NON-LEAGUE expert Callum Jones (@Goaldust) shares his Good Friday NAP from the National League.
Braintree v Bromley | Good Friday 15.00
2016 has largely been the year of Braintree, at least thus far. Forgiving their early exit from the FA Trophy, Town have been on an absolute tear, and at present, appear the most decisive of the several play-off candidates in the National League.
Braintree didn’t play a league game for the first 22 days of 2016, but after a 1-0 reverse at Forest Green, they’ve lost only one of their last 12 National League fixtures, and have won seven of their last nine matches at home, which is mighty impressive.
Indeed, Cressing Road has been a fortress for the Iron this season. They’re lost just one of their last 13 on home soil, and haven’t wasted any energy in doing so – Danny Cowley’s side have scored only 19 in 20 home games, conceding 11. A tight ship.
Friday’s visitors Bromley have performed admirably in their debut campaign in the fifth tier, and a couple of respectable recent victories have seen them settle in 11th, safe for another season.
Much like the majority in this division, their foundation has been built at home, and they’ve found life much more difficult on the road. Bromley’s six away league victories this season have come at Boreham Wood, Torquay, Welling, Lincoln, Dover and Kidderminster. Indeed, take that Dover game out as an anomaly, and you’ve got wins against 10th, 19th, 21st, 23rd and 24th in the league. Hardly a who’s who.
By no means is this an indignation of the Ravens – I have a tremendous amount of respect for their showings this campaign. Away form isn’t the be all and end all – Halifax Town didn’t win a game away from home for the first three months of the 2013/14 season and ended up 90 minutes away from the play-off final.
But they’ve not shown much resistance against the top teams, and that’s the angle here. In fact, their record on the road against the top-eight this term is W1-D0-L6, with the aggregate score of those seven defeats reading 2-16!
It certainly doesn’t give the visitors much of a chance on Friday, at least on paper. The fact that Bromley have actually picked up more points in their last six than Braintree has probably fooled the bookies into offering a bigger price about a home win, and as always, I won’t be ignoring that.
Four goals in their last six away games doesn’t bode well for a trip to the second tightest home team in the league, and to be honest, I’m very tempted to snaffle the 11/4 William Hill are offering about a home win with Under 2.5 Goals scored.
But keen to get this bumper Easter weekend off to an excellent start, we’ll go back-to-basics and stick with the 19/20 (Coral) about a Braintree victory.
Braintree v Bromley – Braintree to win (19/20 Coral)
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