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Match Preview :- Alfreton Town - Saturday February 3rd, 2007 (15:00:00)
Celtic must once again put a horror show behind them as they go into Derbyshire to face Alfreton Town. Alfreton are currently thirteenth in the table, five points and four places ahead of Celtic, despite having played a game less. They have won seven out of their last ten games, and were looking good until the departure of their manager (Gary Mills) and assistant manager (Darren Gee) to Tamworth.

Their last home game was against Leigh RMI, a game they won thanks to a single goal from returning striker Emeka Nwadike late in the game. Previously they have also beaten Gainsborough, Barrow and Hucknall at home, but have lost to Droylsden and Nuneaton, so they are not unbeatable at the Impact Arena. They have tightened up defensively in recent matches, and have not conceded a goal in their last two games, winning both 1-0.

Earlier in the season when we met at Bower Fold, Alfreton narrowly lost out to a share of the spoils thanks to another goal from Nwadike, this time in his own net. Despite a late resurgence, Celtic held on to take the three points, giving Celtic a rare chance to take six points off a team this season. However, recent history would conspire against this fact, and we have not won in our last three attempts at the Impact Arena, with our last visit returning the best result we have had there, with a 0-0 draw.

Alfreton?s top scorer is Mark Rawle, who has six goals to his name, with Nwadike, Andy Tiday and Ashley Burbeary all just behind him on three goals each. As can be imagined, Alfreton do not score many, but nor do they concede many either. At home, they score an average of 1.4 goals per game (1.2 overall), whilst conceding 1.1 goals per game (1.3 overall). They have scored nineteen of their thirty goals in the second half, with the seventy to eighty minute mark their most dangerous period. They have conceded almost equally between the two halves, though with eight conceded around the half hour mark, this is their most vulnerable period.

The loss of the management team may be a way for Celtic to exploit a period of weakness at Alfreton and get something out of the match. Though there have been applicants for the job, nobody has yet taken the helm. However, if a manager is appointed ahead of the game, New Manager Syndrome will probably kick in, so Celtic will need to produce the goods. They will be without Marcus Ebdon, who is sitting out the remains of his three match ban.

In their last match, the home win over Leigh RMI, Alfreton lined up as:
1. Dale Roberts
2. Ryan Clarke
3. Mark Barnard
4. Tommy Hannigan
5. Nathan Winder
6. Emeka Nwadike
7. Danny Mayman
8. Ashley Burbeary
9. Andy Tiday
10. Mark Rawle
11. Tristram Whitman

Celtic will be without Grant Black and Lee Ellington thanks to red cards picked up in recent games, and Steve Smith and Mark Haran through injury. It will be another game for loanee Keiran Walmsley as acting custodian for Grant Black. New loanee Matty Barlow (who joins us on a month?s loan from Oldham Athletic) will have the biggest boots to fill standing in for Lee Ellington. Also returning from suspension will be Paul Sykes.

In our last game, the 4-0 defeat at home to Barrow, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paul Pettinger
2. Keiran Walmsley
3. Scott Maxfield
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Luke Foster
6. Ashley Winn
7. Steve Brodie
8. Dominic Krief
9. Lee Ellington
10. Mark Hume
11. Neil Prince
Celtic find themselves in desperate need of points. Anything other than a win could leave us hovering just outside the relegation places depending on how Leigh RMI (away at Droylsden) and Gainsborough (away at Redditch ? who occupy the third relegation spot currently) get on. A clean sheet would also be nice, but three points have to be the prime target.
Distance: 62
Time: 1 hour and 30 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.
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 20 miles to junction 28 (Derby).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, turn right (exit 3 of 5) onto the A38.
After two miles, there is a slip road (signposted B600), leave here.
At the t-junction at the end of the slip road, turn right onto the B600 towards Alfreton.
After half a mile, North Street is on the left (It is the second left after leaving the A38).

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