Blyth Spartans v Brackley Town
Blyth have had a disappointing start to the season although have managed to catch some sort of form recently. They currently sit 21st in the table and a win here would pull them out of the relegation zone. Whilst they may have some momentum going into this game, I’m really not sure they will have the quality to get anything from this. The Spartans do have the home advantage, although it’s no secret that it is not the most fierce of home crowds – alongside their poor form and the possibility of France v Denmark dragging away some of the crowd. Blyth have had some high scoring games recently due to a change of structure which has allowed them to play a more aggressive style (not expected from a relegation side.) Whilst this has worked at times, they do tend to be outscored – which I expect to occur here.
Brackley have quite frankly done the opposite of Blyth, which allows them to sit at the top of the table. However, they can’t afford to drop any points with King’s Lynn only 2 points behind them and 2 games in hand. This is a must win game for them against a side in the relegation zone. They haven’t lost a league game since Alfreton in September, having won 7 and drawn 3 since then. They did lose their last game, although this was in the FA trophy where they did not start a full strength side. It’s also arguable that promotion chasing teams tend to focus less on cup games.
Brackley should be winning this game. They’ve had far better form and the stakes are high for them. If they want to be serious about winning the league, they need 3 points here.
Scarborough Athletic v Chester
Both teams go into this game in strong play-off spots, with only 4 points separating the two. Chester have had better form recently although have to go away to a side ahead of them in the league.
Scarborough lost their last game, although this was in the FA trophy with a weaker squad meaning if you exclude that, they have gone 6 games unbeaten. Luca Colville and Dom Tear have been scoring well recently, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got on to the scoresheet here. The home side have scored 36 goals this season, which is more than any other team in the league. They’ll be favourites to win the game here so I expect them to at least get on to the scoresheet.
Chester have had a very similar season, they haven’t lost in their last 9 games and will not be scared to come away here. I expect them to stick firm to their play style and attack Scarborough from the off. Chester have scored 31 goals this season, which is 3rd in the league. Kurt Willoughby has been their most prolific player so far, scoring 9 goal in 19 games.
Both teams are wanting to win here meaning when the first goal goes in, the game should really open up with more counter attacks being available and more opportunities for two really high scoring teams to find the back of the net.
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