Match Preview :- Hyde United - Saturday September 29th, 2007 (15:00:00)
Celtic have a mouth watering FA Cup tie on Saturday (kick off 3pm) against local rivals Hyde United. Free scoring Hyde are currently fourth in the table, four places and five points ahead of Celtic.

It is probably fair to say that neither club would have wished for this tie, but the fans of both clubs would disagree, as it adds spice to the tie. It does mean that there is guaranteed to be one less Tameside team in the next round though.

Hyde have started the season at full speed, losing only three times in the league this season (and that to teams expected to be in the play-off mix come the end of the season). They won their opening two fixtures, demolishing Vauxhall Motors 6-3 and winning away at Worcester on the opening day. Since then, they have lost to Tamworth, Harrogate and Southport, and got a draw at Gainsborough after a late collapse saw them let slip a two goal lead. In their last three league games they have only managed to score a single goal in each match, which is at odds to their early season form that saw them regular score two or more. It does mean that they have scored in every league game this season, whilst keeping five clean sheets.

Their most recent match saw them crash out of the Cheshire Senior Cup against Nantwich, with manager Steve Waywell choosing to rest several key players. Steve Burr took the opposite view and saw Celtic's Cheshire Senior Cup match against Woodley Sports as a competitive training match for Saturday (though he also wanted to win!). Which approach turns out to be the better will be seen on Saturday.

On average, Hyde have scored 1.8 goals per game on the road this season (2.2 overall), whilst conceding 1.4 (1.2 overall). Their average time of first goal is thirty-four minutes (forty-seven overall), whilst their average time of first concession is sixty-one minutes (thirty-nine overall). Chris Simm and Matt Tipton are Hyde's current top scorers, with four apiece, and last season's top scorer Gareth Seddon is right behind them on three.

Our recent meetings with Hyde have not gone in Celtic's favour, with Hyde winning the last five encounters (including the infamous 7-3 last season), two of which were the Ray Stanley Memorial Trophy. Prior to those five games, though, Celtic won the previous fourteen, including a 6-0 demolition of them back in 2003, a result which stands as the largest winning margin between the two teams, and the last time Celtic beat Hyde at Bower Fold in a competitive fixture (excluding the Ray Stanley games).

Hyde will be without Steve Pickford and Nathan Wharton for the match, as they are both currently suspended, the latter suffering under a three week ban imposed due to his sending off in this season's Ray Stanley match. Gareth Seddon was absent for their Nantwich match due to a slight injury, but will probably start on Saturday.

In the last match they put out a full strength team, the 1-0 win over Telford, Hyde lined up as:
1. Craig Dootson
2. Chris Brass
3. Chris Lynch
4. Craig Robinson
5. Peter Band
6. Mark Innes
7. Lee Cartwright
8. Steve Pickford
9. Matt Tipton
10. Gareth Seddon
11. Nicky Clee

Celtic may be able to welcome back Steve Payne, Mark Haran and James Dudgeon for the match, with all three under the watchful eye of Dave Pover. Gareth Davies is not allowed to play in the match, with Chesterfield wishing to keep him from being cup tied. However, with defenders returning, Paul Sykes may be moved back into midfield.

In our last match, the 4-1 home win over Woodley Sports, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paddy Gamble
2. Barrie Keeling
3. Steve Garner
4. Gareth Davies
5. Terry Barwick
6. Paul Sykes
7. Lee Ellington
8. Ashley Winn
9. Chris Hall
10. Matty Barlow
11. Carlos Roca

This is a completely different team and set-up from the 7-3 game last season; it is improved not only across the field, but also across the back-room. If they play like they are capable, if they are up for it, there is no reason why the Tameside team in the next round cannot be Stalybridge Celtic.
Match Sponsor
Debona Ltd
Ball Sponsor
Criss Cross Autos
Man of the Match Sponsor
Lauren Hall
Programme Sponsor
Moss and Williamson