NON-LEAGUE expert Paul Maddison (@LouthBigDog) shares his best bets from Saturday's action in the National League.
Ebbsfleet v Notts County | Saturday 24th August 2019, 15:00
It's looking like it could be a long season for Ebbsfleet. The Kent club have started the campaign with five straight losses and lost several key players in the summer, including over 59% of their goals from last season with the departures of Michael Cheek, Danny Kedwell and Corey Whitely.
That's left Fleet looking much weaker in attack and so far Garry Hill's men haven't been much better at the back. Ebbsfleet have conceded the most goals in the National League, seeing their net breached 13 times in their opening five fixtures. Four of those goals did come whilst playing with 10 men on the opening day of the season against Halifax, mind.
Notts County's off-field problems have been well documented, but that should be all behind them now. The transfer embargo placed has been lifted and Neal Ardley has moved quickly to add some extra quality to the squad with the signings of Regan Booty and Wes Thomas.
The Magpies didn't have the best of starts to life in the National League but have shown encouraging signs in their last two outings, with a good win at Harrogate, and picking up a 1-1 draw at home to Wrexham last weekend.
County's forward line of Wes Thomas, Kristian Dennis and Enzio Boldewijn wouldn't look out of place in League Two and I think they could be too much for Ebbsfleet to handle.
The 177/100 on offer with Marathon for an away win looks a great price to me.
Halifax v Fylde | Saturday 24th August 2019, 15:00
Only two teams scored fewer goals than Halifax in the National League last season and they were both relegated (although Aldershot actually stayed in the division in the end). They did however, have one of the best defensive records in the division with only Leyton Orient, Solihull and Wrexham leaking less often and they took up three of the top four spots.
The Shaymen started this season with a 4-1 win, but they did play over 80 minutes of that against 10 men. Since then normal service has been resumed with Halifax's next four games seeing just six goals, including two clean sheets in their two home games.
It was Fylde's away form that cost them a decent shot at the title last season, and part of that was their lack of goals on the road. The Coasters netted just 27 times away from last season. They've not been firing on all cylinders yet this term either with just six goals scored in their opening five games.
Last time out Fylde lost 4-1 at home to Woking, so I'm sure Dave Challinor will have been working on improving defensively quite a bit during the week.