Blue Square Bet Premier Live match and midweek betting previ
Sunday Sep 25, 2011
by Alan Alger from Blue Square
Kidderminster Harriers bounced back from an ill-tempered 5-2 defeat at Fleetwood to put an end to Mansfield Town's unbeaten run at the weekend. Steve Burr's team hit three early goals without reply at Field Mill to leapfrog The Stags and go seventh in the Blue Square Bet Premier table.
That table is now taking shape and at half-time on Tuesday night, when there are a full set of fixtures, each team will be a quarter of the way through the league season.
The Premier Sports cameras will be at Aggborough to see if Harriers can win back-to-back games as they host Grimsby Town.
The home side are strong odds-on favourites at 5/6, a draw is offered at 12/5 and a Mansfield victory is priced at 11/4. Kidderminster have lost three times this season but those defeats came against the sides currently occupying positions 1, 2 and 4 in the standings.
Grimsby's form has been very patchy and they look to have blown their chances of a title push already. The Mariners have lost six of their first eleven games - and like Tuesday's hosts have been beaten by Wrexham, Gateshead and Fleetwood, as well as third placed Braintree.
The Essex outfit putting five past them in the first week of the season. 9 points from their last 5 matches reads slightly better than Kidderminster's 7 from the same period - but on the balance of the season so far, this has home win written all over it.
Wrexham returned to the top of the table with a 3-1 win at Grimsby on Saturday, despite losing manager Dean Saunders to Doncaster Rovers the previous day. Mansfield visit the Racecourse Ground on Tuesday night after their comprehensive home defeat at the hands of Kidderminster.
The hosts are the 10/11 favourites for the game, with Mansfield at 12/5 to get back to winning ways. All of Mansfield's wins have come against sides in the bottom half of the table so a home win has to be recommended here.
Gateshead continue to match Wrexham's points tally, and sit just behind the Dragons in second by virtue of two goals. They face a real test of their promotion credentials on Tuesday when York City visit the International Stadium.
No team has scored more than once at Gateshead all season, but The Minstermen may fancy their chances after putting three past Luton on Saturday. That was York's third game against a top six side this season and they are yet to concede a goal in those games. Their three defeats coming against the teams in 10th, 15th and 21st.
Gateshead striker Jon Shaw returned to his early season form with a hat-trick on Saturday and will test the resolve of the away defence. It makes for a fascinating clash, but one that could most likely end in a stalemate. The draw is priced at 9/4, with ‘No Goalscorer' looking like a decent outside investment at 8/1. ‘Under 2.5 goals' at 5/6 looks a first rate bet too. York are the narrow 11/8 favourites for the game, with the home side offered at 8/5.
Braintree Town are the form side in the division and their wide-margin win at Southport on Saturday has put them in the early mix for the top spot. Tamworth are the visitors to Essex on Tuesday and it's an indication of how the home side have performed so far that they receive an odds-on quote of 4/5. The visitors aren't that far behind that good start though and a win, at odds of 11/4, would put them just one point behind Alan Devonshire's team.
Fleetwood Town busted plenty of coupons on Saturday with their 2-2 draw at home to AFC Telford United. The Cod Army brought a four game winning streak into that fixture and some punters thought a home win was a formality at odds of 4/9. Richard Brodie did give them a boost with a return to scoring form but I feel they could struggle at Stockport on Tuesday night with Jamie Vardy still missing. Micky Mellon's team are the 13/10 favourites, but a draw looks best to me at a price of 9/4. Stockport's incredible run of 1-1 scorelines is 6/1 to end up as 9 from 12 by the end of the evening.
Luton Town were third in the overall table last season and exactly the same position in the table based on away matches. This season they sit 12th in the away standings with just one win from their first six road games. That form needs to improve drastically if they are to challenge for the title.
It showed no sign of doing so on Saturday as they were beaten 3-0 at York. The Hatters looking devoid of inspiration and their minimal goal threat was soaked up by the home rearguard. Kenilworth Road has been a happier place for Gary Brabin's team though and they top the home table with 13 points from a possible 15.
Brabin's former side Cambridge United are the visitors this week and they might fancy their chances of a shock with Luton depleted in key areas. This is another game where I would take a chance on a low scoring draw. 1-1 is 6/1 and ‘No Goalscorer' is 8/1. Luton are the best priced 8/13 favourites, with Cambridge offered at 4/1 and any draw priced at 12/5.
Elsewhere Southport are the 3/1 outsiders to bounce back at Darlington. With players returning to their line-up after the defeat at home to Braintree that could be tempting considering that The Quakers have not won in their last five. 8/11 about a team on such a run does not appeal in the slightest.
Newport County's run of bad luck must end soon and they are the 7/4 outsiders for the relatively short trip to Forest Green Rovers. County suffered despair at home to Barrow on Saturday when chasing just their second win of the season, only to draw to a last minute penalty. Forest Green are the 13/10 favourites to extend their unbeaten run to three matches.
Barrow will be on a high after that unlikely point at Spytty Park and with players returning to their line-up look very worthy 11/10 favourites at home to Lincoln City.
AFC Telford United host Alfreton Town in a battle of the newly promoted sides from last season's Blue Square Bet North. Despite going up as champions Alfreton were well held by play-off winners Telford last season in their two meetings and it's The Bucks who have started better at this higher level. They look a good bet to confirm that at 10/11.
Kettering Town are 4/5 as they welcome Hayes & Yeading United to Nene Park. The away side coping with changes to their personnel week-in-week-out and it could be another defeat for their unsettled squad here.
Bath City are yet to win this season but performances seem to be on a slight upward curve. The Romans visit Ebbsfleet United and can't be completely ruled out at a price of 15/8. An indication of how bad their season has been so far is revealed by the fact they will still be two points behind their struggling hosts if they do register that first success.
Alan's Best Midweek Treble:
BARROW to beat Lincoln City
KETTERING TOWN to beat Hayes & Yeading United
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS to beat Grimsby Town