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The Conference Years: Stalybridge Celtic

4 November 2015

Remembering where we once were.

Rovers face the Conference North outfit in the FA Cup first round at Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday, but it's not the first meeting between the two sides.

Here we take a retrospective look at previous meetings between the pair, who met fourteen years ago in the Football Conference.

This is what we said:

Doncaster Rovers’ record against Stalybridge Celtic, currently of the Conference North, couldn’t be much worse.

Celtic clearly had the ‘Indian sign’ over the South Yorkshire outfit, registering two wins from two during the 2001/02 Conference season.

Even a change of manager didn’t yield a positive result for first Steve Wignall and then Dave Penney, whose sides lost 1-0 both times.

The first encounter, at Belle Vue in November 2001 saw over 2300 attend on Bawtry Road, only for the visiting striker Ged Courtney to net on the stroke of half time.

Although Penney would lead Rovers to a respectable fourth placed finish at the end of the season and Celtic would be relegated, that didn’t stop the Greater Manchester side achieving an unlikely double.

Nigerian striker Sam Ayorinde – who’d enjoyed a profitable return at Bower Fold – rifled past Andy Warrington to give the hosts and the majority of the 1600 inside the ground something to cheer about.

The whereabouts of Stalybridge’s hero on that day are, arguably, more colourful than that of Celtic, who have remained in the Conference North under the stewardship of Keith Briggs who took over from former MORECAMBE, CHESTER and FOREST GREEN boss Jim Harvey.

Ayorinde’s reported football travels have been quite extensive and seen him ply his trade in Sweden, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Nigeria, Tunisia, Israel, Wales, Finland and Austria to name but a few!

Of note were a substitute appearance in a UEFA Cup game against Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium for Swedish side AIK and a couple of appearances for the Nigerian national side.

Tickets for Rovers v Celtic can be bought ONLINE HERE or by calling 01302 762576.

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