is the next left (after approximately 100 metres).

Sponsors
Site Sponsor
Football Accumulators - Official Site Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Site Sponsor
MG Domestic - Official Site Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic
Main club sponsor
Works4U Official Shirt Sponsors of Stalybridge Celtic