FRIDAY’S LIVE MATCH – Forest Green Rovers v Lincoln City
Successive away wins have seen Forest Green Rovers climb up to second place in the Blue Square Bet Premier table. The New Lawn side have also been cut to 9/2 third favourites to win the title after just one defeat in their opening 11 games. Dave Hockaday’s team were tipped by a number of people to be title challengers as new investment has transformed the club over the last couple of seasons. As the longest serving club in the section with 14 campaigns under their belt their current haul of 24 points compares favourably with an average of 10.2 by their eleventh game in previous seasons. Hockaday will feel satisfied that they are on track to challenge and that’s illustrated by a price of 4/9 for them to win tonight’s live Premier Sports clash at home to Lincoln City. The price itself shows just how far they have come in such a short space of time and represents one of their lowest ever quotes to win a game against former league opposition. An away win is offered at a high of 6/1 but recent form of The Imps has left that seemingly ridiculous price un-backed. Lincoln have scored just four goals on the road all season and are yet to pick up a win. Boss David Holdsworth has had to cope with an unrelenting injury crisis at Sincil Bank but could find his team in another relegation battle if their form does not pick up soon. Two wins in their last three games should be something to look upon brightly, but those two victories were recorded at home to both of the newly promoted sides from last season’s Blue Square Bet North.
Forest Green Rovers have conceded exactly one goal in each of their five home games so far this season, in fact overall in this campaign no team has scored two goals against them. They have conceded just one on ten occasions and in the other match kept a clean-sheet. The ‘Both Teams To Score?’ market would have paid out on ‘yes’ in all of Forest Green’s home games so far and in four out of five of Lincoln’s away matches. The price for ‘yes’ to the correct answer tonight is just 4/6. On that basis ‘Over 2.5 goals’ on the ‘total goals’ market looks a better bet at 8/11. The match price of 4/9 might suggest a very comfortable home win, but draws for Rovers at home to Cambridge United and Alfreton Town suggest that the price itself is not bombproof! Much has been made of Forest Green’s abundance of attacking talent running through the squad but Yan Klukowski and Matty Taylor are their joint-top scorers in the line-up. With four goals apiece their efforts are only beaten by one in total when names such as Koroma, Marsh, Styche, Vieira and Wright are clubbed together. That suggests Hockaday must find his right partnership and stick with it and Taylor must be in the reckoning. He is the 5/1 joint-favourite with Styche to break the deadlock tonight. Former Barnet defender Nicky Nicolau is Lincoln’s joint-top scorer with striker Jamie Taylor on 3 goals apiece. Nicolau represents some value at 6/1 to score at ‘anytime’ for the away side!
Newport County responded to their minor slump at the start of the month with a hat-trick of wins to propel them back to the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier table. They host fourth-placed Grimsby Town on Saturday in the game of the weekend in the division. With County only conceding two goals in their five home matches, Grimsby will have to show the form that has seen them win five of their last seven games if they are to get anything from the visit to Rodney Parade. The Mariners are unbeaten away from home, but have drawn four of those five matches. A point from this fixture would be a very good one for their joint-management team of Rob Scott and Paul Hurst and that outcome at 11/5 looks the best bet on offer. A home win is the narrow favourite at 11/8 and a Grimsby win is offered at 7/4. Wrexham extended their unbeaten run with a professional 3-0 home win over Barrow in midweek. It was their sixth clean-sheet in their last eight games and they are once again putting together a title charge. Their game away at Nuneaton on Saturday afternoon sees them priced as the 4/5 favourites to gain another three points and that looks a very good bet against a home side who are winless in four matches (in which they’ve conceded a total of 13 goals). Luton Town continue to cling on to title favouritism at a new price of 3/1. They once again had to do it the hard way after conceding the first goal of the game at Tamworth on Tuesday night. They host a Southport team with a shocking record at Kenilworth Road and the Hatters should justify odds of 4/9 to keep in touch with the sides above them in the table.
Dartford’s fantastic form sees them priced at a record low of 4/7 to win a game at this level. They host bottom club Hyde who are yet to win in five attempts away from home and just have one victory from eleven games all season. Macclesfield Town are one of four teams who didn’t play in midweek due to two postponed matches. They will have fresher legs than their hosts Kidderminster Harriers who won their first game of the season away at Cambridge United on the same night. Steve Burr’s team are 15/8 to follow up on that maiden success, whilst Steve King’s visitors are the 6/5 favourites to make that extra sharpness count. Tamworth’s match at Woking sees the sides placed 8th and 9th in the table face-off and that’s one of four matches in this round of games that pitches teams adjacent in the table against each other. Both teams in this Kingfield encounter have had to cope with a recent streak of losing four games on the bounce but both have managed to cast that aside and get back into good form. Woking take favouritism with home advantage at 11/10. A win for Marcus Law’s visitors is offered at 2/1. Tenth placed Mansfield Town host Hereford United who are one place below them in the table. Both teams have 16 points but The Stags have played one less game. They’ve won four of their five matches at Field Mill and face a team who have won just two of their last seven matches. A home win is priced at 10/11 and a victory for The Bulls can be backed at 5/2.
Elsewhere Gateshead host AFC Telford United, two teams on the dividing line of the top half and bottom half of the standings. Ian Bogie’s home side have lost four of their last five matches and their midweek defeat at Grimsby made it three losses on the bounce in the league for the first time since February of this year during the last campaign. They haven’t been defeated in four straight league games since the very end of the 2010/11 season. Telford are the 11/4 outsiders to wipe that stat out here, Gateshead are the 4/5 favourites. Braintree registered their third blank in front of goal in their midweek defeat at the hands of in-form Dartford. The Iron need to find goals quick if they are to avoid a relegation fight in their second season at this level. An away trip to Alfreton Town is a tricky place to turn things round. We quote an away win at 15/8 and make the home side favourites at 6/5. Stockport County are winless in the nine games since they started the season with back-to-back victories. Ebbsfleet United are the weekend visitors to Edgeley Park and are priced at 23/10 to return to Kent with all three points. Stockport are quoted as our 10/11 favourites. Cambridge United’s season went from bad to worse in midweek as they allowed Kidderminster Harriers to break their winless run. That’s eight games without a win for The U’s including five defeats. Their trip to Barrow sees them quoted at 7/4 to get back to winning ways but it’s a price that only their most ardent fans would be queuing up to back. Barrow have won two of their last four matches, albeit away from home, and take the eye at 5/4 to get their first win in front of their home supporters.
Alan’s Best Bets for Forest Green Rovers v Lincoln City:
OVER 2.5 GOALS – Total Goals Under/Over
FOREST GREEN ROVERS TO WIN 3-1 – Correct Score
NICKY NICOLAU TO SCORE AT ANYTIME – Anytime Scorer
Alan’s Best Weekend Treble:
DRAW – Newport County v Grimsby Town
WREXHAM to win at Nuneaton Town
BARROW to beat Cambridge United
Forest Green Rovers v Lincoln City is live on Premier Sports TV – Friday 28th September 7.15pm (7.45pm kick-off) – visit www.premiersports.tv for subscription details.
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