Football Previews Stalybridge Celtic and Ashton United
Tuesday 4th April 2017 @ 14:38 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Stalybridge Celtic make the journey to Alfreton Town this evening in the Vanarama National League North.

Steve Burr’s side were unable to hold out for victory at FC United on Saturday, instead drawing 2-2 after conceding an 88th minute equaliser.

The result leaves Celtic in 21st position and 13 points adrift of safety, while tonight’s opponents sit 17th in the table and nine points above the danger zone.

Russ O’Neills side fell to a 1-0 defeat to Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday, after Oli Johnson capitalised on a weak backpass before rounding the keeper and slotting home from close range.

Alfreton, who were in the top tier of non-league football two seasons ago, face a nervy end to the season.

Defeat to Celtic this evening would spell real danger for the Reds, as their next two games are against Halifax and Darlington, who are well positioned to secure a playoff spot this season.

As for Celtic, their survival chances have all but ended after a somewhat uninspiring previous four games.

Having collected just two points from a possible 12, it looks fairly certain that the club will be playing Evo-Stik Premier Divison Football next season.

That said, the club will at least have the opportunity to claim some silverware at the end of the season, as they face off against FC united in the Manchester Premier Cup Final on Thursday, May 4, at Oldham Athletic’s Boundary Park.

The occasion will mark the second successive season that Celtic have reached the final of the competition, after falling to a 3-1 defeat to Mossley last year.

The two sides previously met at Bower Fold in October. Alfreton struck in the last minute to claim a dramatic 3-2 win.

Elsewhere this evening, Ashton United will be hoping to make it back-to-back victories against playoff outsiders Workington.

After falling out of the Doodson League Cup Quarter-Final at Bamber Bridge last Tuesday, the Robins bounced back on Saturday and beat relegation threatened Corby Town 3-1 at Hurst Cross.

Ashton were without prolific striker Jack Dyche on the afternoon, who was recalled by parent club Scunthorpe United last week, after impressing during his second loan spell with the Robins.

The 19-year-old was included in Scunthorpe’s trip to Millwall on Saturday, although he failed to come off the bench in a 3-1 loss at The Den.

Nevertheless, Ashton cruised to victory over struggling Corby in no small part to Ryan Crowther and Matty Chadwick, who scored two and one respectively.

Chadwick’s solitary effort took his tally to 16 for the season, while Crowther took his to 10 in all competitions since the beginning of the year.

Current league standings dictate that Ashton’s chances of reaching the playoffs are pretty much over.

Jody Banim and Will Haining’s side are currently 11 points from fifth spot with six games of the season remaining.

Workington, on the other hand, are seven points outside the playoffs, although they do have two games in hand on some of the teams immediately above them.

The Cumbrians enter tonight’s clash having enjoyed a weekend off from competitive action, after Ilkeston were unable to field a squad on Saturday due to issues over unpaid players.

As far as previous encounters between the sides go this season, Workington came out on top in a 1-0 victory at Borough Park in October.