WINNING last week, Callum Jones (@Goaldust) returns to the rostrum with this Saturday Non-League pick.
Chester v Torquay | Saturday 15:00
Right. One part of this job (can you call it a job if nobody has asked you to do it?!) you have to take on the chin is having to look a bit of a moron from time to time. Fortunately, I excel at that, so we’re quids in.
Recently, in a piece focusing on the Aldershot v Chester game on 10th September, I suggested Chester may find themselves lucky not to become embroiled in a dogfight, and that 5/1 about them going down could turn out to be quite chunky. They’ve since gone six games unbeaten, so what do I know?!
Anyway, it’s been quite the turn around after a fairly auspicious start to the campaign.
Last weekend’s home pasting of play-off hopefuls Dover set a real marker, and after Tuesday’s smash and grab at North Ferriby, the Seals now sit in a rather clement 10th position in the National League table, a comfy 11 points from the drop zone. Even at this early stage, that’s a nice position to be in.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, much of Chester’s success since their reformation has come on their own patch. Remember – this is a ground that used to house 5,000+ in the Football League quite regularly. They still manage to pack the place out from time to time, which is a staggering achievement.
Believe it or not, I myself was once on the books at the Deva as a wee nipper, but sadly I was deemed far too good to be allowed to continue to play with the other children and my glittering career was over before it even started.
Despite this, I got a good sense of what the club was all about, and it certainly has all the right values at heart. This has only accentuated since the birth of the new Chester FC by the club’s fan group.
Their home form this season has been very impressive, winning five of their seven games at the Deva. They’re probably a bet at 13/15 (Marathon) to win on Saturday, but I’m looking at a slightly different angle for this one.
Including the five they bagged against Dover last weekend, the Seals have now notched 15 of their 22 league goals in the second half of games this season.
Not only that, but Jon McCarthy’s side have won the second period in five of their six league victories, and haven’t conceded a single goal in any of those. That’s pretty impressive stuff.
In stark contrast, Torquay have been absolutely useless on the road. The Gulls have lost five of their seven away games, and have scored just one solitary goal in the second period of those games. That’s also pretty impressive stuff, although for very different reasons.
With all that in mind, I’m happy to pile my hypothetical chips on Chester to win the second period at 6/5 (William Hill). All of the stats suggest they’re a second half side, and I think it’s worth taking the slightly heftier odds about this than a straight home win.
On top of that, I’ll have a speculative punt on Draw HT/Chester FT at 17/4 (BetVictor).
The Seals have been level in four of their last five games, and three of their last four league triumphs have come after a half time stalemate. Seems worth a tickle, at that price.
Chester v Torquay – Chester to win the Second Half (6/5 William Hill)
Chester v Torquay – Draw/Chester Double Result (17/4 BetVictor)