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Match Preview :- Nuneaton Town - Saturday October 29th, 2005 (15:00:00)
Celtic are away again on Saturday, with a tough match against Nuneaton Borough (kick off 3pm). Nuneaton are currently third in the table and have a real prospect of going into the play-offs for the second successive season. They are three points behind Stafford in second having played a game less and have only lost once all season.

Their current run of form is impressive, with six straight wins ? admittedly against second half of the table teams. Against top of the table teams Droylsden (away) and Kettering (home), they got draws, and they suffered their only defeat of the season away at Stafford. That defeat has been the only game of the season so far that has seen Nuneaton fail to score. On top of this, they have also kept an impressive seven clean sheets, and have not conceded a goal in 560 minutes of football since the draw against Kettering back in August, and have only conceded seven since the start of the season. This defensive solidity has put them at the top of the defensive charts for the league, conceding a miserly 0.6 goals per game at home, with two in the first half, and five in the second (all in the last twenty-five minutes)

They are no slouches when it comes to scoring either, holding the leagues best away win, 4-0 away at near neighbours Moor Green. They score fairly consistently throughout the game, with no discernable peaks. At home they score an average of 2.4 goals per game with Michael Frew their lead goal-scorer on six goals and Gez Murphy pushing him all the way with five, putting them joint sixth and joint tenth in the league golden boot chart. Their remaining eleven goals have come from all over the park, with a further seven players having their names on the score sheet.

Previous meetings between the two clubs have favoured Nuneaton in recent years, with them winning two out of the last four encounters, and drawing a third. Celtic have failed to take any points from Nuneaton away, but have won one and drawn one at Bower Fold. With Celtic having failed to win a single away game, and Nuneaton having never lost at home, it?s no surprise that the automated prediction algorithm has gone for a home win, what is a surprise is that it has gone for 3-2, believing that Celtic can get two away goals, despite not scoring away from home in the past three games.

Maybe not such a big surprise when it?s realised that Celtic have two of the top ten scorers in the league with Neil Prince and Lee Ellington playing. Ellington is currently second in the table, just one goal behind the leader Johnny Allen of Northwich. On top of this, a stalwart in the Borough defence, Terry Angus, will almost certainly be missing from the starting line-up having picked up a nasty head wound in their 1-0 win over Tiverton in the FA cup fourth qualifying round on Tuesday night (they were held to a 0-0 draw at Tiverton on Saturday).

In that FA cup game, Nuneaton lined up as:
1. Darren Acton
2. Rob Oddy
3. Michael Love
4. Gary Fitzpatrick
5. Kevin Wilkin
6. Terry Angus
7. Matt Collins
8. Mark Noon
9. Michael Frew
10. Gez Murphy
11. David Staff

Celtic are operating on the bare bones at the moment, and haven?t won in the last three games, though they drew their last match 1-1 at home to Hinckley. In that game, Celtic lined up as:

1. Paul Pettinger
2. Grant Black
3. Nathan Wharton
4. Mark Barnard
5. Mark Haran
6. Chris Price
7. James Turley
8. Paul Sykes
9. Lee Ellington
10. Jody Banim
11. Neil Prince.

In the last four league matches, Celtic have conceded only three goals, and kept a clean sheet, which is a vast step forward from earlier in the season. The poor away form has to end soon and perhaps Celtic need the challenge of strong opposition to raise their game and produce the kind of football that they are capable of. That said, a win for Celtic in this fixture would be a shock! It could also propel Celtic into the play-off spots, so it is a goal worth striving for.
Distance: 116
Time: 2 hours and 15 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 84 miles to junction 3 (Bedworth).
The M6 Toll can be used to cut out Birmingham if desired.
At the roundabout at he end of the slip road turn left (exit 2 of 5) onto the A444.
Stay on the A444 for 5 miles to a roundabout with the A4254 (Avenue Road).
Stay on the A5254 for half a mile across a roundabout.
Turn left onto Townsend Drive.
After half a mile, turn right onto Liberty Way.

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