Anytime Notebook | 3rd January 2015

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IF you’re hunting an Anytime Goalscorer from the Football League, you ought to know all about the wonders of Gavin Horsfall (@GHorsfall). Who makes the Notebook this week?

Oxford United v Cheltenham Town | Saturday 15.00

There were several things that fell in Oxford’s favour last time out as Michael Appleton’s side recorded just a second win since mid-November at Plymouth.

Firstly Aaron Bentley’s red card after half an hour saw the hosts reduced to 10 men but perhaps significantly, it also saw the return to first-team action of James Roberts.

The 18-year-old was just getting going a month ago when a hamstring injury kept him out for a around four weeks but he returned to the starting eleven at Plymouth and was straight back on the scoresheet with his fourth goal in four starts.

Home defeats to Shrewsbury and Wycombe are the only real blots on the U’s home record in recent times while visitors Cheltenham are on a winless streak of nine in the league.

A game for Oxford to be patient here where match winners look a premium, Roberts already falls into that category for me and looks the call at 21/10 (Ladbrokes).

Wycombe Wanderers v Hartlepool United | Saturday 15.00

No sooner had Paris Cowan-Hall become a favourite of the Notebook than he leaves promotion-chasing Wycombe for Championship side Millwall.

This column isn’t about critiquing players but worth bearing in mind that PCH has a poor injury record and was by no means as prolific throughout his career to date as he has been in the last month.

True enough he is in red hot form but as we talked about previously, I’m more inclined to think he was reaping the benefits of Gareth Ainsworth’s style of play. Good luck to him anyway.

What it does mean though is that there’s space in the Wycombe front-three for someone else to benefit. Six days since a creditable draw at Shrewsbury should give Wanderers small squad time to recover.

A returning Paul Hayes would be welcome news against struggling Hartlepool. Plenty of speculation in the selection but there’s arguably some value with any firms who’ve still priced up PCH, as it is the 5/2 (Boylesports) about Fred Onyedinma, who’s loan from Millwall has been extended, looked the best of the bunch.

Dagenham & Redbridge v Bury | Saturday 15.00

Bury appear to have their swagger back after an excellent festive period saw them pick up seven points from three games to get talk of promotion back on the agenda.

It looks a huge couple of months for David Flitcroft as the Shakers look to realise their obvious potential this year.

Stopping that winless run of eight games was always going to be key but the benefit here for Flitcroft is that it’s come in a flurry of games that should see them build some momentum going into the New Year. The return to 4-4-2 looks to have done the trick and they can continue their good run away at Dagenham this Saturday.

Danny Mayor (3/1 Bet365) has been the key beneficiary of the change in fortunes. It’s three in five for the former Preston man who can cause trouble down the left-hand side.

Best Bets

Oxford United v Cheltenham Town – James Roberts to score at anytime (21/10 Ladbrokes)

Wycombe Wanderers v Hartlepool United – Fred Onyedinma to score at anytime (5/2 Boylesports)

Dagenham & Redbridge v Bury – Danny Mayor to score at anytime (3/1 Bet365)

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After a misspent youth spent sneaking into Midland’s racetracks with his Dad without paying, Gavin caught the betting bug early. While the betting landscape may have changed, it’s still all about solving puzzles and although edges have got smaller, there are still profitable angles for punters lower down the football pyramid. When not watching his beloved Coventry City, he’s watching games in Leagues 1 and 2, on the lookout for goalscoring defenders, penalty taking midfielders and in-form strikers for his Anytime Notebook.

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