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Match Preview :- Witton Albion - Tuesday March 14th, 2006 (19:45:00)
Tuesday night sees Celtic visit Altrincham's Moss Lane stadium as the 'home' team when we take on Witton Albion in the Cheshire Senior Cup final (kick off 7.45pm). Witton were last in the final two years ago when they lost after extra time to Woodley Sports, when captain Pritchard tackled a streaker, an incident that propelled the two teams onto the national news. Hopefully it will be too cold for a repeat of that.

Over the past twenty-five years Albion have reached the final seven times, winning it twice. Celtic have reached the final just twice in the same time frame, winning it once, a sensational 5-1 win over a strong Stockport team during our treble winning year. Witton's last win was ten years ago when they beat Hyde United 3-1 in 1996.

Witton's progress in the cup has seen them beat Warrington Town 4-0, and Hyde united 3-1 (after extra time - it was 0-0 at full time). In the semi-final they beat Camel Laird 1-0. Celtic beat Cheadle Town 7-1 in the opening round, before a difficult away tie at Northwich who had been unbeaten at home for months, until we beat them 1-0 with Phil Eastwood scoring at the death. Finally we had to face a strong Crewe side in the semi-finals, and this time it was Paul Sykes who got the only goal ten minutes into the second half.

Across all competitions, 2006 is not going well for Witton. Three wins in twelve games, with one draw, has seen them drop from second position to sixth in the Unibond Premier division, on the fringes of the play-off spots into the Conference North. They started the campaign with only one defeat in their opening dozen games. A poor October saw them lose four out of seven matches, going out of the FA Cup at the hands of Harrogate and out of the Trophy at the hands of AFC Telford. November and December saw them lose just once, taking eight wins from ten.

Their lead scorer last season was Mike Moseley who found the net twenty-six times in fifty two appearances. However, he seems to have mislaid his shooting boots this season, for he has only scored once in the last ten matches and fourteen in forty two this season. With Moseley having scored twice in 2006, goals have been hard to come by for Witton, and they have scored twelve goals in twelve matches, an average of one a game that's been boosted by five goals in their last two games. Though they started the year off with three clean sheets, Witton then went on to concede nineteen goals in the next seven games.

The last time we met Witton was in 2000, when they beat us in a friendly at the start of the season, and we went on to put them out of the Cheshire Senior Cup and the FA Trophy. The last time the two sides squared up in a league match was back in 1996 when we were both in the Conference National. We beat them twice in the 93/94 season, though 92/93 saw them take all six points off us. In 1989, Witton recorded their biggest win over us, when they stuffed us 6-1 in the Unibond Premier, followed at the start of the next season by a 4-0 win (both games at Witton). With Celtic as the home team, Witton have beaten us only once in the last twenty years.

Both sides will be without influential players in the match through suspension. Paul Sykes has an accumulation of bookings, whilst Witton's Steve Connors will miss out for the same reason. Tom Spearitt, the Witton centre-back will also be missing due to an ankle injury. It remains to be seen whether on loan full-back, Darren Hockenhull, will be allowed to play for Witton.

Witton lost their last match 3-2 at home to Burscough, despite two penalties. In that match they lined up as:
1. Mark Westhead
2. Darren Hockenhull
3. Liam Brownhill
4. Brian Pritchard
5. Tom Spearitt
6. Gary Burke
7. Neil Hall
8. Mike Bowler
9. Mike Moseley
10. Dave Whittaker
11. Mark Peers

In Celtic's recent 2-0 home win over Nuneaton Borough, we lined up as:
1. Paul Pettinger
2. Grant Black
3. Scott Maxfield
4. Mark Barnard
5. Mark Haran
6. Chris Price
7. Garry Kharas
8. Paul Sykes
9. Lee Ellington
10. Jody Banim
11. Neil Prince

With the recent form of the two teams, plus the difference in league standings, the automated prediction algorithm has a 2-0 win for Celtic on the cards. It will be a tough game, but one that is eminently winnable, and will put some silverware back into Celtic's cabinet.
P Pts
1 Stafford Rangers 32 68
2 Northwich Victoria 31 62
3 Nuneaton Town 33 59
4 Droylsden 32 53
5 Harrogate Town 31 53
Tue 14 Mar 2006Stalybridge Celtic2-0
No Scorers
Previous Meetings
Saturday September 28, 2019
Saturday February 09, 2019
Tuesday November 06, 2018
Thursday April 26, 2018
Tuesday September 19, 2017
Home win Never won at home
Away win Never won away
Home defeat Never lost at home
Away defeat Never lost away
Home score Never played home
Away score Never played away
Games Since... Overall Home Away
Last Scored n/an/an/a
Last Conceded n/an/an/a
Last Won n/an/an/a
Last Drew n/an/an/a
Distance: 35
Time: 45 minutes

From the M60, Junction 4 (M67) go clockwise, towards Stockport.
At Junction 4 (M56) leave the M60 and join the M56.
Stay on the M56 for eight miles leaving junction 10 (Northwich).
Join the A559 (Northwich Road) towards Northwich.
Stay on the A559 for 6 miles - watch for speed cameras! Turn right at the crossroads by the Black Greyhound pub (signposted for Wincham) onto Hall Lane.
After driving for half a mile, you will cross the canal bridge, turn left (signposted for the ground).
The ground is on the left.

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