NON-LEAGUE nut Callum Jones (@Goaldust) shares his two favourite fancies from Saturday’s National League coupon.
Aldershot v Torquay | Saturday 15:00
You’d 8-2 be an Aldershot fan right now (sorry, I had to get that in somewhere).
They were absolutely pounded by Chester on Tuesday night, finding themselves 6-1 down at half time – the first time in 80 years that the Seals have scored six goals in the first-half of a league game (1936 v York – the game finished 12-0!).
It was a pretty solemn night for the travelling Shots supporters, who were offered a refund by the club following the game.
While no one who headed to the old Deva Stadium was expecting quite that result, it’s fair to say that Aldershot have been treading water for a good portion of this season. If you take away their back-to-back-to-back league wins in January, they’d be level with Boreham Wood and Halifax, just one point above the relegation zone.
Aldershot have won just one of their last five, which was against the league’s worst team in Welling, and have now shipped 13 goals in their last three defeats. It doesn’t make for good reading.
By contrast, Torquay’s inspired run continues. Tuesday night’s stalemate with play-off chasing Braintree made it five games unbeaten, and they now sit just three points from safety with a game in hand.
Boss Kevin Nicholson stated after the game that he felt it wasn’t “a bad point, particularly as we were not fully at it”, which is bullish, considering the pedigree of their opposition.
They may be without leading man Nathan Blissett on Saturday, who limped off with a hamstring strain on Tuesday, but word from the club suggests he has a decent chance of lining up at the Recreation Ground.
Blissett’s absence would obviously be a huge loss to the Gulls but they look a completely different team at present. Safety is now a genuine possibility, and even against a side that will be eager to get back on track, I can’t see their run ending.
It may be a bit cagey but I think that’ll play into the hands of the visitors, and at 5/6 (Bet365), the Double Chance on Torquay or draw is an excellent value option.
Cheltenham v Woking | Saturday 15:00
I’ve routinely criticised Welling in recent weeks, and with just cause, as they are statistically the worst team in the division at present.
One side giving them a run for their money in that respect though are Woking, who have gone from play-off contenders to mid-table strugglers in recent weeks.
Woking have picked up only a single point from their last six in the league, and somehow managed to lose at Eastleigh on Tuesday after being 1-0 up, with the home side down to 10 men after just 20 minutes.
One characteristic of their dreadful recent form has been their terrible start to games. Taking out their goalless draw with Boreham Wood in December, they’ve conceded a first-half goal in every one of their last 11 league games, and have lost HT/FT in each of their last five, up until Tuesday.
The last thing they need right now is a trip to table-toppers Cheltenham but that’s exactly what they face on Saturday afternoon.
Truth be told, the top side in the division haven’t looked their usual dominant selves in recent weeks, and are without a win in their last three league fixtures.
The Robins needed a last-minute Dan Holman strike to avoid defeat at Welling but they’ve had a full week to prepare for this, and I expect them to get back to winning ways here.
Town have only conceded one goal in their last six games at Whaddon Road, and against this terrible Woking defence, they should have more than enough fire power to see off the Cardinals.
With Woking’s first-half struggles in mind, I’ll steer clear of the skinny 4/7 about a home win, and plump for the 29/20 for Cheltenham to complete the HT/FT double.
Aldershot v Torquay – Torquay double chance (5/6 Bet365)
Cheltenham v Woking – Cheltenham-Cheltenham Half-Time/-Full-Time (29/20 BetVictor)
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