NON-LEAGUE fanatic Danny Mercer (@OneDannyMercer) is sweet on two bets from the Conference this weekend.
Tamworth v Guiseley | Saturday 15.00
It’s a big game in the Conference North on Saturday as fourth-placed Tamworth entertain third-placed Guiseley. Although AFC Fylde look like taking the title, a win for either side would give their promotion hopes a real boost.
Tamworth took just 15 points from their first 16 league games but since former Wrexham manager Andy Morrell took charge in September, the Lambs have been on fire. It’s now nine league games on the spin for the hosts.
In front of their home fans Tamworth have won their last five in the Conference North and will be keen to collect another three points when Guiseley visit. The two teams drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture just two months ago with the Lambs leaking a last-minute goal to deny them maximum points.
Morrell’s men look fantastic value at 13/8 (BetVictor) to get the win. They’ve plenty of experience in the ranks including skipper Paul Green. He’s had plenty of experience playing in the Conference and is in fine scoring form. Javan Vidal’s probably too good for this level and might be remembered from his Manchester City youth days. He also played with the England youth sides whilst Kevin Thornton has plied his trade with Coventry and Northampton.
Starlet Connor Taylor continues to impress with his searing pace always a menace, Brendon Daniels is having a fine season and was part of Crewe's academy, big Dave Hibbert has plenty of Football League nous whilst Leon Mettam has been prolific for many seasons in lower non-league. It’s a strong squad.
Opponents Guiseley are a good side. They’ve won seven of their last nine league outings and in Oli Johnson, Danny Boshall, Andy Holdsworth and Adam Boyes have plenty of talent at their disposal too. They’ve lost just once away this season (at high-flying Barrow) but I just feel this Tamworth team have the momentum, confidence and continue to improve and should get the better of them. Home win.
Eastleigh v Lincoln City | Saturday 15.00
This Conference Premier clash should be a cracker. With Eastleigh in eight and Lincoln in 11th, a win for either side will keep their play-off dreams alive.
Eastleigh suffered a shock home defeat last week against Altrincham and that was their first home loss of the season. Amazingly, it was also the first time that they'd failed to score in at home and they need to bounce back.
The hosts beat Lincoln in FA Cup action two months ago thanks to a last-minute winner and they've a habit for grabbing victories in goal-heavy games on home soil. In five of their last 11 home league fixtures, Eastleigh have won with Both Teams To Score also banking. Coral are offering a repeat at 29/10!
The Spitfires have scored two or more goals in nine of their 13 games at Ten Acres and will be bullish about their chances of increasing that trend on Saturday. Lincoln arrive having leaked in every away day this season with an average of two goals against per away game.
There's no doubt the Imps have improved since Chris Moyses took over the role as manager in early November and they carry a real threat in attack with the likes of Alan Power, Charlee Adams, Marcus Marshall, Jordan Burrow, Ben Tomlinson and Sam Yorke.
Lincoln are on a high after smashing leaders Barnet 4-1 last week have also secured victories in six of their last seven Conference outings. Their only defeat in that run came against Kidderminster and going down to 10-men probably cost them in that fixture.
Both sides have have plenty of firepower and are in decent nick so we should expect goals. With the odd goal likely to prove decisive, I feel Eastleigh have enough in the armoury to nick the points. Lincoln just aren't the same side on their travels and their sloppy defensive record could work against them.