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Match Preview :- Alfreton Town - Tuesday April 7th, 2009 (19:45:00)
Celtic face Alfreton Town on Tuesday night in the rearranged fixture for the Conference North clash (kick off 7:45pm ? there will be a live match centre for this match). Alfreton are currently in fifth on sixty-three points, one place and three points ahead of Celtic.

Alfreton have had a great start to 2009. After a mediocre start to the season, that saw them dip as low as fourteenth, where they won four games in fifteen, they have built upon this and have won their last four games, and have lost just once in the last fifteen, with nine wins in that period. That loss was away at Droylsden and is the only game in the last thirty games that they have failed to score in, giving them the league record for the most number of consecutive games scored in, at twenty-two. They have beaten Southport home and away and taken four points off Harrogate and Tamworth. Only Droylsden and Gateshead have beaten them home and away this season, and with draws or wins against their remaining teams, nobody else will do so. They have lost just twice on their travels, giving them one of the best away records in the league, with only Tamworth and Gateshead to be ahead of them. They have the third best attack in the league, and the fifth best defence.

We met them earlier in the season at the Impact Arena, where they inflicted their first defeat over us in seven times of asking, with Celtic winning five of those encounters home and away. Alfreton?s last win at Bower Fold was back in August 2004, when they won 3-2. Our last win at Bower Fold over Alfreton was in March last season, when we ran out 3-1 winners, with Torpey getting a brace.

Alfreton?s top scorer this campaign is Liam Hearn who has eighteen goals, and sits in third in the overall league goal scorers? chart. Also in the top twenty is Paul Clayton, whose thirteen goals puts him behind Hearn for the Alfreton golden boot this season. Alfreton?s most dangerous period is just before half time around the forty minute mark, where they have scored sixteen of their sixty-five goals this season. Their most vulnerable period is around the eight-five minute mark, where they have conceded twelve of their forty-three goals this season. They score an average of 1.4 goals per game away from home (1.8 overall) and concede 1.1 away from home (1.2 overall).

Alfreton are suspension and injury free ahead of the match. In their last game, the 2-0 home win over Southport, Alfreton lined up as:
1. Steve Dickinson
2. Simon Marples
3. Kyle McFadzean
4. Matt Wilson
5. Tony Butler
6. Ian Ross
7. Josh Law
8. Anton Brown
9. Paul Clayton
10. Kris Bowler
11. Anthony Howell

Andy Smart made a welcome return for twenty minutes against Farsley in Celtic?s last match. In that match, a 1-0 home win, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paul Phillips
2. Richard Battersby
3. Rhys Meynell
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Terry Barwick
6. John Hardiker
7. Steve Torpey
8. Keith Briggs
9. Alex Meechan
10. Adam Newbold
11. Matty Barlow

The automated prediction algorithm is suggesting a 4-2 win for Alfreton in this match. Whilst this would not be a disaster in terms of our promotion push, it would put a severe dent in it. It is a huge game. With Droylsden away at Southport and Telford hosting Harrogate, this is a big evening for the promotion places. Droylsden are three points behind us, Harrogate four points, and both are breathing down our necks, waiting for a slip up. Whilst we would need to beat Alfreton by three goals to ensure replacing them in the top five on goal difference (or by two goals if we score four or more...), a loss could see Droylsden take over sixth spot, if they beat Southport. The season will not be decided tomorrow, but the top eight could have a very different complexion tomorrow morning.
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