Chesterfield v Barnet
Chesterfield to win – 8/17 (1.47)
I was really impressed with Chesterfield on Saturday in the live game against Notts County and having thought Paul Cook looked clueless last season when he joined the club for a 2nd time, it seems he has learnt quickly what is needed to be successful in the National League.
The only problem is that they blew a 2-goal lead for the 2nd time this season and it followed on from last season where they dropped numerous points from winning positions. What will be most frustrating was the first goal came out of nothing from a mistake at the back and the ball came to Langstaff and he hit it first time and finished well. Up until that point Chesterfield looked very comfortable and without that goal from nothing, I think they would have held on.
I was especially impressed with Joe Quigley. He was James Rowe’s last signing before he left and he looked a shadow of the player who had done well at Yeovil, but he looked like a completely different player on Saturday and he was key in setting up the first goal.
I wrote last week about how Barnet look to be overachieving in being top of the table and again on Saturday their xG was very low at just 0.55. They only had 4 shots and it was just the 2 goals that were the only shots on target. Woking had 17 shots for an xG of 1.37.
Barnet’s average xG is 0.9 yet they have scored 2 goals in every game so far. It is going to be almost impossible for them to keep that up and I think their run will come to an end on Friday night with Chesterfield looking a good bet for the 3 points.
Boreham Wood v Altrincham
Boreham Wood to win – 3/4 (1.75)
Altrincham have dominated possession in all 4 games so far with an average of 65% which includes a figure of 75% when they lost 2-0 to Maidenhead last week.
Their big problem is despite seeing plenty of the ball they aren’t turning that into creating good chances that they can score from. Their average xG is just 1.04 and they have only scored 3 times, 2 of which came in the 2-2 draw with Yeovil on Saturday.
It could be that they are a team who will improve during the season given they had the upheaval of going full-time over the summer and I will certainly be keeping a close eye on them as there could be value to be had if that does happen.
This Saturday though I will be taking them on as they travel to Boreham Wood. Granted Boreham Wood lost a game they should have won against Aldershot in their last home game, but I don’t think they will make the same mistake here.
They held on well against Torquay last Saturday having gone a goal up very early on. Torquay played their best game of the season as well and got an xG of 3.06 which given their next highest is 0.84 shows how much of an improved performance it was.
They are usually very hard to beat at home though and I think they can pick up another 3 points here and they are the type of side who will probably be quite happy to give Altrincham a lot of the ball and take advantage on the counter.
Halifax v Notts County
Notts County draw no bet – 3/4 (1.75)
As much as I thought Chesterfield should have beaten Notts County on Saturday you still have to give them credit for coming from 2 down.
It was the subs made on the 60-minute mark which seemed to make the difference as it was the first time Cedwyn Scott had paired up with Langstaff after they both moved from Gateshead in the summer. Sam Austin also came on and it was Scott’s pass to Austin and then Austin’s superb cross which led to their 2nd goal. I’d imagine both might well start on Saturday and I think they will thrive against a struggling Halifax.
I opposed Halifax last week when they were favourites to win at Wealdstone and the bookies continue to price Halifax up as if they were last season’s Halifax side who finished in the play-offs. They are though a mile away from that Halifax side with key players leaving and of course manager Pete Wild going to Barrow.
They have yet to score a goal and the only game they have looked like scoring in was their defeat against Torquay where they should have won. I can’t believe that County are going to give them much of look in here either and really it should be a routine victory for the away side on everything both sides have shown so far this season.
Solihull Moors v Dorking
Over 2.5 goals – 4/7 (1.57)
Pretty obvious what I am going to tip up here as yet again over 2.5 goals was a winning bet for the 4th time this season in a Dorking game.
Dorking did win the game although Gateshead actually had an xG of 2 and Dorking’s was only just over 1 which was their lowest figure of the season.
Whilst that was going on, Solihull were involved in what is likely to be the best comeback of the season. I was shocked when I saw they had gone 3 down at Scunthorpe as I thought Solihull would have a fairly comfortable victory. Jamey Osbourne’s superb strike on 42 minutes though changed the game. They then scored a scrappy goal from a corner 2 minutes later so at half-time they had pegged them back to 3-2. That’s how it remained until the 84th minute when a great team goal led to Andrew Dallas scoring and then 3 minutes later Alex Reid scored another stunner to complete the comeback.
Solihull have had an xG of over 2 in 3 of their 4 games and I really do think it will be 5 games out of 5 where a Dorking game has over 2.5 goals.
Woking v Wrexham
Woking or draw – 5/6 (1.83)
The live game on BT Sport this Saturday is the first chance for viewers to watch the hot favourites for the title Wrexham.
Wrexham fans and Phil Parkinson will have been very relieved that they put Maidstone to the sword last Saturday when they won 5-0 after what has been a very tough start to the season.
It was probably the best fixture they could have had though as Maidstone were poor and made it very easy for Wrexham. Paul Mullin got a hat-trick and if you aren’t playing well, he is going to have a field day.
I think though that the win could well have just papered over the cracks and this game will be a much bigger test for them. This game was key last season as well as after a run of 7 games at home which they won they then went to Woking and played poorly and lost.
It was one of Darren Sarll’s first games in charge of Woking as well and they have had a good start to this season as well after their defeat to York on the opening day.
As I mention above, they were unfortunate to lose to Barnet on Saturday and they are more than capable of winning this especially if Wrexham perform as badly as they have in their first two away games against Yeovil and Chesterfield.
We can back Woking and the draw in the double chance market at a decent price and that’s the way to go for me.