Match Preview :- Leigh Genesis - Saturday August 20th, 2005 (15:00:00)
Celtic?s second away trip of the season sees the short hop over the other side of the M60 to Leigh RMI. Leigh RMI are the other relegated team from the Conference, meaning we will have played them both in the opening three fixtures! Unlike Northwich, Leigh were relegated on merit taking four wins and eighteen points from last season.

Leigh won their opening game of the season, away at Redditch (2-1), but then lost to Droylsden at home (0-1). Chris Simms has got both of their goals so far.

Last season, Leigh spent the vast majority of it propping up the table, going into the relegation zone in September, and never coming out of it again. They might not be proud of it, but last season, they took the record for the most number of defeats in the Conference, with thirty-two, and the record for the most number of home goals conceded, with fifty-two.

They never really scored freely, but did have a tendency for grabbing last minute goals. They also started games well, starting to concede only as half time approached. After the interval the floodgates had a tendency to open, conceding about forty goals in the last twenty minutes of their matches; something that has not happened to them so far this season, as they have not conceded a goal in the second half.

Celtic?s history against Leigh is not happy reading, with no wins against them in the past seven meetings, though we have had two draws. Our last meeting with them was two seasons ago in the FA Trophy when we drew when we should have won, and their keeper should have been dismissed for a handball outside the area early in the game. We had the last laugh though, as that very keeper wasn?t registered to play in England, and Celtic went through without a replay. This game will give Celtic a chance to prove what should have been proven on that day: we can beat Leigh.

There have been many changes to both squads since that last match (the only time we have not been beaten at Hilton Park), and Leigh lined up at home to Droylsden in their 0-1 defeat as:
1. John Lamb
2. Gavin Ellison
3. Steve Brockley
4. Chris McDonagh
5. Neil Smith
6. Liam Coyne
7. Mark Drew
8. Andy Roscoe
9. Steve Smith
10. Lee Shilton
11. Chris Simms

If Celtic?s Smiths play, there could be four Smiths on the field, two of whom are called Steve! Away at Lancaster in our 2-2 draw we lined up:
1. Paul Pettinger
2. Darren Hockenhull
3. Mark Barnard
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Paul Sykes
6. Chris Price
7. James Turley
8. Tom Field
9. Lee Ellington
10. Lee Mulvaney
11. Neil Prince

With the injury to Darren Hockenhull (fractured forearm), it maybe that Grant Black will get his first start for the season. This is also going to be the first competitive game of the season for John Reed, who will be back at the helm and looking to steer Celtic to a win. Neil Prince, who currently leads the League Top Scorers chart, will no doubt be looking to add to that tally. However, Celtic?s history with Leigh shows how difficult they are for us to beat, and the automated prediction has predicted a 2-2 draw.
Distance: 26
Time: 40 minutes

From the M67, join the M60 towards Oldham.
Stay on the M60 for about 13 miles to junction 14 (A580, Leigh).
Join the A580 (East Lancs) towards Leigh.
After 8 1/2 miles turn right onto A579 (Atherleigh Way) at the lights.
After 1 mile, turn right onto Sale Way at the mini roundabout, parking for the ground is here.