BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER LIVE MATCH & WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW
Friday Aug 17, 2012
BY ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE BET
LIVE MATCH - Hyde v Luton Town
Hyde proudly welcome the live TV cameras from Premier Sports for their first televised competitive fixture. The visitors are title favourites Luton Town who were cut to a price of 2/1 to win the league after a favourable set of results on Tuesday night. The Hatters sit unbeaten on four points, whilst Hyde are also unbeaten with two draws to show for their first two games at this level. Luton's away from in last season's Blue Square Bet Premier campaign would have seen them finish ninth on those games alone. Just seven road victories ensured a tough battle to eventually make fifth spot which ultimately ended in a third season of play-off heartache. A win at Hyde this evening after a 2-0 victory at Kidderminster Harriers in midweek would be a welcome signal for Hatters fans who have not seen their side record back-to-back away wins since the turn of the calendar year. For boss Paul Buckle the win at Aggborough was the fourth time he'd taken Luton away from home in a regular season game and they are yet to concede on the road under him in those matches. Including the end of season play-offs Buckle's Luton tenure is eleven games old and they now have an impressive 7 clean-sheets under him. At Blue Square we make Luton our strong 4/6 favourites for the game. The draw is quoted at 13/5 and a home win for Scott McNiven's team is priced at 7/2.
Hyde spent seven seasons at ‘Step 2' in the Non-League pyramid before taking the Blue Square Bet North title under previous boss Gary Lowe last season. The Tigers were shock 50/1 winners of the section having finished as low as 19th the season before. They were beaten just once at Ewen Fields on the way to their title success and only lost six games in total. Their 0-0 draw at home to Barrow in midweek was only the second time in over 60 matches that their fans had seen them host a goalless league game. Hyde usually put on a show at the base they share with Manchester City's Reserves and goals quotes for this game pitch ‘Over 2.5' as odds-on favourite at 7/10. The ‘Over 2.5' mark was one that Hyde managed to achieve on their own in 12 of their 21 home games last season. The Premier division is a real step up and although they remain unbeaten they face a stern test tonight. Luton will know that a mark of recent champions in this division is winning games away from home against the sides which finish in the bottom 10 - where Hyde are predicted to end up. Last season Fleetwood had a 100% record away to the teams who eventually finished in spots 14th to 24th inclusive. The season before that Crawley Town lost just one away game in the whole campaign - also winning all of their games against the bottom six on the road. Contrast that with the Hatters last season who won just four matches away to clubs in the bottom half.
Luton's clean-sheet stats suggest that Hyde will struggle to score more than one goal tonight but if they are to find the net then striker Scott Spencer would have the best chance at 8/1 on our First Goalscorer market. Luton Town were well represented in the market for the Top Goalscorer for the whole BSBP season but it's now Stuart Fleetwood at 15/2 who narrowly heads the market with new teammate Jon Shaw just half a betting point behind him at 8/1. Fleetwood hit a double in the win at Kidderminster and looks set to feature prominently in Buckle's plans. The former Torquay boss having plenty of options illustrated by a First Goalscorer market for this game which sees four of his players quoted at a shorter price than Hyde's Spencer. Fleetwood is the 7/2 favourite to break the deadlock with Shaw just behind at 4/1. Andre Gray who is likely to start on the bench is 5/1 and Scott Rendell who is being used slightly deeper in the line-up is offered at 11/2. Luton centre-back Janos Kovacs gets forward well and he could take the eye at 8/1 to score at ‘Anytime' in the game!
Gateshead boss Ian Bogie may have winced when he saw a fixture list that produced opening matches against the top three teams in the pre-season title betting.
It's ‘so-far so-good' for The Heed though after a draw at Luton on the opening day which was followed up by a stunning 4-1 win at home to Mansfield in midweek. They now host Forest Green Rovers at the International Stadium. Dave Hockaday's side are also on four points from their two opening games. Rovers are yet to win in their three visits to Gateshead since Bogie's side entered Non-League's top-flight in 2009. We make Gateshead 11/10 favourites to continue that record with a win here. If that's not the game of the day then at the other end of the table Kidderminster and Mansfield are both under pressure to turn around bad starts. Stags boss Paul Cox has blasted his defence and has made a plea for them to go ‘back-to-basics' for this trip to Aggborough. Mansfield have conceded 8 goals in their first two matches but now face a Harriers side who are yet to score this season. We can't split the prices and make each team 6/4 to win the match with the draw quoted at 23/10.
Last season's runners-up Wrexham had a wake-up call at Macclesfield in midweek as they were beaten 2-0 by the newly relegated Silkmen. A win at home to Woking on the opening day had prompted some confident predictions from the Red Dragons faithful but, whilst it's very early days, the feeling remains for me that Andy Morrell's team will struggle to replicate anything near their form from last season. They are worthy favourites for their weekend trip to Ebbsfleet United though and could be fancied at 10/11. The Kent side were wasteful in midweek as they eventually succumbed to a 1-0 home defeat to Braintree Town after losing Patrick Ada to a sending-off late on. Grimsby Town are another of the pre-season market leaders to have struggled in their first two games. An away draw at Southport was followed with a defeat at home to Stockport in midweek, which could provide a difficult benchmark for the season. If Stockport have improved to challenge the top five in the market then where does that leave the Mariners? They are 8/15 favourites, the shortest price of the weekend, to get back on track at home to Nuneaton Town. Kevin Wilkin's side yet to register a point and having conceded nine goals already.
Elsewhere Cambridge United can add to their solid start with a home win over Southport at 4/6. Macclesfield Town are another odds-on favourite on this weekend's coupon at a price of 4/7 at home to Blue Square Bet South play-off winners Dartford. Newport County sit proudly at the top of the early table having won both games scoring four each time. Justin Edinburgh's team are 4/5 home favourites to beat Lincoln City. The Imps won at home to Kidderminster on the opening day before losing at Cambridge on Tuesday. Jim Gannon's Stockport County are the only other side to have a 100% record and they look to continue that with a win at Tamworth at 11/8. A price that could look a value call on a list of matches with plenty of odds-on shots.
Hereford United are also priced at 11/8 for their away game at Alfreton Town. The Bulls drew plenty of their away games last season and a price of 12/5 for spoils being shared might be the best bet at the Impact Arena.
If AFC Telford United are to avoid relegation this season they will need to win their home games against other teams that may finish in the bottom half. Braintree could be one of those teams and Andy Sinton's side are 6/5 favourites to register a home win over them. Woking confirmed superiority from last season over Dartford in midweek and are 20/21 odds-on favourites to beat Barrow, who make the long journey down to Kingfield looking for their first goal of 2012/13.
Alan's Best Bets for Hyde v Luton Town:
LUTON TOWN TO BEAT HYDE - Match Result
LUTON TOWN TO WIN 3-0 - Correct Score
JANOS KOVACS TO SCORE AT ANYTIME - Anytime Goalscorer
Alan's Best Weekend Treble:
CAMBRIDGE UNITED to beat Southport
STOCKPORT COUNTY to win at Tamworth
NEWPORT COUNTY to beat Lincoln City
Hyde v Luton Town is live on Premier Sports TV - Friday 17th August 7pm (7.30pm kick-off) - visit http://www.premiersports.tv/ for subscription details.
You can play your part in the commentary for this game! Contact commentators Steve Bower and Ian Snodin during the action to give your thoughts - email:firstname.lastname@example.org OR Twitter: @steveandsnodsps.
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