WEEKEND LIVE MATCH AND WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW
Friday Oct 26, 2012
BY ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE
FRIDAY?S LIVE MATCH ? Dartford v Mansfield Town
As the fixtures came out for this Blue Square Bet Premier season it would have almost been inconceivable to suggest that Dartford would be 13/10 favourites for this game. Not only that,? Tony Burma'n?s team sit four places above Mansfield Town in the table and have five more points on the board.
The Stags do have a game in hand though and could address that gap in the next few weeks starting with victory here in front of the Premier Sports cameras. Paul Cox has seen his team win just once away from home this season and an incredible 50 per cent of their away matches have ended in a 4-1 defeat.
Add those to a 3-1 loss at Ebbsfleet and you can see that away from Field Mill the team seem to have a real problem in defence. Clean-sheets in their last two league games will have improved confidence but both of those games were at home and who knows what will happen once they run out in unfamiliar surroundings. Their only away success in the league came in mid-August at Kidderminster but they did win at Workington in the FA Cup last Saturday. Dartford are without a win in any of their last four matches in all competitions. That run came off the back of a sequence where they bagged 19 points from a possible 24, those eight league games producing six wins and an impressive draw at Wrexham. A Mansfield victory is priced at 7/4, with a draw offered at 5/2. An away win appeals most of all based on recent form with both teams hinting at a return to where their pre-season prices had judged them in recent weeks.
Mansfield away games and Dartford home games average plenty of goals and the natural assumption is that we will see plenty of attacking action at Princes Park. ?Over 2.5 goals? - which would have been a winning bet in 6 out of 7 Dartford home matches and 100% of Mansfield away games - is priced at a very tempting 4/6. The best ?correct-score? bets look to be a high-scoring Mansfield wins. A 3-1 away victory is offered at 18/1 and a 4-1 scoreline to The Stags is 50/1.
It goes to show how competitive and hard to predict the three Football Conference divisions are when you weigh-up the following statistic.
Only one team from the 68 across the three sections has an unbeaten run which stretches beyond five games. That team are Blue Square Bet Premier leaders Newport County. The Exiles? run goes back eight games in the league, but even they have seen inconsistency creep in having failed to see off Yate Town at odds of 1/3 last weekend then 1/6 in midweek in a shock replay defeat at Rodney Parade.
Justin Edinburgh'?s team host Woking on Saturday and are odds-on again, this time priced at 8/13 to maintain their lead at the top of the table with three points. Woking have only won once away from home this season but at 4/1 punters may speculate that they have a far superior squad to Yate who managed to defeat Newport in midweek.
On top of the fact that Newport have had two tough cup games with Tuesday night?s battle extended beyond the normal 90 minutes.
Second-placed Wrexham visit Braintree Town and are a best price of 11/10 to win in Essex. The Red Dragons? last league game ended in a heavy home defeat at the hands of Lincoln City, but excuses were to be found in their line-up for the game. Prior to that Andy Morrell?s team had been on a fantastic run which had put them in a brief spell as title favourites. Braintree are on a good run of late, which includes an away win at Luton Town and progression to the First Round Proper of the FA Cup. The Iron?s home form is poor though and they are 2/1 to add to a tally of just one home win from 7 in the league.
The game of the day in the division is at The New Lawn where third placed Luton Town are the visitors to fifth placed Forest Green Rovers. The home side are on a shock run of form in the league with three straight defeats. They did hint at a return to their target as title chasers with an impressive FA Cup win at Dartford in midweek. Luton have the best away record in the division though and their quote of 11/8 makes them favourites for this fixture. We offer Forest Green as our 13/8 outsiders to regain their winning form in the BSBP.
Grimsby Town have only suffered one defeat in their last 10 league games but were well beaten in the FA Cup at home to Kiddderminster last week. The Mariners still have the ability to throw in the odd poor performance from time to time and punters will have to be wary of taking short prices about them. They are 10/11 to win their weekend match at home to Macclesfield Town.
Steve King?s team arrive at Blundell Park without a win in their last six league games. We offer them at 5/2 to gain three points for the first time since early-September.
Tamworth have lost three of their last five league games by a 2-1 scoreline. They still occupy the heady heights of seventh in the league table. Marcus Law?s side host Ebbsfleet United on Saturday afternoon. A home win is priced at 8/11 and a draw is offered at 5/2. The visitors from Kent are just one place off the bottom of the table and have not won in seven league matches. Liam Daish?s side were winners at Woking in the FA Cup last week and are priced at 16/5 to build on that here.
AFC Telford United are up to eighth in the table with two wins in their last three matches. Andy Sinton'?s side travel to Alfreton at the weekend looking to extend a three match unbeaten away run in the division.
The home side have only won once in front of their own fans, but are 11/8 favourites to add to that tally.
Telford could appeal to punters at 17/10 having already won at Luton, Dartford and Southport this season.
Stockport County sit just above mid-table and have won four of their last five games in all competitions. Jim Gannon?s team have found a real rhythm and look like a good bet to win at Lincoln City on Saturday.
The Imps may have won at Wrexham in their last league game but look far too short at 13/10 having won just three matches at home - all to clubs in the bottom four in the current table.
Stockport have lost just once away from home and look a good bet at 9/5 to win at Sincil Bank. Gateshead have drawn their last four league matches and have not won in their last seven.
They have only scored five goals in that sequence and are no doubt missing the firepower of Jon Shaw who left for Luton in the summer. Ian Bogie takes his misfiring team to Kidderminster on Saturday, and they are also no strangers to drawn matches. A defeat at Stockport put an end to the Harriers long unbeaten run, but an odds-against quote of 11/10 could appeal after a decent win at Grimsby in the FA Cup last time out
Hereford United have drawn both of their last league games in goalless encounters with both Braintree and Nuneaton. An away trip to Southport takes place a week before a huge local derby in the FA Cup at home to Shrewsbury.
The home side may take advantage of that at a price of 6/5 to beat The Bulls, who may have one eye elsewhere. Cambridge United have failed to win in any of their last three matches including a 2-0 FA Cup defeat against Luton Town last week
Richard Money has a hard task on his hands at the Abbey Stadium, but will be expecting his team to see off bottom club Hyde at a price of 8/13. Hyde have just one point from a possible 21 away from home and make no appeal at a price of 4/1.
We cannot split Nuneaton and Barrow who are both offered at 6/4 for the game at Liberty Way. Barrow?s away form has been better than their home form this season and three wins from their last four road matches suggest they are the bet at those prices.
Alan?s Best Bets for Dartford v Mansfield Town:
MANSFIELD TOWN to win at Dartford
OVER 2.5 GOALS ? Total Goals Over/Under 2.5
3-1 and 4-1 MANSFIELD TOWN ? Correct Score (combined)
Alan?s Best Weekend Treble:
LUTON TOWN to win at Forest Green Rovers
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS to beat Gateshead
STOCKPORT COUNTY to win at Lincoln City
Dartford v Mansfield Town is live on Premier Sports TV ***FREE TO AIR*** ? Friday 26th October 7.15pm (7.45pm 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: email@example.com OR Twitter: @steveandsnodsps.
You can follow me on Twitter - @AlanBlueSquare