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Match Preview :- Stafford Rangers - Tuesday March 7th, 2006 (19:45:00)
There are just half a dozen away fixtures left for Celtic this season, the first of which is Tuesday night, away at Stafford Rangers (kick off 7:45pm). Not the easiest match for Celtic to be playing straight after our defeat away at Northwich, as the league leaders are currently twenty-two points ahead of Celtic (having played only one game more), and ten places higher. They are the only team in the league to be averaging over two points per game, no mean feat.

Their fifty-three goals this season have given them the fifth best attack in the league, but it is not this that has propelled them into top spot. It is their defence, which is the meanest in the league, seeing them concede only twenty-two goals all season (only eleven at home). Though they don?t score prolifically, they hold the record for the longest scoring streak, a massive twenty-seven games, halted only by a 0-0 draw at home to Leigh RMI a fortnight ago. They have kept fifteen clean sheets, and failed to score only once.

Only Droylsden have beaten them at home this season, way back on Bonfire night with a final score of 2-1. Apart from that, only two other teams have beaten them this season, Hinckley United and Moor Green, both of whom had to put three goals past the otherwise excellent defence. Their current run sees them unbeaten in thirteen games, a run that has seen them get to the top of the Conference North and stay there since December. They have never been out of the play off spots. In their last six games, they have won four and drawn two, a pattern which holds for their overall results as well as their home results only.

Rangers and Celtic have met once already this season, when the visited Bower Fold and came away deserved winners in what was an excellent game and a great advertisement for non-league football. Hopefully the game will be equally as entertaining, and hopefully, the away team can come away with all three points again! This is going to be difficult to achieve though as our record at Marston Road has seen us get two draws in the past fifteen years and lose twice. The automated prediction algorithm has gone for a 2-1 win for the home side in this match and Celtic will have to produce something extra-special to change that.

Though they have scored ten goals in their last six matches, their average for the season is 1.8 goals per game (1.9 at home). They?ve conceded four over the same period, with an average for the season of 0.8 goals per game (0.8 at home). Their main sources of goals this season are Neil Grayson and Nathan Smith, whose eleven goals apiece put them at joint tenth. With a penalty and a goal from open play, top spot in the golden boot league has been taken by Danny Holland of Harrogate off Celtic?s top scorer this season, Lee Ellington. Lee is now joint-second with John Allan, the man whose goal took the points in Celtic?s last match at Northwich. Neil Grayson appears to be scoring a goal every other game so far, and if this holds true for Tuesday we are in luck, for he scored in their last league match, the 3-1 win over Vauxhall Motors.

With so few goals conceded there is no real spike, though half of the goals that they have conceded have been around half time, ten minutes before and ten minutes afterwards. Scoring-wise, Stafford like the half hour mark (ten), the hour mark (nine) and the last quarter of an hour (sixteen). In two of the three games that they?ve lost this season, the opposing teams have scored three (Hinckley and Moor Green), the only two teams to do so, suggesting that if Celtic can score three, we can win!

Stafford actually lost their last home match, albeit a Trophy match against Conference outfit Woking (we know that feeling, having lost to them in the Conference Cup Final last season). They lost this game 4-2 having drawn at Woking, and then taken the game to extra time at Marston Road. Still an excellent result!

Nathan Talbott is Stafford?s only doubt, and that is only a slight doubt, having not played on Saturday due to a weather postponement, like Celtic. In Stafford?s 4-2 loss at home to Woking, Stafford lined up as:
1. Dean Williams
2. Paul Groves
3. Nathan Talbott
4. Craig McAughtrie
5. Wayne Daniel
6. Craig Lovatt
7. Levi Reid
8. Kevin Street
9. Neil Grayson
10. Peter Thomson
11. Robin Gibson

Celtic lined up in our 1-0 loss at Northwich 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

Celtic played really well against Northwich, and got nothing out of it, on another day it could have been different. Hopefully a similar performance against Stafford could be that day. Celtic are certainly capable of beating Stafford at Stafford. They are not invulnerable. That said, this is probably going to be Celtic?s toughest match of the season.
P Pts
1 Stafford Rangers 30 67
2 Nuneaton Town 31 58
3 Northwich Victoria 29 56
4 Harrogate Town 30 50
5 Droylsden 30 49
Tue 07 Mar 2006Stalybridge Celtic1-0
Tue 21 Feb 2006Vauxhall Motors3-1
Sat 18 Feb 2006Leigh Genesis0-0
Tue 14 Feb 2006Worksop Town4-2
Sat 11 Feb 2006Redditch United1-0
Goal Scorers
Smith, Nathan11
Grayson, Neil11
Thomson, Peter7
Street, Kevin7
Groves, Paul4
Previous Meetings
Saturday February 08, 2020
Tuesday October 15, 2019
Saturday December 08, 2018
Saturday September 01, 2018
Saturday February 24, 2018
Home win Gainsborough Trinity3-0Sat 3rd Dec
Away win Vauxhall Motors1-3Tue 21st Feb
Home defeat Solihull Moors1-3Sat 3rd Sep
Away defeat Droylsden2-1Sat 5th Nov
Home score Worksop Town4-2Tue 14th Feb
Away score Stalybridge Celtic2-3Tue 8th Nov
Games Since... Overall Home Away
Last Scored 121
Last Conceded 121
Last Won 121
Last Drew 553
Distance: 68
Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

From the M67 join the M60 towards Stockport.
After 7 miles, leave the M60 at Junction 4 (Chester, M6) to join the M56 Stay on the M56 for 7 miles, coming off at junction 7 (Northwich, M6) to join the A556.
The roundabout can be avoided by using the slip road.
Stay on the A556 for 5 miles to the roundabout with the M6.
Join the M6 southbound (Birmingham) avoiding the roundabout by using the slip road.
Stay on the M6 for 38 miles to junction 14 with the A34 (Stafford).
At the roundabout at the bottom of the slip road, turn left exit 1 of 5 onto the A34 (signposted Uttoxeter).
After 3/4 of a mile there is a roundabout - go straight across (exit 2 of 4) to join the A513 (Beaconside).
After 1/2 a mile, take the third right (immediate next right after the first left onto Marston Lane) onto Common Road.
The club is one mile down Common Road opposite the Audi garage.

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