THE FA Cup 1st Round concludes on Monday night as National League South side Hampton & Richmond welcome Oldham. Gab Sutton (@_FootbalLab) shares his best bets.
Hampton & Richmond v Oldham | Monday 12th November 2018, 19:55 | BT Sport
Oldham Athletic begin their FA Cup campaign at a time of grave uncertainty.
The Latics, relegated last season, have won just one of their last nine League Two encounters and matters are no better off the field, with various question marks over Abdallah Lemsagam’s ownership regime.
Hosts Hampton & Richmond meanwhile are not in the best of form themselves in the National League South, where they sit 16th following a run of four defeats in five, although the division is so tight that they remain just four points off the play-off places.
Who will prevail on Monday night?
Hampton & Richmond have not performed quite as well as they would have liked domestically in recent weeks and slow starts suggest, perhaps, they have been guilty of having half an eye on this fixture, but the intensity should be there from the get-go on Monday night.
Although they are a sixth-tier side, they are not short of experience. Centre-back Simon Downer, who has been absent in recent weeks but could come back in, brings vital leadership qualities as well as knowledge of playing league opposition.
Veteran forward Chris Dickson, who has featured in more wins this season than any other player, is a spirited character and will certainly be a key influence on the side.
Lower down the age spectrum, full-back Jack Connors has had a great start to life at the Beveree since joing on loan from Dover; the former Ireland Under-21 international has bagged two goals and managed one assist in his first two games.
Young talent Tyrell Miller Rodney offers class, skill and versatility; he has a great opportunity to take centre-stage, as does exciting midfielder Casey McKlaren.
There is a feeling within Hampton & Richmond that they will look to attack, with quick breakaways expected early on.
Green shoots for Oldham
Manager Frankie Bunn can take some encouragement from his side’s Tuesday night performance at Notts County, where they outshot their hosts 19-6 and 6-1 on target, even if the outcome was a goalless draw.
The return to fitness of left-back Andy Taylor, who has played well at League One level in the past with Walsall, looks a big plus, as it allows Rob Hunt to move to his natural right-back position.
Jordan Lyden, also back from injury, appears to be forming a reasonably solid midfield partnership with Dan Gardner.
Gevaro Nepomuceno, who plays an advanced role on the left, offers selfless movement while Callum Lang, on the right, was one of just five players in English football last season to manage double figures in all competitions without starting more than 15 games.
Not to mention, young centre-back Sam Edmundson, guided by the more experienced Peter Clarke, have already inspired Oldham to six away clean sheets in League Two; more than any of their competitors.
Run for the Mill?
Ishmael Miller is 9/5 with Betway to score anytime.
The injury to Sam Surridge, Oldham’s September star, has seen Miller take on the baton and the experienced striker is starting to flex his muscles; he produced a classy finish in the 3-2 defeat at Stevenage and looked sharp at Meadow Lane in midweek.
The Man City youth product has had his work rate questioned at previous clubs but, having played in the top two divisions of English football for 13 consecutive seasons at the start of his career, he will certainly have pedigree against non-league opposition and has an excellent chance of continuing his fine form.
The betting angle
Our best bet is Betstars’ 4/6 on Hampton & Richmond scoring Under 0.5 second half goals.
The indications are that they will give everything to produce a high-tempo performance in the opening period.
However, with a squad that is made up at least predominantly of part-time footballers, who might not be able to work on their fitness all week, it could be difficult for them to sustain that intensity.
If they are ahead or level at half-time therefore, their second half display is likely to be one of rear-guard action, whereas if Oldham are ahead, there is potential for them to take control of the tie.
Hampton & Richmond v Oldham – Ishmael Miller to score at anytime (9/5 Betway)
Hampton & Richmond v Oldham – Hampton & Richmond to score Under 0.5 second half goals (4/6 Betstars)