10:36am, Fri 3rd Sep 2010
WEEKEND BLUE SQUARE BET NORTH & SOUTH PREVIEW
In the Blue Square Bet South
Bromley have been blazing a trail at the top of the division with a one-hundred percent record, but I think that will come to an end at Maidenhead this weekend. A home win looks overpriced at 7/5 considering the Kent side have ridden their luck during some of their victories. Dover make plenty of appeal at 8/11 to register a home success over Eastleigh, who have been beaten by two of their fellow promotion hopefuls already.
There are a number of odds-on home favourites in the Blue Square Bet North that will no doubt look tempting for those weekend punters placing multiple bets. Early leaders Alfreton Town appear at a restrictive 1/3 to beat Vauxhall Motors and fellow promotion hopefuls AFC Telford United are as short as 4/9 to win at home to Blyth Spartans. At bigger prices I like the claims of two away teams, starting with newly promoted Boston United. Last season’s Northern Premier play-off winners have opened with five wins from six matches and should be backed at 17/10 to win at Corby Town. The other visiting side that appeal are Nuneaton Town who make the short journey across the Midlands to face Worcester City. Only one point and one place separate the two sides in the early table but I feel Nuneaton have had the slightly harder games and can win again here at 6/4.
WEEKEND BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER PREVIEW
It’s great to see the league return to our TV screens this weekend with Premier Sports’ special ‘double header’. They open their coverage on Saturday evening with the intriguing clash between Grimsby Town and Luton Town from Blundell Park. Pre-season favourites Luton started the season brightly recording three straight wins but now find themselves three more games down the line without adding another to their tally. The loss of last season’s leading scorer Tom Craddock to Oxford United on transfer deadline day was another early season blow. Craddock’s departure will put immediate pressure on Matthew Barnes-Homer who has started the season in great style scoring five times in six matches. The former Kidderminster striker is around 4/1 to net first in this fixture. Luton are the narrow favourites at 6/4 to get back to winning ways. Grimsby are still finding their feet at this level and despite a couple of decent away wins, they only managed to register their first home win on Bank Holiday Monday beating struggling Histon 2-1. The home win is 8/5 and the draw is 9/4.
The TV cameras and the Premier Sports crew then make the long cross-country journey to South Wales where Newport County host Wrexham on Sunday afternoon. The newly promoted home side have started the season slowly after their runaway success in the South division last year. That said they have only lost one of their six matches and they look to slowly be getting the hang of things after a nice win at home to Kidderminster and a very worthy draw at AFC Wimbledon. Opponents Wrexham are unbeaten in their last three matches but could only add to their opening day win over Cambridge United by beating Bath City in their last outing. In between they struggled in four winless matches including home draws with Kidderminster and Barrow and defeats at Eastbourne Borough and Forest Green Rovers. Newport are the 6/5 favourites for this live match, the draw is 23/10 and a Wrexham victory is 2/1.
Back to Saturday’s regular fixtures and Cambridge United will be looking for a quick home double as they take on Gateshead at the Abbey Stadium, following Monday’s success there over Eastbourne Borough. The U’s are strong favourites at 8/11 to show the form that saw them end the last campaign with six wins from six on their home patch.
Striker Richard Brodie will be hoping to get a second chance to score against Fleetwood as he is set to face them for the second time in just six days following his last gasp move from York City to Crawley Town. The Sussex club host Micky Mellon’s team following their 2-1 win over Brodie’s former side at the start of the week. Brodie will be hoping to team up with his fellow joint ‘top-goalscorer’ from last season Matt Tubbs and both players will be around 7/2 to score first in the match. A home win is strongly favoured on the match prices at 4/7.
Darlington have made a low scoring start to life back at this level and have also managed to hold firm at the back. Their game away at Eastbourne pitches them against a team already involved in some high scoring matches at this early stage of the season. Something has to give and I’m inclined to predict a low scoring affair after noises coming out of Eastbourne stating that they have to improve in defence. A 1-0 away victory is 6/1 and any away win is 7/5.
Histon have battled their way to five early points from six matches but that total puts the Cambridge club in the relegation zone where they may unfortunately remain all season. My tip to finish bottom were Hayes & Yeading United but Garry Haylock’s side have started brightly and I may have underestimated them. They certainly appeal at a price of 4/5 to win at home against the struggling Stutes.
Kettering Town’s only victory came away at Histon and despite finishing sixth last season I think this campaign will be harder for the Poppies. They welcome AFC Wimbledon to Rockingham Road on Saturday and I can’t look past an away win at an attractive 5/4.
Early leaders Mansfield Town may be brought back down to earth with a bump when hosting self-styled giant-killers Tamworth. The away team have reveled in upsetting the bigger teams over the past couple of years and may make a mockery of their 3/1 quote to bag the points at Field Mill.
The aforementioned loss of Richard Brodie and the visit of a well organised Rushden & Diamonds side will lead me to swerve York on Saturday. Rushden look a decent bet for another away success at 15/8.
ALAN’S BEST WEEKEND TREBLE
Hayes & Yeading United (to beat Histon)
Nuneaton Town (to beat Worcester City)
Maidenhead United (to beat Bromley)
Pays just over 9/1
at the current Blue Square prices.