Match Preview :- Workington - Saturday September 24th, 2005 (3:00PM)
Next up at Bower Fold is the FA Cup 2nd qualifying match on Saturday (kick off 3pm) when the challengers will be Workington. The Cumbrian outfit are currently in the relegation zone on goal difference, two points clear of Redditch, having played a game more. They have won just once this season, away at Moor Green, a game that they won 4-1.

Three years ago, almost to the very day, Workington visited Bower Fold, and had it not been for two late goals from Potts and Denham, they would have won the tie at the first time of asking. As it was they did progress to the next round after comprehensively beating us back at their place. We did gain a measure of revenge when we soundly defeated them in the President?s Cup later that year, a competition we went on to win that season.

Their position in the table belies their results this season. They held Stafford to a 2-2 draw in their last outing, away at Stafford. They have also drawn with Worcester and Hyde this season. Prior to the draw at Stafford they lost to Barrow 6-1, a score-line less surprising now we have seen first hand how clinical Barrow can be. This remains the heaviest defeat by any team in the Conference North this season.

Workington have failed to score in two league games that they have played this season, at home to Nuneaton and away at Hucknall. Like Celtic, they have conceded in every game that they have played, though. Away from home, they score an average of 1.6 goals per game, whilst conceding 2.2 goals per game. Their goals have come from all over the pitch, with Ian Arnold, Graham Goulding, Dan Dillon and Craig Johnston all scoring two apiece. Just over half of the goals scored this season have come in the second half, whilst they concede fairly evenly throughout the game.

Celtic?s last three games have seen us score thirteen goals, and concede six, and we are unbeaten at home this season, winning our last three home games. Our top scorer is Lee Ellington with eight goals in all competitions, whilst Neil Prince and Paul Sykes are right up there with him on six apiece. We score an average of 2.75 goals per game at home, whilst conceding 1.5 goals per game.

In Workington?s recent 2-2 away draw at Stafford, they lined up as:
1. Adam Collin
2. David Hewson
3. Lee Hoolickin
4. Kyle May
5. Alan Gray
6. Matthew Henney
7. Carl Heiniger
8. Steve Birks
9. Richard Logan
10. Ian Arnold
11. Craig Johnston

A likely change is the introduction of midfielder Ryan McClusky, a former crowd favourite who is returning to Workington after a sojourn across the Irish Sea, and will have received his international clearance in time for the FA Cup match.

Celtic?s unlucky and not at all reflective, 4-2 loss away at Barrow saw us line up 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
With the FA Cup a potentially lucrative side-line, both sides will be looking for a win, and Celtic will need to play better than they did three years ago to overcome a determined Workington. Given the relative positions of the two teams, the automated prediction algorithm has plumped for yet another goal-fest at Bower Fold, with 3-2 to Celtic.
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