The Reed Revival continues apace, and the next vital match is on Tuesday evening when Moor Green visit Bower Fold for a 7:45 kick off. Like us, Moor Green are on something of a survival mission. They have had two away trip blips against Hinckley and Redditch, but apart from that they haven't lose since Christmas. It will be a case of who wants survival the most.
Moor Green have recently played three of the league's basement teams, coming out on top in every encounter, beating Bradford, as well as Runcorn and Ashton. No doubt they'll be looking to add Celtic to this list. This run of good form has lifted them out of the relegation zone and into the bottom of mid-table in sixteenth, though they are anything but comfortable, lying eight points and four places above Celtic.
With other results going right, a win for Celtic would lift them to within one point of Vauxhall (who are away at Hinckley), or put Moor Green in a more comfortable fourteenth.
The only previous meeting between the two clubs was earlier in the season when two stoppage time goals meant the points were shared. Andy Hayward scored his first goal of the campaign in that game. Moor Green's last game was a 1-1 draw away at Bradford, whilst Celtic's was an away win at Ashton.
The Moors have scored in the last ten of their games, getting fourteen goals. They have also conceded fourteen goals, but kept two clean sheets. Only Bradford and Redditch in that time have failed to score against Moor Green's defence. Darren Middleton scores most of their goals. He still hasn't scored in the first half hour, but is currently joint sixth in the golden boot league. Moor Green's dangerous periods are on the half hour, hour and stoppage time. Conceding is done just before the half time and full time whistles.
On their travels this season, Moor Green have scored an average of 1.4 goals per game, whilst conceding 1.9 goals per game.
Celtic are currently third from bottom, and are unbeaten in five games, winning three of them. We've held Gainsborough and Nuneaton to lucky (for them) draws, whilst beating Ashton and Bradford (twice). We too have had a blip against Hinckley, which came right after the win away at Vauxhall. Our leading scorers are still Wharton and Hayward on five apiece, but with goal-machine Wilford getting a goal-per-game recently, there's no doubt he'll soon catch them up, unless they start getting on the score sheet too.
At home, Celtic score 1.5 goals per game whilst conceding 2.2. This is a dramatic improvement over just a month ago when the figures were 1.4 and 2.4. It might not sound like much, but at this stage of the season, it takes a lot of effort to shift averages by this amount.
Away at Bradford, Moor Green lined up as:
1. Adam Rachel
2. Junior English
3. Richard Follett
4. Lee Collins
5. Guy Sanders
6. Ben Petty
7. Mark Owen
8. Darren Middleton
9. Neil Davis
10. Jae Martin
11. Phil Trainer
Apart from the Chris Denham, John Reed has a fully fit squad to pick from. Against Ashton, Celtic lined up as:
1. Craig Dootson
2. Grant Black
3. Tony Whealing
4. Paul Shepherd
5. Paul Sykes
6. Barrie Keeling
7. Steve Smith
8. Scott Bonsall
9. Andy Hayward
10. Aron Wilford
11. Nathan Wharton
As has been the case recently, this is a must win game for Celtic. It's the last of the games against the basement teams, the six-pointers, until Worcester and Runcorn visit in March. With Kettering, Redditch, Hucknall and Hinckley all to come, Celtic need to pick up three points against Moor Green to set them up for a very difficult February.