Match Preview :- Worcester City - Tuesday April 4th, 2006 (7:45PM)
After Saturday?s disappointing defeat, Worcester are now only two places and two points behind Celtic having played two games more. They will be looking for revenge for the defeat at their place only a fortnight ago, when we beat them 1-0, and are more than capable of getting it.

Worcester?s last away match was a 4-0 win over Hednesford Town, and Worcester have not lost away from home since the start of February when Alfreton took three points off them. Over the course of the season, Worcester have only lost five of their seventeen away matches, taking twenty-four points from fifty-one available. They?ve beaten Northwich, Barrow and Hucknall away, and taken draws from six of their games, including creditable draws at Nuneaton and Stafford.

Their last visit to Bower Fold saw them suffer a 1-0 loss to us, though their previous visit to that was in the FA Trophy, when the put us out of the 2000/2001 Trophy by beating us 1-0.

With Worcester being the in-form away team at the moment, four wins out of the last five, and Celtic being the in-form home team at the moment, five wins out of five, it will be a close game, and the automated prediction algorithm has gone for a 2-1 win for Celtic. Hopefully, Celtic can continue to shut the opposition out, though, as we have not conceded only one league goal at home in the last five matches, keeping our sheets clean for four hundred and thirty one minutes of football. In that same period we have scored fourteen goals.

Celtic may well be the first team to take all six points off Worcester this season, should we win. Worcester themselves have taken all six points from Hednesford, Gainsborough and Barrow.

Worcester?s goals against column is one of the best in the league, having conceded just thirty-eight goals compared to Celtic?s forty-two, making them the third best defence in the league to Celtic?s fourth best. In their last five away games, they have conceded just one goal, away at Hucknall Town, keeping four clean sheets, increasing their total overall to twelve clean sheets (home and away). In addition, they are finding the back of the net, scoring nine goals in their last five away games.

On average, Worcester score 1.2 goals per game away from home, whilst conceding 1.2 also. They have a definite peak in goal scoring in the opening fifteen minutes, when they have scored eleven of their forty-four goals this season, with a further five goal peak at the death. Their worst point for conceding is right before half time, when they have conceded eight goals, with a further eight in the last few minutes of a game.

Leon Kelly scored in their last away win, but won?t be scoring in Tuesday night?s match, having been sold to Hinckley. However, Adam Webster (Worcester?s top-scorer last season), scored twice in that match, and he will be available. Current hot-shot Mark Danks will be unavailable for selection, due to a red card picked up against Redditch. Adam Webster is more than able to fill the void, though, and is currently leading their goal-scoring chart with ten league goals to Danks? nine.

Worcester?s last game saw them draw 2-2 with Alfreton. Alfreton converted a penalty gifted to them when Adam Burley caught the ball in the box because of a head injury to an Alfreton player. Whether he should have or not, is moot to some, the sporting thing to do would have been for Alfreton to deliberately miss from the spot. In the match, Worcester lined up as:
1. Lewis Skyers
2. Rob Warner
3. Dennis Pearce
4. Chris Smith
5. Justin Thompson
6. Des Lyttle
7. Adam Burley
8. Jai Stanley
9. George Clegg
10. Troy Wood
11. Adam Webster

Celtic?s last match saw them lose (again) away from home to Hucknall Town. Barrie Keeling and Grant Black were both injured for that match, so we lined up as:
1. Paul Pettinger
2. Scott Maxfield
3. Stephen Baynes
4. Mark Barnard
5. Mark Haran
6. Ashley Winn
7. James Turley
8. Paul Sykes
9. Lee Ellington
10. Phil Eastwood
11. Neil Prince

With Droylsden entertaining Redditch on Monday (a game they should win), Celtic need maximum points from Worcester on Tuesday to maintain the six point gap. Our home form is cracking at the moment, but Worcester are a great travelling team. Perhaps we can get tips on travelling well!
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