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Match Preview :- Hinckley United - Saturday February 18th, 2006 (15:00:00)
Celtic were the first team to play at Hinckley?s new Marston stadium, and Saturday sees us make the trek there again (kick off 3pm). Hinckley United are one place and one point above us in the league table, having played four games more. They have averaged 1.36 points per game so far this season, compared to Celtic?s 1.54, putting us five places above them in the points per game table.

When the two sides met earlier in the campaign, Hinckley came away with a 1-1 draw. It was a game which saw two Celtic goals ruled offside, and Tom Baker get his nose bloodied by an unseen head-butt ? so full of incident then. Lee Ellington scored the goal in that game, after being put through by Jody Banim. Celtic haven?t beaten Hinckley yet, home or away, drawing at Hinckley last season, and losing to them at home in the last game before John Reed took over.

Hinckley may have won their last home game (1-0 against Barrow), but their previous two home games saw them beaten by Worcester (1-3) and Hednesford (1-2), indeed, that Barrow game is the only home game that they have won since they beat Hyde back in November ? though they have beaten Hucknall and Vauxhall away from home. In addition, they lost their last game, 1-3 away at Droylsden. Their home form has not been good this season and they have taken fifteen points from a possible forty-two, drawing six and winning three. Their main points this season have come from the five wins and four draws they have had away from home.

They have kept six clean sheets this season, and failed to score five times, including two 0-0 draws. Their best home result was near the start of the season when the beat Hucknall 3-1, though they beat Barrow 5-2 away from home. Their highest league placing has been sixth, whilst their lowest has been thirteenth. On average they score 1.3 goals per game (1.5 overall), whilst conceding 1.5 goals per game (1.4 overall). Their top scorer is Andrew Brown on seven with Owen Storey close behind on five. The ten minutes before half time are their most prolific period, with fourteen of their forty-two goals going in during this period, another eight in the final few minutes of a game. Most of their conceding is done in the second half, with twelve of their conceded forty goals scored in the last ten minutes of a match.

In January, Hinckley had a goalkeeping crisis, and were forced to bring in a loan signing from Bury, a certain Craig Dootson. Celtic won?t be facing their former shot stopper though, as he was recalled to the League Two club at the start of February.

Against Droylsden in Hinckley?s last match, the away 3-1 loss, Hinckley lined up as:
1. Ryan Price
2. Neil Cartwright
3. Jamie Lenton
4. Kyle Storer
5. Carl Heeley
6. Russell Hitchen
7. Stuart Storer
8. Sam Shilton
9. Andrew Brown
10. Owen Storey
11. Lee Colkin

In Celtic?s last match, the 3-0 defeat of Alfreton at home, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paul Pettinger
2. Grant Black
3. Scott Maxfield
4. Mark Barnard
5. Mark Haran
6. Chris Price
7. Steve Garvey
8. Paul Sykes
9. Lee Ellington
10. Jody Banim
11. Neil Prince

The automated prediction algorithm has a 2-2 for this game, which in itself is not a bad result; however, given Hinckley?s home form this is a game that Celtic can win. Celtic?s last five away matches have seen us take nine points from fifteen, winning three and losing two. We have the league?s top scorer in our ranks: Lee Ellington now has eighteen league goals to his name, two goals clear at the top. Our last five league matches overall have seen us score fourteen goals and six. A win could propel us to seventh in the table, depending on how Hucknall and Kettering get on in their matches. Hucknall are away at Hyde, whilst Kettering are at home to Hednesford, whilst current form suggests that Hyde will win, it also suggests that Kettering will too, so a win would put us eighth, still in touch with the play-off spots. A loss could see us drop to sixteenth, though. There?s no doubt that this will be a tough game against touch opposition, but this is the right time to be playing Hinckley and we should take advantage of it.
Distance: 114
Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Head up Mottram Road towards Mottram.
Join Mottram Road towards Hollingworth.
At the traffic lights with the A57 Woolly Lane towards Glossop, continue straight ahead towards Hollingworth and Tintwistle.
After the lights the road becomes the A628.
Stay on the A628 and it will become the Woodhead pass.
After about 14 miles, you will reach the Flouch roundabout.
Turn right (exit 3 of 4) to join the A616 (signposted M1).
After 9 miles you will reach another roundabout, go straight across (exit 3 of 5) to stay on the A616.
After 1 1/2 miles you will reach the M1.
Join the M1 going southbound towards London.
Stay on the M1 for 71 miles to junction 21 (Coventry, M69).
Join the M69.
Stay on the M69 for 10 miles to junction 1 (Nuneaton).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, turn right (exit 4 of 6) onto the A5 towards Hinckley.
Stay on the A5 for 2 1/2 miles to a roundabout with the A447 (Dodwells Road).
At the roundabout, turn right (exit 2 of 4) onto the A447 (Dodwells Road) towards Earl Shilton.
Stay on the A447 for 4 miles straight across three roundabouts to a fourth roundabout with the B4668 (Leicester Road).
Turn right (exit 3 of 4) onto Leicester Road.
The ground is 200 yards on the right.

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