Match Preview :- Barrow - Saturday September 17th, 2005 (15:00:00)
Next up for Celtic is a long trip up the M6 to Barrow (kick off 3pm). Barrow are currently unbeaten at home, and fifth in the table, two points ahead of Celtic, and there is a good chance that a win for Celtic would put us into the play off spots.

Barrow are currently on a high having won their last home match 6-1 against their Cumbrian neighbours, Workington. 6-1 is the league?s highest home win, and has propelled Barrow to second in the attack table, just under a goal-per-game less than the leaders Northwich. Celtic, by comparison are third in this table, a mere 0.11 goals-per-game behind Barrow. Barrow?s other two games in September have been against the other Tameside teams, Droylsden (away) and (at home), both of which were 2-2 draws.

Previous league meetings show only one win at Holker Street for Celtic, back at the start of 2003/04 season, when we won 2-0, with a goal from Colin Potts and an own goal, from Gavin Salmon. We have also drawn with them three times in our league meetings since 1988, with our last trip there seeing us lose 2-1 on a very windy day. We actually met them four times last season, twice in the league and twice in the FA Cup. Celtic held them to a draw at Holker Street and took them back to Bower Fold where we won. The league was a different matter though, and Barrow took all six points off us.

Only Northwich Victoria this season have prevented Barrow from scoring, when Barrow visited the Vics and lost 0-2. Barrow have also kept a clean sheet this season, something Celtic have failed to do, beating Vauxhall Motors in the second game of the season 1-0. Gavin Knight is their current top scorer, with six goals (five of them at home), with five other players trailing on two goals apiece. Though they have scored equally in each half, they?ve scored four just before full time, and seven in the last quarter of an hour of the first half. Two thirds of their conceding is done in the second half, with three in the last few minutes. At home, they score an average of 3.5 goals per game, whilst conceding 1.25.

Celtic have gained two points out of our three away days this season, losing only to Leigh RMI, and gaining draws at Hednesford and Workington. Although we have scored in every match this season, we have failed to keep a clean sheet. We have scored nine goals in the last twenty minutes, which is over half of our total. We have also conceded four goals in the last few minutes, and nearly half of all our conceding is done in the second half. Our top scorer is Lee Ellington, with seven league goals, whilst Neil Prince is right behind him on four, and Paul Sykes is catching up quick with three. Celtic are now unbeaten in four league games, and have won their last two, though both of these were at home.

All of this has led the automated prediction to go against Celtic with a 3-2 victory for Barrow.

In their recent 2-2 draw away at Droylsden, Barrow lined up as:
1. Simon Bishop
2. Guy Heffernan
3. Scott Maxfield
4. James Cotterill
5. Tom Cowan
6. Danny Forde
7. Steve Flitcroft
8. Graham Anthony
9. Neil Tarrant
10. Gavin Knight
11. Steve Ridley

Celtic lined up in their last league match at home to Moor Green as:
1. Paul Pettinger
2. Grant Black
3. Nathan Wharton
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Mark Haran
6. Chris Price
7. Steve Garvey
8. Tom Field
9. Lee Ellington
10. Paul Sykes
11. Neil Prince

In Celtic?s last two league matches, we have scored six goals, and conceded only two, approaching Barrow?s eight and three, so it is likely that there will be goals at Holker Street from both teams. Midweek, Celtic grabbed another seven goals when we demolished Cheadle Town. This result is a moral booster only due to the difference in league positions between the two teams. Hopefully, though, this moral booster will go along way to ensuring that the automated prediction is overturned with another three points for Celtic, but this will be our toughest match in a few weeks.
Distance: 118
Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

From the M60, take M61 (junction 15) to Preston.
Follow the M61 right to the end and join the M6 towards South Lakes.
After about 40 miles on the M6 take Junction 36 onto the A590.
On the roundabout at the end of the slip-road, turn left (exit 1 of 4) onto the A590 proper.
Stay on the A590 following signs for Barrow in Furness.
You will pass through Ulverston.
You will be on the A590 for about 10 miles.
As you enter Barrow, you will pass some industrial units and Kimberley Clarks soft tissue factory.
The road will start to rise as you pass over the railway line.
This is near Bradys Road Haulage and warehousing on your left.
Opposite, on your right, is the Fire Station.
The football ground is now to your left.
ASDA, MFI and Stollers entrance is the next left (after approximately 100 metres).