National League Tips | 23rd January 2016

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CALLUM JONES (@Goaldust) returns to share his non-league NAP from the weekend action.

Forest Green Rovers v Braintree Town | Saturday 15:00

As is to be expected with non-league football, winter brings with it a huge number of postponements and no side has suffered more than Braintree Town.

Since the weekend before Christmas, only three of their seven planned fixtures have gone ahead and they’ve played just once this calendar year – that was last weekend’s FA Trophy defeat at home to Stourbridge – a side from the Northern Premier League, 42 places below in the league pyramid.

Forest Green, by contrast, have hit an excellent rhythm over the usually tricky festive period and have lost only one of their last 10 league fixtures.

The hosts have been especially formidable at home, where their record speaks for itself (W12-D1-L2). In fact, they’ve bagged six more points in their own back yard than any other side and their home win ratio is 80%, far more impressive than the next best, Cheltenham (64%).

Forest Green have won each of their last six games at the New Lawn and last weekend’s victory at Lincoln moved them to within two points of Cheltenham at the top of the National League table. They’ve picked up 19 points from their last eight games and are proving to be a real headache for the Robins at the summit.

Rovers’ impressive attacking unit was boosted this week too, with the arrival of 23-year-old Kieffer Moore from Norwegian Tippeligaen outfit Viking FK. Moore made his mark as a teenager at Yeovil and joins the formidable forward force of Jon Parkin, Aaron O’Connor and Kurtis Guthrie, who already have 26 league goals between them this season.

All things considered then, it’s tough to see anything but a home win here.

There’s being fresh and then there’s being short of match fitness and I think last weekend’s shock defeat by Stourbridge showed Braintree’s distinct lack of it at present. Add that to Forest Green’s recent home supremacy and the 5/6 with SkyBet looks a very tempting proposition.

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Forest Green v Braintree Town – Forest Green to win (5/6 SkyBet)

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