BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER LIVE MATCH & MIDWEEK BETTING PREVI
Tuesday Nov 29, 2011
BY ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE
A dogged defensive display by Braintree Town ensured that Wrexham left Essex frustrated on Saturday. The Red Dragons took a point which kept them top of the table, but with results elsewhere looking favourable they will consider that as two points dropped.
Football has a funny way of making fools of us, even when a game looks predictable. Having tipped Wrexham to win on Saturday, the flow of confident predictions from their fans on Twitter - most stating that a four or five goal victory was in the offing - had me worried.
Of course Braintree would have been reminded of their defensive duties after such a bad run, so it's all credit to Alan Devonshire for coaxing that clean-sheet out of his players.
Wrexham are the home side in Wednesday night's live Premier Sports TV game from the Blue Square Bet Premier. They host Darlington, who under the caretaker-management of Craig Liddle are on a good run.
Wrexham are the strong favourites for the game but will kick-off with worse recent form figures than their opponents. Andy Morrell's team have only won one of their last four league matches, the other three ending goalless. Whereas Darlington are aiming for their fourth league win on the bounce - something they haven't done since November 2008. That eventuality is priced at 7/2 whilst a Wrexham win can be backed at 4/6.
Tuesday night stages the other eleven games in this round of fixtures. Fleetwood can go to the top of the table if they avoid defeat against Kettering Town at home.
Something that seems very likely given the fact they are as short as 1/5 to win the game. Micky Mellon's team might be having a glance at the goal difference which has kept them below Wrexham in recent weeks and see this as an ideal opportunity to make Wrexham work hard on Wednesday.
Fleetwood are just 16/5 to win by four or more goals against the depleted Poppies.
Luton Town are another short-priced home favourite in a midweek where no less than eight home sides out of a possible 12 are shorter than evens to win their games.
The Hatters host AFC Telford United and it will be interesting to see if Danny Crow's late winner at Newport County will have spread a renewed spirit amongst Gary Brabin's squad - who are 4/9 to win the game.
Cambridge United take on rock-bottom Bath City and are 8/15 for a home win. The U's having only lost one of their last 17 league matches. With Bath having won only once all season.
York City had the ideal opportunity to make inroads at the top of the table on Saturday when leading Forest Green Rovers into injury time with results elsewhere going their way. The Minstermen have been used to hanging on to results like that in the past as their record of clean-sheets shows - but this season they have looked vulnerable. 51 clean-sheets across the last three completed seasons at a rate of one every 2.66 games compared with just six in 21 matches this campaign - a rate of every 3.5 games.
For that reason I could fancy an improved Lincoln City to get something from tonight's trip to Bootham Crescent at a price of 7/2 - The Imps are evens to avoid defeat (receiving a goal start on the ‘match handicap'). Southport's incredible away run continues - regardless of how many men they have on the pitch - and they are 4/5 to beat Forest Green Rovers at Haig Avenue tonight. The Sandgrounders home form hasn't been bad either but they'll have to dig deep tonight. Rovers have only been beaten once away all season. A draw looks best at 5/2.
Barrow's good home form should see them past Alfreton at a price of 8/11. Ebbsfleet and Kidderminster meet at Stonebridge Road and the home side are the slight 7/5 favourites. Harriers have done well away at sides in the bottom 10 - 4 wins from 4 - and could appeal at 6/4.
Grimsby are 5/6 at home to Stockport County and that price makes plenty of appeal considering the away sides performance on Saturday. Newport County will be reeling from their last gasp defeat to Luton and will be looking to make amends with a win at Hayes & Yeading United - priced at 8/5.
The home side were also beaten late on at Alfreton despite leveling the game twice in injury-time.
Mansfield Town failed to win at bottom club Bath City on Saturday and now host Gateshead. The draw looks best in this one at 9/4.
Braintree Town held off Wrexham on Saturday and will look to build on that to recapture their early season form. They are 15/8 outsiders at Tamworth.
Alan's Best Midweek Treble:
GRIMSBY TOWN to beat Stockport County
BARROW to beat Alfreton Town
NEWPORT COUNTY to win at Hayes & Yeading United
Wrexham v Darlington is live on Premier Sports TV - visit www.premiersports.tv for subscription details.
You can play your part in the commentary for this game with a World first. Contact commentators Steve Bower and Ian Snodin during the action to give your thoughts - email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR Twitter: @steveandsnods.