Boreham Wood v Aldershot Town
It has not been a good start to the National League season for Aldershot Town.
A couple of days before their opener, Jayden Harris left. Francis Amartey and Justin Amaluzor were unavailable for the opener (the latter returned from the bench on Saturday). They were beaten 4-1 by Solihull Moors, conceding three goals from crosses despite having three central defenders on the pitch and then lost 1-0 at Chesterfield at the weekend. They have conceded over 2xG in both matches.
Boreham Wood, meanwhile, showed their usual grit and determination to get over the line on opening day against Southend United and the additional depth of their squad has shown with Lee Ndlovu and Dion Kelly-Evans replaced by Danny Elliott and George Williams for the 2-2 draw against Notts County while Tyrone Marsh and Josh Rees came off the bench. Ndlovu and Kelly-Evans will return for this one after suspension and despite typically giving up a lot of possession, they created a number of chances against a Notts County side that will be near the top of the division come the end of the season.
This should be a gritty affair with both sides wanting to keep clean sheets but the hosts have the extra quality and options from the bench and that should prove enough.
Gateshead v Notts County
Gateshead are showing no fear on their return to the National League.
Many were worried about their chances this season having lost Macaulay Langstaff and Cedwyn Scott, both to Tuesday’s opposition, but that hasn’t stopped them, recording 2-2 draws against Dagenham and Redbridge and Barnet with Paul Blackett and Adam Campbell scoring two apiece. Mike Williamson’s side were ruthless in the opening stages against the Daggers while their home match with the Bees saw them create 2.5 expected goals. The Heed have picked up exactly where they left off last season (they scored 99 goals on their way to the National League North title) and they will fancy themselves to create chances against a Notts County side that play an open, expansive style.
That same Notts County side have already scored five goals, three at home against Maidenhead United and two on the road at Boreham Wood, who are notoriously strong defensively. Their style has been evident since the season began, having 66 and 64 percent of possession in both matches. However, their away record was poor last season for a side challenging for promotion, failing to win 13 of 22 matches and conceding in 14. The season is still in its early days, Notts are still working out their shape under Williams and conceding two on Saturday was evidence of that.
Oldham Athletic v Wealdstone
What a weekend for Oldham Athletic.
The Latics were taken over this summer and in front of their new owner, his family, the legendary Joe Royle, who has taken a job as director, and an attendance over eight thousand, they took a three-goal lead in the searing heat to showcase to the world (the game was live on BT Sport) that Oldham Athletic are back. It was the perfect start to a new era.
Oldham were the better side on opening day in a 0-0 draw at Torquay United and despite giving up a lot of the ball, they were comfortable against a buoyant Dorking Wanderers side until the final ten minutes, when they finally failed to deal with a left-wing cross or two. Their front three of Hallam Hope, Chris Porter and Ben Tollitt all got off the mark on Saturday and the result should breed confidence ahead of another home fixture in midweek.
Wealdstone did get a result on opening day at home against Bromley but they haven’t had the best start as far as performances go, giving up 17 shots and almost 2xG on opening day in that victory before a 1-0 loss against a depleted Eastleigh side during which they had six shots and just one corner. They were forced into changing their wing-backs for the game at the weekend and losing first-choice striker Olufela Olomola doesn’t help matters coming into midweek. As a part-time club, three games in a week aren’t as easy for them as the professional sides either.
I’m backing the Latics to record another home victory.
Woking v Scunthorpe United
I backed Scunthorpe United to fall short against Maidenhead United, expecting that they would find it difficult on the road against a side known for upsetting the big boys. I’m backing a similar result at Woking.
Darren Sarll created an environment at Yeovil Town where his side were tenacious, aggressive and loved upsetting the big boys, being strong defensively and quick on the break. His recruitment this summer suggests a similar approach at Woking, albeit with stronger footballers, and that was evidenced in their 2-0 victory over Dagenham and Redbridge at the weekend, having 40% of the ball but scoring twice in the first half and doubling their opposition’s xG. The returns of Kyran Lofthouse, a standout young talent who has been courted by EFL clubs, and Ricky Korboa, who Sarll said he was keen to see back in the fold.
It’s a style that could work well against a Scunthorpe United side who want to try and dominate the ball and play through the thirds. They were caught out a couple of times against Yeovil Town in the first half and conceded three in the first half against Maidenhead United in a 3-2 loss despite dominating most of the ball in both matches. Woking’s pace and energy in the final third should cause them problems.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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