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Match Preview :- Kettering Town - Tuesday April 12th, 2005 (19:45:00)
Tuesday night sees Celtic once again having to battle to get out of the relegation zone, and the opposition is going to be as equally tough as Saturday, when Droylsden put us into the relegation zone as play-off hopefuls Kettering Town come to the Fold for a 7:45pm kick-off.

Kettering are just in the play off spots in fifth spot, one loss from allowing Altrincham into it, and will be desperate to keep their hopes alive by beating us on Tuesday night. They are twenty-five points and fifteen places ahead of Celtic. They have been in or around the play off spaces all season, and were one of the pre-season favourites to win it out right. Indeed, for a short while, they topped the table. That came off the back of a seven game unbeaten run, but they faltered and settled in at fourth, only dropping a place on Saturday.

They are unbeaten in four away matches, beating Gainsborough, Hinckley, Redditch and Alfreton. And they have lost only once in their last eight away matches, winning six of them. In the last ten matches, they have scored ten goals, and conceded only seven. They've kept four clean sheets, and failed to score four times. At home to Harrogate was the only 0-0 in that time. Over the past fifteen years, we have met Kettering thirteen times, and Celtic have got the better of them, only three times, once away when we stuffed them 6-1 (a repeat of that on Tuesday would be outstanding!). Kettering have beaten us eight times, though only twice at Bower Fold.

By far and away their top goal scorer is Darren Lynch, with fifteen goals. He is joint sixth in the goal-scorers chart. Ollie Burgess is his closest rival for the Poppies Golden Boot winner this season, but he's on seven. Lynch tends to score in the run up to half time, and Kettering have eleven goals in this period. They also have ten goals around the hour mark, and quite a few in stoppage time. They don't concede many in the first half, with two thirds of their forty-four goals being conceded in the second half, with a spike around the hour mark. Away from home, they score 1.7 goals per game, and concede 1.3.

They have taken six points off Bradford, Hinckley, Redditch and Worksop this season, with Lancaster and Stafford taking all six off them. Having beaten us once already this season, Kettering will be attempting to add us the 'taken six points off' column.

Kettering appear to be having a keeper crisis, with their recent away draw at Gainsborough seeing a new keeper. In the same game, one of their better players, Jamie Patterson was taken to hospital with a broken rib, and is unlikely to play any part at Bower Fold:
1. Mark Osborn
2. Wayne Diuk
3. Martin Matthews
4. Derek Brown
5. Luke Graham
6. Brett Solkhon
7. Ollie Burgess
8. JamieGould
9. Daniel Bulley
10. Chris DiFante
11. Jamie Patterson

Celtic fielded the following at the recent home loss to Droylsden:
1. Phil Robinson
2. Grant Black
3. Nathan Wharton
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Paul Sykes
6. Paul Shepherd
7. Kevin Parr
8. Scott Bonsall
9. Andy Parton
10. Aron Wilford
11. Andy Hayward

Celtic are now without a league win in three games, losing at home to Droylsden and away at Alfreton and the automated prediction reflects this, predicting a 1-0 win to Kettering. A league win, at this point however, is crucial. With three our relegation rivals playing on Tuesday (Lancaster host Runcorn, and Moor Green host Gainsborough) a win is vital. Obviously a Lancaster Runcorn draw would suit us, as would a Gainsborough win ? but it would only suit if we can beat Kettering for the first time in nine years.
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