Stalybridge Celtic are looking to make their mark away from home as they travel to Mickleover Sports for the opening game of the season.
Both teams will be looking for better campaigns as they both scathed off relegation on the last day of last season much to the relief of both sets of fans.
Stalybridge have recruited well over the summer signing Craig Hobson, Mark Lees and Kallum Mantack to name a few. With Celtic adding a wealth of experience, manager Simon Haworth will be hoping to have a comfortable season and cement their place within the division. The form was definitely against Stalybridge in the second half of last season as they started well with only three losses from their opening games. After the turn of the year, the club won just four games and just two in their final ten games. The club will be hoping that they can have a good start again and remain somewhat consistent.
Celtic will be buoyed by the fact that Mickleover haven’t won a game since January but that win was against Stalybridge with 2-1 the final score. Stalybridge have endured a good pre-season with the club winning five out of their seven fixtures with new striker Craig Hobson netting four times. Should Stalybridge rely on anyone he will be key, as they will need consistent goals to perform as well as possible.
Speaking to Mark Philip, Haworth said, “We’re looking to kick on from last year. I think until early February we’d had a good season and were punching above our weight. For large parts of it we did well and probably overachieved a little bit, but then we lost a few lads and brought quite a few in that didn’t work, so we’ve been conscious this year of bringing in more senior players and more experienced players that can probably see us through those bad patches. We probably had too many youngsters last year.”
With both of these teams being relegation rivals last season it could become a crucial result further into the season but can Stalybridge get the result?