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Match Preview :- AFC Telford - Saturday December 20th, 2008 (15:00:00)
Saturday sees Celtic return to league action after their heroic 6-1 demolition of Stourbridge in the Trophy, when we travel to Telford to face the Shropshire outfit (kick off 3pm ? there will be a Live Match Centre for this match). Telford are currently third in the table, five points and three places ahead of Celtic, having played the same number of games.

Telford have not lost since the start of September when Harrogate beat them in Harrogate, coming just after losing away at Droylsden. They have won their last six matches, and have not lost at home at all this season, though Workington, Fleetwood and Alfreton have all held them to 0-0 draws. They have conceded just five goals at home this season, Hucknall, Gainsborough and Blyth all scoring once, whilst Hinckley got two. All four teams still lost.

Telford?s defence is the best in the league, having conceded just eleven goals all season, whilst Celtic are one goal off the top attack position, having scored thirty five goals this season ? and Tamworth have played one more game. Our scoring prowess has given us the longest scoring streak in the league, scoring at least once in thirteen consecutive games.

Telford have kept six clean sheets at home, as well as three away, whilst failing to score five times, three times at home. Their top scorer this season is Andy Brown on nine, with Terry Fearns behind him on five. Brown?s nine goals puts him joint fifth in the overall league scorers chart. On average, Telford score 1.6 goals per game, and concede 0.5 per home game (0.7 overall). Their most dangerous period is the last half an hour, with just under half of their goals scored in this period. With just four goals conceded in the first half, and seven in the second half, they don?t really concede.

In our first game of the season, we played Telford at Bower Fold, with the final score 2-2. Telford have won the previous six encounters, with Celtic?s last win over Telford in March 1996 in the Conference National, when we beat them at Telford, 1-0, the last win in six years of dominance over the Shropshire outfit. When we visited there last season, Telford beat us 3-0.

Telford do not look to have any injury worries and have no players suspended for Saturday. In their last match, the 2-1 victory over Boston United in the FA Trophy, Telford lined up as:
1. Ryan Young
2. Jimmy Turner
3. James Meredith
4. Gavin Cowan
5. Indy Khela
6. Liam Blakeman
7. Steve Jagielka
8. Carl Rodgers
9. Terry Fearns
10. Danny Carey-Bertram
11. Lee Moore

Celtic will be with Richard Battersby who is suspended for one game following his two yellow cards, whilst Keith Briggs edges back to full fitness. Steve Torpey managed most of the Trophy match on Tuesday, and grabbed a goal. In Celtic?s last match, the 6-1 win away at Stourbridge, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paul Phillips
2. Ashley Woolliscroft
3. Rhys Meynell
4. Tom Sharpe
5. Terry Barwick
6. Barrie Keeling
7. Steve Torpey
8. Lee Ellington
9. Andy Smart
10. Michael Byrne
11. Chris Williams

Both sides need the win, Telford to possibly go top, if they win, whilst Tamworth and Southport both lose. Southport are facing Gainsborough at home, whilst Tamworth are at home to Droylsden. Celtic need the win to get back into the top five, we need to not lose, and have Hinckley fail to win to get back to fifth. Hinckley are away at Workington. Harrogate, the other top five team are away at Vauxhall.

The automated prediction algorithm believes Telford will just edge the tie and win 2-1.
Directions
Distance: 100
Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

From the M67 join the M60 towards Stockport.
After 7 miles, leave the M60 at Junction 4 (Chester, M6) to join the M56 Stay on the M56 for 7 miles, coming off at junction 7 (Northwich, M6) to join the A556.
The roundabout can be avoided by using the slip road.
Stay on the A556 for 5 miles to the roundabout with the M6.
Join the M6 southbound (Birmingham) avoiding the roundabout by using the slip road.
Stay on the M6 for 52 miles, coming off at junction 11 (Wolverhampton).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road turn right (exit 4 of 5) onto the A460.
Stay on the A460 for 2 miles to the junction with the M54.
At the roundabout with the M54, turn right (exit 3 of 4) to join the M54 towards Telford.
Stay on the M54 for 17 miles to junction 6 (Telford West).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road turn right (exit 3 of 4) onto the A518 (you will go down a hill and past Tesco).
Almost immediately, there is a roundabout.
Go straight across (exit 2 of 3) to stay on the A518.
Almost immediately, there is a roundabout.
Go straight ahead (exit 2 of 4) to stay on the A518, following the signs for Whitchurch A442.
After 300 yards, there is a roundabout dominated by Furrows Ford garage.
Turn left (exit 1 of 5) onto Haybridge Road.
As you cross over a railway bridge, there is parking for the ground on your left (in Telford college of technology).
The ground is opposite the college.

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