NON-LEAGUE expert Paul Maddison (@LouthBigDog) shares his favourite fancies from the weekend’s National League action
Maidstone v AFC Fylde | Saturday 14th April 2018, 15:00
Free scoring Fylde are hitting form at just the right time as they look to cement their place in the end of season play offs. They currently sit fourth just a point behind Sutton in third, but Fylde have played a game more. The play-off format has changed in the National League this season (including North and South divisions). This makes the difference between third and fourth massive.
With the new format, six teams qualify for the play-offs and all games are played over just a single leg. The teams in fourth to seventh spots have to play a ‘qualifier’ with the winner taking on either the second or third placed team who will have home advantage.
So Fylde will be doing everything possible to finish at least third. Like I said earlier they are a team in form and have won six of their last eight, scoring three plus goals on five occasions.
Five of those victories saw both teams score. They have kept just one clean sheet in 13 and Halifax in 12th are the only team in the top half of the table to concede more.
Maidstone have been slipping down the table for a while now after a fairly decent start to the season. Their form has dropped off massively with just two wins in their last 17 matches, in a run they have recorded 11 losses.
They have picked up fewer points in their last 25 league games than any other club and are sitting just three points off the relegation places (although I think they will stay up). They have failed to score just four times at home in their last 20 games, however and have scored in 10 of their last 11 at home.
AFC Fylde to win and both teams to score looks a very nice price at 31/10 at BetVictor and that’s my bet here.
Tranmere v Aldershot | Saturday 14th April 2018, 15:00
I’ve looked at so many ways to get with Tranmere here and I really can’t decide which way to go. If Macclesfield beat Leyton Orient in the early kick-off then Tranmere could be 15 points behind with just five to play, meaning winning the title is virtually impossible (it’s extremely unlikely anyway). As pointed out in the above preview though Tranmere will be desperate to finish second or third and they are in great form at the moment, scoring for fun and are ruthless when putting teams away.
Aldershot were bang in contention for automatic promotion just a couple of months ago, but just three wins in their last 10 have put pay to that. Their last three away wins have seen two 0-0 draws against teams struggling at the foot of the table, Chester being one of them who are now already relegated. The other game was a 7-1 defeat to promotion rivals AFC Fylde.
Tranmere’s home form is exceptional at the moment. They have won 11 of 12 in the league and in those 12 games they scored three or more goals in nine of them. They also won by two or more goals in nine of those as well. Leading the line they have Andy Cook who is scoring for fun at the moment and his 11 goals in 7 games (including 4 last time out) has seen him draw level with Danny Rowe for the golden boot.
After typing this I still can’t make up my mind so I’m going with all three bets I’ve been deciding over, they all look good value to me.
First up is Tranmere to score three plus at 12/5 with Coral. The in form Andy Cook is 5/6 with bet365 to score anytime, and finally I’m sticking with a bet that paid out for me last week with Tranmere -1 on the Asian Handicap at 5/4 with Sun Bets.
Woking v Bromley | Saturday 14th April 2018, 15:00
Last up I’m taking on Woking here, they are in terrible form and have slipped down the table at an alarming rate. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did end the season in 21st and get relegated. In their last 11 matches they have picked up just three points and have conceded more goals than any other team in that period.
Since reaching the FA Trophy final and securing a place at Wembley, Bromley’s form has dropped off quite a bit, they did pick up a very impressive 3-0 win away at Sutton a couple of weeks ago, but may have benefited from some slightly dubious refereeing. Bromley still have an outside chance of reaching the play offs though and this is an ideal opportunity to get three points on the board. They are currently nine points off seventh place but do have two games in hand so that lead could be cut to just three points.
With their slight dip in form I’m reluctant to back them outright to win the game, but Bromley can be backed +0 on the Asian handicap with 888 Sport at 22/23. Essentially the bet is the same as ‘draw no bet’ but slightly better odds than anyone is offering for that market.
Maidstone v AFC Fylde – AFC Fylde to win and Both Teams To Score (31/10 BetVictor)
Tranmere v Aldershot – Tranmere to score 3+ goals (12/5 Coral)
Tranmere v Aldershot – Andy Cook anytime (5/6 bet365)
Tranmere v Aldershot – Tranmere -1 Asian Handicap (5/4 Sun Bets)
Woking v Bromley – Bromley +0 Asian Handicap (22/23 888)