National League: Table-toppers to come through test unscathed


NON-LEAGUE expert Paul Maddison (@LouthBigDog) shares his favourite fancies from Saturday afternoon's coupon.

Eastleigh v Chesterfield | Saturday 24th November 2018, 15:00

Eastleigh are starting to find some form and sit just three points off the play-off places. The Spitfires have picked up 21 points in their last 10 league games – that’s compared to just a 10-paul haul from their opening 10 fixtures.

The Hampshire-based hosts have W6-D2-L2 of late – the two draws coming against Salford and Leyton Orient (who currently occupy the top two spots in the National League) and one of the defeats arrived in the FA Cup.

Chesterfield's first season in the National League isn't going too well at the moment; the Spireites sit 19th, only avoiding a spot in the relegation zone by goal difference. The away side have won just twice in their last 20 matches in all competitions, although incredibly half have ended all-square.

One of Chesterfield's rare victories came against National League South side Billericay on Tuesday night in an FA Cup first round replay. That means, whilst Martin Allen's men were battling out a hard-fought game, their opponents were resting up and should have fresher legs for this encounter.

Chesterfield now also have the massive distraction of an FA Cup second round glamour tie next week against Grimsby.

I really do fancy the home side here, but because Chesterfield do draw a lot of games so I'm backing Eastleigh at 13/15 with Sportingbet in the Draw Bo Bet market.

Solihull Moors v Salford | Saturday 24th November 2018, 15:00

Fourth-placed Solihull take on second-placed Salford in what should be a cracking match.

The Moors looked very impressive in front of the BT Sport cameras last time out as they beat Braintree 3-0; Solihull were solid defensively, Jamey Osborne controlled the midfield and they looked a threat every time they went forward.

At Damson Park the home side have lost just once in their 10 encounters so far and have conceded just four goals in that time. Tim Flowers has clearly got his men very well organised, and in all competitions they have won nine of their last 12, losing just once, and keeping nine clean sheets in the process.

Salford are in decent form too with just one loss in 20 in all competitions, but I feel now is the right time to take them on. The Ammies have won just three of their last eight games, although two of those matches were against League One Shrewsbury.

Graham Alexander's guests have had a tough game against the Shrews on Wednesday night, just three days before this tie, so fatigue could be a factor here.

Again I'm heading to the Draw No Bet market and backing the home side at 11/10 with Marathon.

Wrexham v Leyton Orient | Saturday 24th November 2018, 15:00

This should be another fascinating encounter at the top of the table as third-placed Wrexham welcome league leaders Leyton Orient.

Both teams are in good form, Wrexham have the second best home record in the division, only behind Salford on goal difference. The Dragons are also really solid in defence with the joint-fewest goals conceded.

The Welsh hosts probably haven't faced a strike partnership as good, or as in –form, as Orient's front two, mind. Josh Koroma has looked threatening all season and has added an end product in his last couple of games, netting three in his last two. His partner, Macauley Bonne, is also going well with 14 league goals, including 10 in his last 10 outings.

Justin Edinburgh's visitors have been equally impressive defensively; the O’s have conceded just 13 in their 20 league games to date – only opponents Wrexham and AFC Fylde have leaked fewer.

The Londoners also boast the best away return in the league, picking up an impressive 22 points in 10 games on the road, and averaging 2.00 goals per-game in that sample.

I fancy this to be a tight game but believe that Leyton Orient are so much more dangerous going forward than their opponents. Therefore, I'm covering my back again through the Draw No Bet market but backing Orient at 19/20 with Marathon.

Best Bets

Eastleigh v Chesterfield – Eastleigh draw no bet (13/15 Sportingbet)

Solihull Moors v Salford – Solihull Moors draw no bet (11/10 Marathon)

Wrexham v Leyton Orient – Leyton Orient draw no bet (19/20 Marathon)

About Author

I first got the taste for betting when I was quite young, every year I would pick a horse for the Grand National and my Dad would go to the bookies and put my £1 each way bet on. As soon as I could get away with it I was in the bookies every Saturday afternoon searching the football coupons and putting on stupidly big accas. Now enjoy betting mainly singles or small multiples, usually sticking to the English leagues. I don't favour any particular market, but rarely watch a game without having small first scorer bet for a bit of fun. I've got 3 boys which take up most of my time, but luckily they enjoy going to watch football and days at the races. I'm a life long Grimsby Town fan, one of a few that has seen some ups as well as all the downs.

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