Match Preview :- Alfreton Town - Saturday January 5th, 2008 (15:00:00)
Celtic are back on their travels again this weekend with a trip to Derbyshire for our clash with Alfreton Town (kick off 3pm). Alfreton are currently four points and two places behind Celtic, on thirty-two points in ninth, having played two games more.

After a disappointing start to the season, Alfreton have hauled themselves into the top half of the table with some good results through October and November, though December has seen them falter a little. They have won just one match in their last five, beating Hucknall at home, after losing to Boston and drawing with Hucknall in the reverse derby fixture. Their start to the season saw them lose the opening three games, and win just two of the opening nine, before their resurgence. They have failed to score just three times, and have scored in their last eleven games. They have kept five clean sheets this season, though their last one was seven games ago against Leigh. However, they kept four clean sheets on the run between October and November, which is still a record this season.

Our last visit to the Impact Arena was in February last year when we came away victors in a close fought 2-1 win, taking all six points from Alfreton that season with a 3-2 win at Bower Fold in November. The last time Alfreton beat us was in the 04/05 season when they took six points off us, beating us 1-0 at the Impact Arena, and 3-2 at Bower Fold.

Their top scorer this season is Brian Cusworth, whose eight goals sneak him into the top ten in the league. Danny Reet is his closest rival for the Alfreton Golden boot on five goals. Alfreton have scored thirty-two goals this season, with their most dangerous period just after the half hour mark when they have found the net ten times. They have conceded thirty-three goals, with their most vulnerable period around the hour mark when they have conceded eight goals. On average, they score 1.5 goals per game at home (1.4 overall), whilst conceding 1.4 goals per game (home and away). They score their first goal on average at the forty minute mark, and concede in the thirty-seventh minute.

Alfreton have no injury worries and the suspensions of Danny Reet and Brian Cusworth (both for sendings off against Hucknall on Boxing Day), do not kick in until the weekend after we play them. They have a trio of new faces at the Impact Arena, with international defender Georges Santos (one cap for Cape Verde in 2002) signing from Chesterfield. Manager Nicky Law has signed his son, Josh, on loan for the rest of the season, also from Chesterfield, and striker Paul Clayton joins from Gainsborough Trinity.

In their last match, the 2-1 win over Hucknall on New Year?s Day, Alfreton lined up as:
1. Phil Senior
2. Laurie Wilson
3. Kris Bowler
4. Georges Santos
5. Tony Butler
6. Anton Brown
7. Steve Warne
8. Josh Law
9. Danny Reet
10. Paul Clayton
11. Christopher Walton

Celtic will be welcoming back Ashley Winn after his enforced Christmas Break, having now served the longest three game suspension in history. Alex Meechan and Lee Ellington both came through the Hyde match unscathed. In the 3-1 win over Hyde, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paddy Gamble
2. Ashley Woolliscroft
3. Andy Smart
4. Steve Payne
5. Simon Garner
6. Paul Sykes
7. Lee Ellington
8. Terry Barwick
9. Chris Hall
10. Matty Barlow
11. Alex Meechan

The automated prediction algorithm is suggesting a thumping 4-1 win for Celtic in this match. This is a tall order, and would make it six wins on the bounce for Celtic and the fourth consecutive away win. However, while the score-line is probably exaggerated, Celtic are more than capable of winning this one, putting the team in a very positive frame of mind with fixtures against Harrogate (home) and Kettering (away) coming up.

Celtic have never been higher than sixth in the Conference North, and a win on Saturday would put us in a great position, though Nuneaton, Telford and Hyde all have home games to try and maintain their lead on us (Nuneaton three points, Telford and Hyde eight points). We do have games in hand on the teams above us, but we will have to make them count for them to mean anything.
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).