NON-LEAGUE expert Paul Maddison (@LouthBigDog) shares his favourite fancies from night's National League season.
Barnet v Braintree | Tuesday 7th August 2018, 19:45
Neither of these teams started the season the way they would have liked. Barnet were held to a 0-0 draw at Aldershot – a game in which they created enough chances to win two games of football – but a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing cost them in the end. The Bees did look solid in defence though.
Braintree kicked-off with a 2-0 loss at home to Halifax. I think it's fair to say manager Bradley Quinton wasn't too impressed with what he saw. In an interview after the game he said, “They need to learn fast otherwise they'll be finding another club.”
Quinton continued, “We'll be honest with ourselves, we played some good football for long periods but it's not effective really if you don't come away with proper shots on goal and that'll be changing.” Pretty strong words after just one game of the season.
I fancy Barnet to be too strong for Braintree here but the odds look on the short side, especially with their inability to finish the chances they've created, a problem they have had in pre-season too. Dave Tarpey is a major doubt after picking up a knock in the warm-up on Saturday and he looks the most likely player to be scoring the goals they need.
So with both teams having problems in the opposition’s box, I really fancy Both Teams To Score ‘No' at 17/20 with BetVictor.
Gateshead v Salford | Tuesday 7th August 2018, 19:45
Gateshead made a great start to the season with a 3-1 win at Maidenhead, but they should be in for a much tougher game on Tuesday night as they take on Salford. Despite the win, Gateshead are joint favourites for relegation and I feel they will be in for a long season.
I was more impressed with Salford's performance against a strong Leyton Orient side than I thought I would be – Danny Lloyd and Danny Whitehead looked particularly impressive in spells (as they probably should for the money they're being paid).
I know I've banged on in other previews about how Salford are going to find it a lot harder than people expect, but this a game the title favourites really should be winning. I wouldn't have backed them when they opened up at odds-on, but the price has drifted quite a bit and at 63/50 with Marathon I'm keen to get with the Ammies.