BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW
Thursday Mar 1, 2012
BY ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE
Fleetwood Town moved five points clear at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier table last weekend after their win over Alfreton Town and Wrexham's defeat at Stockport County.
The Cod Army are now as short as 2/5 to stay in top spot and take the title. Wrexham have drifted to 7/4, with Luton Town the only remaining contenders in the list at 18/1. Micky Mellon's team offered the chasing pack a glimmer of hope a few weeks ago when held at home by Tamworth and they face the same opponents this weekend in the reverse fixture.
Having failed to justify odds of 2/9 at home to Marcus Law's side some might not trust Fleetwood at inflated odds of 8/13 away from home. That's where they have the best record though - winning 81 per cent of their 16 games.
Wrexham have a good chance to stay in touch as they visit Kettering Town. The Red Dragons will be heavily odds-on to win at Nene Park.
Luton Town's slim title hopes took a knock with a defeat at Barrow last week, but they can keep up pressure on the clubs around them with a home game against bottom club Bath City. The Hatters appear at the shortest price we've seen on a Blue Square Bet Premier coupon all season, 1/5 to beat Adie Britton's men.
Southport's season continues to be a roller-coaster of shock games and freak occurrences. The latest in a long line of thrilling games coming at Ebbsfleet United last Saturday when Tony Gray took three penalties awarded to them in Kent - scoring two in a 2-1 victory. That win took Liam Watson's side to fourth place, but one look at the table shows they are the only club in the top half with a negative goal difference. Add that to the fact they're only in the division due to a late reprieve then this season is shaping up as one that could live long in the memory at Haig Avenue. The Sandgrounders are 10/11 favourites at home to Newport County this weekend, and you have to wonder what's in store.
County have improved their form to move away from the bottom of the table whilst progressing to the semi-finals of the FA Trophy in the process. Justin Edinburgh's team still need to get points on the board though so can't be entirely dismissed at 5/2.
The positive spin on York City's recent league form is that they've suffered just two defeats in their last 21 matches, on the negative side only nine of those games resulted in a victory. On top of that the two defeats were suffered at home to a couple of key play-off rivals (Gateshead and Kidderminster Harriers).
People who watch the Minstermen regularly are quick to assert that they have been playing good football and maybe not getting the rewards they deserve. They have two important games coming up at Bootham Crescent in the next few days starting with a fixture against struggling Hayes & Yeading United. Gary Mills' team are 1/3 favourites to get the three points that will keep them in the play-off zone before next week's game against Tamworth.
Kidderminster Harriers are looking to win back-to-back league games for the first time this year as in-form Barrow visit Aggborough. A home win is priced at 10/11 with a draw offered at 13/5. Barrow boss Dave Bayliss is the recipient of the February ‘manager of the month' in the division and it's 5/2 that they can keep up their slim play-off hopes with a win.
Elsewhere, Mansfield Town are another odds-on home favourite. The Stags are 4/6 to beat Lincoln City at Field Mill, with former manager David Holdsworth in the opposing dugout. Holdsworth will certainly get his side up for the occasion off the back of just one defeat in six league matches. An away win can be backed at 15/4, but the draw at 13/5 could be the best bet.
Grimsby Town suffered a home defeat in the FA Trophy against promotion rivals York City last week, but start this weekend's game at home to Braintree Town with an unbeaten 14 game league run behind them. The Mariners are 8/15 to extend that sequence with a win.
The seventh, and final, odds-on home favourites on this weekend's programme are Gateshead who are 4/5 to overcome visitors Ebbsfleet United. The Kent side look likely to travel the long distance north on the day of the game which would temper any confidence in an away win.
Cambridge United faced stern words from boss Jez George after their FA Trophy defeat at the hands of Wealdstone last week. The U's visit Forest Green Rovers on Saturday and a home win is strongly fancied at 6/5. The teams promoted from last year's Blue Square Bet North campaign meet in a real survival six-pointer.
AFC Telford United look the value bet at a price of 7/4 to win at Alfreton Town. Stockport will be slight favourites to win at Darlington in the remaining fixture.
Alan's Best Weekend Treble:
AFC TELFORD UNITED to win at Alfreton Town
FOREST GREEN ROVERS to beat Cambridge United
GRIMSBY TOWN to beat Braintree Town
You can follow me on Twitter - @AlanBlueSquare