Gloucester City v Scarborough Athletic (National League North)
This game comes with both sides in the playoff spots and only three points separating them. It could be argued that they could both be in much better positions had their form not dropped so severely recently.
The home side have lost three in a row and Scarborough have won one in their last 5. However, both teams go into this game needing all three points to maintain a strong position in the table. A loss for Gloucester could see them fall outside of the playoff spots whilst Scarborough will edge even further away from the top of the table if they can’t get something here.
Both teams to score seems likely here. Scarborough have scored the most goals in the league this year, although their defensive efforts haven’t matched this level – leaving them with the lowest goal difference in the top 5. A similar story can be told for Gloucester, being in sixth position with a goal difference of 0.
Both teams have a prolific, in form striker. For Gloucester, Matt McClure has scored 10 in 17 (4th in the league) and Michael Coulson has been leading the line for Scarborough, with 8 in 17. Both will be looking to get on the scoresheet on Saturday and with the current state of both sides’ back line, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re both successful. Scarborough have had both teams scoring in their last four games, totalling up to 18 goals. Gloucester have had both teams scoring in 6 of their last 8 games, this seems very likely to come in.
Ebbsfleet Utd v Tonbridge Angels (National League South)
Ebbsfleet remain unbeaten after 16 games. They now sit with a record of 13 wins and 3 draws, scoring 40 and only conceding 13. Dominic Poleon is their top scorer (and the National League South top scorer) with 12 goals in 16. They’ll certainly be looking to win this game with Dartford on the chase, only two points behind. Their quality doesn’t stop at Poleon though, Greg Cundle has been on top form recently and their back line has been commanded by their experienced captain Chris Solly. With the pressure remaining tight, they can accept nothing less than three points here – especially at home.
Tonbridge haven’t necessarily had a bad season, but they simply shouldn’t have the quality to overcome Ebbsfleet away from home. Their recent form also won’t help, with three losses in a row. The Angels are without a consistent goalscorer, which is arguably necessary to gain something from a side like Ebbsfleet – however, they’ve still managed to score consistently.
The issue is, Fleet rarely concede meaning it will take something special to break them down. You can expect Tonbridge to sit back for most of the game and allow the home side to have possession, although I believe Ebbsfleet will have too much control of the game to let them be caught on the break. Ebbsfleet will be incredibly disappointed if they come away with anything less than three points here. It’s a must win game with Dartford 2 points behind them, at home against a side in poor form.
Chelmsford City v Hampton & Richmond Borough (National League South)
Chelmsford have been on some strong form recently, pushing them up to 4th in the table. They’ve lost only one of their last thirteen games and will certainly see this game as an opportunity to jump into 3rd. Charlie Ruff and Harry Lodovica have been in impressive form recently, alongside their top scorer Simeon Jackson. Their last game finished goalless, although it could be argued that this was due to fatigue from a cup fixture against National League side Barnet only a few days before. Now at home, against a much weaker opposition, they should be gaining all three points.
Hampton and Richmond have been on seriously poor form. They’ve lost four games in a row and have only won 2 games in their last 9 – both of those wins being against sides much worse than Chelmsford. Their main issue has been defensive, conceding 30 goals in 17 games which is the 3rd worst in the league. When you match this with how well Chelmsford have been scoring recently, I expect them to expose a lot of their flaws.
Chelmsford will go into this game with a huge rush of momentum, the complete opposite of what Hampton & Richmond will feel. They have the home advantage, can move into 3rd place here and are against an opposition that shouldn’t be too challenging.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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