Chesterfield v Dorking Wanderers
I’m backing Chesterfield to continue their excellent home form when they host Dorking Wanderers in a reverse of their opening National League fixture.
The Spireites were 2-0 up in that game but a costly red card for goalkeeper Lucas Covolan gave Dorking the chance to respond and they took it, scoring twice past Ollie Banks, the midfielder who donned the gloves. Covolan is injured currently, so Dorking won’t be able to target an emotional goalkeeper, and they will be taking on a side with a superb home record.
Paul Cook’s side have won eight and lost two of their ten home matches, scoring 21 goals in the process – they are averaging exactly two goals per game across the season. They slipped up against an in-form FC Halifax Town side last time out, the first game in which they have failed to score all season, but they had scored two or more in five of their six matches prior to that and in each of their last five home matches.
The visitors have surprisingly only been involved in games with three or more goals in two of their last five but still possess a record in which only two matches have finished with less than two goals. They have started to revert back to the Dorking Wanderers style, having 57% of the ball in their midweek defeat against FC Halifax Town.
They will be without Chesterfield loanee Joe Cook for this one, hindering a defensive unit that has conceded 49 across their 22 games, more than any other side in the division. They have conceded two or more goals in 14 of those and in 11 of their 13 away matches. They have the second worst xGA in the division and are conceding just shy of 2xG per game on their travels.
Solihull Moors v Aldershot Town
It’s been a tricky period to navigate for Solihull Moors but it feels like they are coming out the other side as they host Aldershot Town in their second successive home fixture.
The Moors had gone five without victory and failed to score in four games in a row as they finished a run of nine games in four weeks tamely. They had a two-week break prior to their fixture with Oldham Athletic and manager Neal Ardley, who was absent, was able to field Alex Gudger, Kyle Storer and Jamey Osborne after much-needed rests while key forwards Joe Sbarra and Andrew Dallas turned on the style, assisting each other to score.
They have seen Alex Reid depart but replaced him with giant striker Bartosz Cybulski – they will hope the 20-year-old can have a similar impact to the one Kyle Hudlin had last term.
Ross McNeilly was given the full-time job at Aldershot Town this week, reward for a run of five victories in eight league matches since as interim boss. Those five victories saw his side concede just one goal but came either side of a run of three straight defeats in which they conceded ten.
Three of those victories have come in five away matches but their only test against a side higher than 17th came at Wrexham, who were comfortable victors. They have conceded an average of 1.74xG in their last five games.
Yeovil Town v Scunthorpe United
It’s been a while since I backed Yeovil Town to secure a positive result but I’m happy to do so this weekend as they take on basement outfit Scunthorpe United.
The Glovers have been taken on by Mark Cooper and he has overseen just one defeat and a four-game unbeaten run during which they’ve conceded one goal. He has been very open about what he wants from his side, simplifying the football, playing players in more familiar roles and adding athleticism to a side that previously lacked it.
They have only lost three home matches all season, against a then-high-flying York City, top seven side Barnet and Aldershot Town, after which Chris Hargreaves lost his job. They may have the worst attack in the division based on expected goals but their defence is top ten and they are yet to concede more than two goals in a league match.
Scunthorpe United should be looking forward to this weekend given the club have been taken over but any changes have not been forthcoming. They come into this game with interim manager Michael Nelson still at the helm after Tony Daws stepped down.
They are yet to sign a body to improve one of the weakest squads in the division – they started last weekend without a natural left-sider and a teenager in their back three. They have lost each of their last six matches and their xG numbers are amongst the worst in the division alongside Torquay United.
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