Can Boston United put in a five-star performance against Stalybridge Celtic?

Local sport from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk/sport, on Twitter @standardduncan
Local sport from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk/sport, on Twitter @standardduncan

Dan Lawlor and Paul Lister will make their first startes for Boston United today, as the Pilgrims look to make it five straight home wins against Stalybridge Celtic.

The amber and blacks have recorded one draw, followed by four wins, in their home matches against Celtic over the years.

Manager Graham Drury has made two changes to the line-up which lost 2-1 at Guiseley on Saturday.

Lister replaces Phil Watt, who is on the bench due to suffering concussion at Nethermoor Park, while Lawlor is in at the expense of Keiran Walker.

Both Lister and Lawlor made sub appearances last week.

Ian Ross, back following a groin injury, takes his place on the bench.

Stalybridge are currently on a poor run of form - having picked up just one point in their past five matches.

They have also failed to find the net in their last three contests.

Celtic have not won since January 8’s 3-1 victory against struggling Bishop’s Stortford.

Since then, they have just one draw to their name.

Defeats at home to Brackley Town (3-0) and Worcester City (2-0) have arrived since their last point, a goalless draw against Stortford.

Previous to that, they were beaten at league leaders Chester FC (4-1) and at home to Corby Town (2-1).

Home advantage may be important for the Pilgrims today.

A 3-0 win at basement side Hinckley United has been Celtic’s only win on the road in their past four away trips.

Stalybridge are currently in 13th spot, a place and a point above the Pilgrims, having played a match more.

Like today’s Blue Square Bet North rivals, Boston aren’t going through their best spell either.

They have won just once in seven attempts - a 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Colwyn Bay.

Since then a draw at Gainsborough Trinity (2-2) was their only point.

They have also been beaten at Altrincham (7-1) and Gusieley (2-1) in recent weeks.

In this fixture last season, Marc Newsham found the net twice and Spencer Weir-Daley was also on the scoresheet in a 3-2 home win.

Weir-Daley was on target again when these two opponents met this season, Boston leaving Bower Fold with a 1-0 victory in late October.

UNITED: Haystead, Marshall, Mayo, Foster, Lister, Stainfield, Lawlor, Milnes, Weir-Daley, Newsham, Fairclough; Subs: Watt, Ward, Walker, Ross, Smith.

STALYBRIDGE: Cairns, Bleau, Warburton, Platt, Bembo-Leta, Haywood, Buckley, Hatch, Laird, Gregory, Hall; Subs: Lees, Austin, Wilkinson, Parkhouse, Pepper.