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Match Preview :- Kettering Town - Saturday November 12th, 2005 (15:00:00)
Yet again Celtic are off down the M1, this time to visit Kettering Town with a 3pm kick off on Saturday. Kettering are one place and one point above Celtic in the league table, with twenty-two points, but have played three less games. A win over Kettering would probably put Celtic into the National news, given the recent Gazzamania that has taken over the club.

Kettering have the second best defence in the league, behind Nuneaton, having conceded just eleven goals in their opening twelve games, an average of a miserly 0.92 goals per game, with their last three games seeing them keep clean sheets. This defence has meant that the Poppies have suffered only two defeats this season, at home to Stafford and away at Northwich. They have also had four draws, with Hucknall holding them at Rockingham Road to a goal-less draw most recently.

This will be their fourth home game on the trot, and the second under the new management of Paul Gascoigne. His first game in charge saw them take on fellow Tamesiders Droylsden, but Dave Pace?s men couldn?t break down the Poppies defence, and Christian Moore returned to full fitness by scoring the only goal of the match, coming off the bench.

Kettering score 1.6 goals per game at home (1.4 overall), but have had a big win over Leigh RMI recently, putting four past the Railwaymen. Six different players have got onto the score-sheet, but Christian Moore is their leading candidate for the Kettering Golden Boot this season, with seven goals, putting him joint sixth in the overall league chart. He is the only Kettering player in the top twenty goal scorers, whereas Celtic have three players in that list, with Lee Ellington the current leader of the chart with thirteen league goals; Jody Banim and Neil Prince are in joint eleventh, on five apiece.

Most of Kettering?s goals are scored in the second half, with six of their seventeen goals scored around the seventy minute mark. Most of their conceding is done in the last few minutes of a game, with five of their conceded eleven goals going in during the dying seconds of a game.

Celtic won their last away game at Redditch, though they lost in their last home game to top of the league Stafford in a tight, closely contested match. We have kept two clean sheets, both times away from home, earning two 0-0 draws at Alfreton and Nuneaton. We score 1.25 goals per game, away from home, whilst conceding 1.4 goals per game. Twelve of our scored twenty-seven goals have been scored in the last twenty minutes of a game, whilst conceding has been fairly constant, with just over half conceded in the second half.

Kettering have a strong squad of players, with the new management team looking at bringing in expensive quality to strengthen it further. In their last game, the 1-0 win over Droylsden, they lined up as:
1. Mark Osborn
2. Wayne Diuk
3. Stephan Morley
4. Craig McIlwain
5. David Theobald
6. Hugh McAuley
7. Jamie Paterson
8. Andy Hall
9. James Gould
10. Ollie Burgess
11. Neil Midgley

Celtic?s injury crisis is easing slightly, with Phil Eastwood marking his return with a goal against Redditch. We lined up in our 3-2 defeat at the hands of Stafford as:
1. Paul Pettinger
2. Tom Baker
3. Mark Barnard
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Mark Haran
6. Chris Price
7. Steve Garvey
8. Paul Sykes
9. Lee Ellington
10. Jody Banim
11. Neil Prince

It is going to take a phenomenally good performance to take anything from Rockingham Road, but this Celtic team is capable of producing one. History is against Celtic, as Kettering have beaten us in our last five meetings. The last time Celtic beat Kettering was in the 1996 season when we won home and away, 3-1 at home and a phenomenal 6-1 at Rockingham Road. That 6-1 victory was the only time we?ve taken any points off Kettering on their patch, giving us three points out of a possible twenty-one. There is no doubt that this will be our toughest match in the Midlands yet.
Distance: 132
Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Head away from Bower Fold towards Glossop.
At the traffic lights at the Glossop turning, continue straight to join the A628.
Stay on the A628 through Tintwistle to where it becomes the Woodhead Pass (if the Woodhead pass is closed, go across up to M62 and down the M1).
Stay on the A628 Woodhead Pass to the Flouch Roundabout (about 11 miles from Tintwistle).
Turn right (exit 3 of 4) onto the A616 (signposted for the M1).
After nine miles, there is a roundabout with the A61; continue straight across (exit 3 of 4) to stay on the A616 (signposted M1 Southbound).
After a mile join the M1 Southbound at junction 35a.
Stay on the M1 for 81 miles to junction 19 (M6/A14).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, go straight across (exit 2 of 3) onto the A14.
Stay on the A14 for 18 1/2 miles to junction 7 (signposted Kettering Town FC).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, turn left (exit 1 of 4) onto the A43.
Stay on the A43 for 1 1/2 miles to a roundabout with the A6003.
Turn right onto the A6003 (Rockingham Road).
The ground is 800 yards down Rockingham road on the left.

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