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Match Preview :- Ashton United - Saturday February 5th, 2005 (15:00:00)
Saturday will Celtic make the short trip across Tameside for the basement battle with neighbours Ashton United. Ashton, like Celtic, are mired in the relegation zone, and will be looking to narrow the gap on Vauxhall, Runcorn and Moor Green, just like us. They are one of the few teams beaten already this season by Celtic, and they have not won for three league games, whilst Celtic haven?t lost for three league games.

Ashton are currently only two points ahead of Celtic and have played one more game, so a win on Saturday will see Celtic swap places with Ashton and apply further psychological pressure to those just outside the zone. Ashton have already lost one basement battle, last Saturday against Moor Green (whom Celtic play on Tuesday night!), and before that they were beaten by Gainsborough Trinity by a narrow margin. In the past five games, they have scored five goals, failing to score against Gainsborough, but holding Worcester to a two all draw. Their only clean sheet in this period came against Droylsden, which was their only win in their last ten matches.

Ashton did win their last game, in the Manchester Premier Cup when they beat Curzon Ashton at Hurst Cross 2-1, and they may have taken some confidence from that victory.

At home, Ashton score an average of 1.2 goals per game, whilst conceding 1.8 goals per game. Their top scorer is Paul Garvey since the departure of second top scorer Josh Mitten to Altrincham. Garvey has found the net nine times this season, putting him joint seventh in the league goal scorers? chart. Most of Ashton?s goals have come in the first half, mainly thanks to Mitten, with Garvey preferring the second half to score in. There best period is just before half time when they have scored six. Most goals scored against them are in the second half, with two thirds of the goals going into their net, coming in this period, with twelve conceded in the last fifteen minutes, and another eleven conceded around the hour mark.

Celtic, on the other hand, are coming into the game off the back of some tough ties and have taken something from their last four matches. The top league scorers are still Nathan Wharton and Andy Hayward (with five each), though Aron Wilford will soon be pressing for golden boot honours if he continues his goal a game form. Away from home, Celtic are scoring 0.8 goals per game, and conceding 1.6, indicating a poor start to the season. Most goals are scored in the first half, with a slight peak at twenty minutes. Conceding wise, though Celtic have kept two clean sheets recently, a lot of goals have gone in over the season around the half hour and last ten minutes.

Ashton rested several players against Curzon, but still put out quite a strong side. New Manager Andy Johnson currently has no injury or suspension worries, and fielded the following side against Curzon:

1. Ashley Connor
2. Andy Thackeray
3. Nicky Clee
4. Dean Johnson
5. Danny White
6. Phil Cooney
7. Craig Fleury
8. Simon Carden
9. Neill Hardy
10. Paul Garvey
11. Will Dolan

Celtic could well be without Nathan Wharton, if the yellow card picked up against Bradford tipped him over the limit, but with Danny Caldecott aiming to try and stake a place back in the side, Celtic?s only injury absentee (apart from the long standing Chris Denham) is now Terry Bowker who picked up a knock against Bradford. New signing Paul Shepherd will probably start alongside Paul Sykes, despite the solid game of Gregg Pearce midweek. Celtic rested a few key players in the match at Bradford, lining up as:
1. Craig Dootson
2. Terry Bowker
3. Tony Whealing
4. Gregg Pearce
5. Paul Sykes
6. Nathan Wharton
7. Dean Calcutt
8. Scott Bonsall
9. Phil Eastwood
10. Aron Wilford
11. Phil Hadland

This is a game that even the prediction algorithm thinks Celtic can win, predicting a narrow 2-1 victory to Celtic. However, this will not be an easy game. Ashton have done well in their derbies at home, and both sides need the points for the same reason. Celtic can win, and a win would mean so much going into the game against Moor Green on Tuesday.
P Pts
18 Runcorn FC Halton 28 30
19 Vauxhall Motors 24 27
20 Stalybridge Celtic 27 23
21 Ashton United 28 22
22 Bradford Park Avenue 25 16
Sat 05 Feb 2005Stalybridge Celtic2-3
Sat 22 Jan 2005Solihull Moors1-3
Sat 15 Jan 2005Gainsborough Trinity0-1
Sat 08 Jan 2005Worcester City2-2
Sun 02 Jan 2005Droylsden1-0
Goal Scorers
Garvey, Paul11
Mitten, Josh8
Dormer, Jason3
Clee, Nicky2
Fleury, Craig2
Previous Meetings
Wednesday January 01, 2020
Tuesday November 12, 2019
Monday August 26, 2019
Tuesday April 17, 2018
Tuesday April 03, 2018
Home win Droylsden1-0Sun 2nd Jan
Away win Southport1-2Tue 24th Aug
Home defeat Solihull Moors1-3Sat 22nd Jan
Away defeat Solihull Moors2-0Sat 25th Sep
Home score Runcorn FC Halton5-4Sat 28th Aug
Away score Bradford Park Avenue3-3Sat 27th Nov
Games Since... Overall Home Away
Last Scored 112
Last Conceded 111
Last Won 4213
Last Drew 111
Distance: 3
Time: 15 minutes

From Mottram Road, heading downhill away from Bower Fold, follow the road down and around (it will become Stamford Street).
At the lights with Wakefield Road (just over the railway bridge) stay on Stamford Street by bearing left.
At the next set of lights (a BP garage will be on your left) turn right onto Darnton Road.
The road curves around to the left.
Stamford Park will be on the left and right, and Tameside Hospital is on the right.
Just past Tameside hospital there is a set of traffic lights with a five way junction with Mosley Road and Queens Road.
Go straight ahead and to the right onto Queens Road (going clockwise this is road three of five).
After 400 yards, you will reach a set of traffic lights with an upside down church on your right, and the New Inn on your left.
Go straight through these lights.
Continue up Queens road (for 1/4 of a mile) past the Co-op on your right.
Just beyond the Co-op there is a set of traffic lights at Hurst Cross.
The ground is just here on the left just behind the library.
Parking is difficult, most people park just beyond the lights opposite the Texaco garage.

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