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Match Preview - Stalybridge Celtic FC vs Newcastle Town FC

Stalybridge next test for Castle


As winter turns to spring, the knowledge that the season is nearing its end and that every game becomes more and more crucial becomes more apparent.

With our league safety all but secured after beating Kidsgrove3-1 at home last Saturday, we travelled to Ellesmere Port on Tuesday in confident mood. A Tommy van der Laan torn hamstring later and another central defensive rejig was needed, meaning our plans to take on one of the toughest sides in the league in City of Liverpool were hastily rehashed. It was 3-1 again but we were on the wrong end of that scorelinethis time.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game and like City of Liverpool, Stalybridge sit three points above us in the league table, so while it will be tough, these are the kinds of games you want to be involved in as we get to the business end of the season.

It’s been a tough week without a doubt, both on the field and on the treatment table. Josh Jordan’s achilles is still troubling him and Jack van der Laan has also picked up a knock. Brother Tommy trained tonight and it’s hoped will be available for tomorrow, but like his hamstring, it could be tight.

I caught up with Bakes at training last night and he was in no doubt about the challenge that Stalybridge will pose: “They’re a good side as the league table suggests and we’ll need to get ourselves back up again after the midweek loss. We played some very good football in patches on Tuesday but maybe defensively we were a little naïve at times.”

Stalybridge are on the edge of the play-offs but their recent form is not that good. They’ve gone six games without a win since thrashing Bootle 4-0 in early January but in Aaron Dwyer boast one of the league’s leading marksmen. They are a far cry from the team that was in the Conference in the early 2000s but would be a terrific scalp if we can pinch a result.

Finally, we’ve said farewell to a couple of players this week. Joe Berks has signed for Hednesford Town, while Kingsley Adu Gyamfi has joined Foley 433. We wish both players the very best for the remainder of the season.



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