Saturday sees Celtic take on Worksop in yet another vastly important match. With Celtic just one point off the relegation zone, the team needs to put recent cup exploits out of their mind and get a vital three points to increase that gap. Worksop, currently in eighth, are ten places and fifteen points ahead of Celtic, but with a CVA hanging over them, they know that every point is vital.
The CVA would result in them being docked ten points, which would put them a mere five points above Celtic, and right in the midst of the relegation battle, so they will be desperate for a win. Celtic, on the other hand, is level on points with Runcorn, a mere one point above the drop zone. A win (assuming results go our way), would leave Celtic level on points with Vauxhall, and (if they lose by enough goals and we win by enough goals to reverse the five goal difference) ahead of them on goal difference, so we are up for it too. The one thing that could be said about this game is that it will have an impact on the teams that drop, and those that stay.
We?ve drawn with Worksop once this season, at their place, in the opening game. However, in the GLS cup recently, we remedied this and beat them 1-0. The cup result, I?m afraid, has little bearing on the outcome of this game, with neither team fielding a full strength side.
In the league, then, Worksop are unbeaten in three games, drawing away at Hucknall and getting two home wins over Barrow and Hinckley. They have not won away from home since beating Runcorn at the beginning of February (their only away win this year), losing two and drawing one in the mean time.
In the last ten games, home and away, they have scored sixteen goals, and conceded only twelve, keeping three clean sheets and failing to score twice. The main architects of those goals are Gary Townsend (with twelve) and Simeon Bambrook (with nine) and five goals in the last five games. Gary Townsend is currently ninth in the goal scoring league, but hasn?t scored since getting a brace in the home win over Ashton in February. Worksop have yet to score in the opening ten minutes, but do have a good track record on the hour and just before the final whistle with seventeen goals being scored in these periods combined. Their conceding is relatively consistent, with slight spikes just before half time and on the hour. On average, away from home, they have scored one goal per game this season, whilst conceding 1.4.
So far this season, they have taken six points off Worcester and Ashton only, with Kettering being the only team to take six points off them. Interestingly, they have yet to draw home and away with anybody this season.
October has been their best month of the season, but this year has been quite poor, with January seeing their worst performances.
Worksop lined up in their winning home game against Barrow as:
1. Kris Rogers
2. Steve Nicholson
3. Kevin Davies
4. Brian O?Callaghan
5. Miles Thorpe
6. James Dudgeon
7. Tore Hansen
8. Paul Dempsey
9. Simeon Bambrook
10. Dene Cropper
11. Blake Norton
There is one significant departure for Worksop this week, in that Kris Rogers has left to join Vics, while Ian Bowling returns in nets for them.
Celtic lined up in their 2-1 win over Morecambe in the GLS cup as:
1. Craig Dootson
2. Terry Bowker
3. Danny Caldecott
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Paul Sykes
6. Nathan Wharton
7. Ben Smith
8. Mark Atkins
9. Andy Parton
10. Aron Wilford
11. Andy Haskins
There are two new additions to the Celtic squad in the shape of right midfielder Rob Martin and central midfielder Scott Willis. One or both of these could well make an appearance against Worksop.
Though Celtic lost their last league game, away at Alfreton, it was by a wicked deflection, and John Reed is under no illusions as to whether or not the job is done yet. Celtic need the win more than Worksop, and will have to work to get it. The automated prediction for this game is a tight 1-0 to Celtic.