Another trip to Bower Fold awaits Gloucester City this season as the Tigers once again face off against Stalybridge Celtic in the National League North.\r\n\r\nIt’s safe to say that the Tigers haven’t enjoyed the best record against Stalybridge, having only won on three of the 14 occasions the two sides have faced off, with the Tigers never winning away from home.\r\n\r\nThe three times City have beaten Stalybridge have all been entertaining encounters at Whaddon Road, with the first triumph finishing with a dramatic last minute winner by Tom Hamblin in 2012, when City came from behind twice to win 4-3.\r\n\r\nCity had to wait two more meetings to taste success, with a 1-0 victory in 2014 to their record, but the victory in January 2016 was one of the most dominant performances Tigers fans have been treated to in recent times.\r\n\r\nA superb hat trick from Lewis Hall saw City over the line 3-0, but the scoreline did not do the performance justice and it arguably could and should have been a heavier defeat for our visitors.\r\n\r\nThe club played for two seasons in the Lancashire and Cheshire Amateur League, before turning professional and joining the Lancashire Combination becoming second division champions at the first attempt.\r\n\r\nThey followed it up with a fourth place and runners up spot in the Central League. In an attempt to progress the club joined the Southern League.\r\n\r\nThe club rejoined the Central League for the 1919/20 season and in 1921 became one of the founding members of the Football League’s Third Division North.\r\n\r\nIn 2000/01, the club had one of the best seasons in its history, achieving a treble of the Cheshire Senior Cup, the Presidents Cup and the Northern Premier League Premier Division, thus being promoted back to the Football Conference (though they were relegated after only one season).\r\n\r\nWhen the conference added a second level for the 2004/05 season, the club became one of the founders of the new Conference North where they have remained to date.\r\n\r\nUntil the end of 2006/07 season the manager was John Reed, who had extensive experience as a manager in English non-league football, including three successful seasons as manager of Harrogate Town. On 30 May 2007 Steve Burr was appointed as a manager.\r\n\r\nThe club continued the Conference North for the three seasons; placing 6th in the 2008/09 season in which manager Steve Burr left for Kidderminster, 10th in the 2009/10 season & 10th again in in 2010/11 season.\r\n\r\nIn the 2012/13 season, after languishing near the relegation zone for most of the year, they finished 11th following a 9 game unbeaten run. Stalybridge also reached the final of the Cheshire Senior Cup, losing 2–1 to Chester F.C.\r\n\r\nThe 2013/14 season wasn’t a good one either, as Stalybridge finished 19th, narrowly avoiding relegation by 2 points. Jim Harvey was sacked in October 2013, being replaced by former player Keith Briggs.\r\n\r\nThey secured Conference North football for another season with a 1–1 draw against Bradford Park Avenue in the penultimate game of the season.\r\n\r\nThe 2015/16 season was an average one for Celtic, as they failed to set the league alight yet never looked in threat of relegation, eventually finishing the campaign in 12th.
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