Barnet v Wealdstone
Saturday 12th February – 3:00PM KO
Barnet will be hoping for a return to winning ways after Tuesday’s humiliating 6-1 defeat at Notts County in the National League midweek.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Bees. Off the field, they have seen club captain Jamie Turley suspended following an investigation into an alleged racist comment being made by a member of the backroom staff. On the pitch, their once-tight defence has been broken, conceding in each of the last six matches and being beat 4-1, 5-0 and 6-1. Brennan has had concerns about his side’s poor pre-season and lack of physicality and those issues have been apparent in recent weeks. They had only one senior centre-back available in their midweek horror show at New Meadow.
However, Barnet did pick up a 3-1 win at Aldershot Town last week and the game represented a rare opportunity for Brennan to ask his team to play on the front foot, something he said he struggles to do given the obvious qualities of those higher up the league table at the moment. It can be expected that he will ask his side to play on the front foot again when lowly Wealdstone come to visit – and not just because he will want to get one over his old club and a side that beat them earlier in the campaign.
Wealdstone aren’t always prolific but their 2-1 victory against Yeovil Town showcased what their group can offer. They have also welcomed back Ira Jackson, Rhys Browne and Medy Elito back into the fold while new signings Aaron Henry and Nathan Ferguson have given them more legs in the middle of the park, meaning the forwards should be better supported.
Barnet will go on the attack here, spaces will be open. I fancy both sides to score.
Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.65 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Dover Athletic v Torquay United
Saturday 12th February – 3:00PM KO
Despite being the weakest side in the division, Dover Athletic are starting to become dangerous opposition.
The recent victory against Eastleigh, their first of the season, has given Andy Hessenthaler’s squad a much-needed confidence boost and they’ve taken that into games against Southend United and Stockport County, holding out until 73 and 84 minutes on both occasions. There is a renewed desire and organisation about their side which is making an already awkward game for sides that fear dropping points against Dover even more difficult. Also, their home pitch is bobble-central and causing even the best players in the league issues controlling and moving the ball.
All that said, Torquay United are in fine fettle having won five of their last eight, including a hugely impressive victory against Wrexham at the weekend. Torquay have also won three of their last four matches away from home so go into this with confidence. Most notably, The Gulls have one of the most technically gifted midfields in the division with Armani Little and Conor Lemonheigh-Evans fully fit and recently joined by Stephens Duke-McKenna and Wearne. They would feature high in a list of players that should able to handle this pitch. Gary Johnson also welcomed back Joe Lewis and Dean Moxey at the weekend meaning, meaning they have a much stronger base to build from.
Torquay should leave Kent victorious.
Prediction: Torquay to Win, 1.47 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
King’s Lynn Town v Altrincham
Saturday 12th February – 3:00PM KO
Tommy Widdrington earmarked February as a huge month for his side’s chances of survival and he will hope Saturday was the start of an unlikely journey.
The ex-Bristol Rovers caretaker manager was delighted with his side’s 3-0 win against fellow strugglers Weymouth at The Walks and following that up with a 0-0 away at Grimsby Town, picking up their first point against top 10 opposition, will have further boosted confidence. They have endured a horrible run of fixtures – just four of their 14 matches before Saturday’s victory were against bottom half opposition – so taking on Weymouth, Altrincham, Woking, Bromley and Maidenhead United in the same month was always going to be the real test of their survival chances and they passed the first hurdle with flying colours.
This weekend’s visitors Altrincham are one of the side’s they hope to catch. It is now no win in 12 and one win in 18 for Phil Parkinson’s side. However, big changes have been made in recent weeks with Jordan Hulme and Elliot Osborne followed by the loan signings of Jake Cooper, Eddy Jones and Chris Conn-Clarke. It was one of the old guard, Ryan Colclough, who ensured Altrincham didn’t leave empty handed after going 2-0 down against Woking at the weekend and it was another sign that while Alty are struggling defensively, they are always good for a goal.
The hosts are full of confidence while the visitors have conceded in each of their last 18 and scored in 14 of those matches. There should be at least a goal at both ends.
Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Woking v Southend United
Saturday 12th February – 5:20PM KO
When Southend United appointed Kevin Maher, Darren Currie, Mark Bentley and John Still, I expected a turnaround. I didn’t expect things to go so well so quickly, however.
Saturday’s visitors to The Laithwaite Community Stadium have picked up 20 points from their last eight games, bettered only by Stockport County, and have lost just one of their last 11. For the first time in a long time, there is a feel-good factor at Southend United – as shown by over 8000 fans attending Roots Hall for their 2-0 victory against Bromley at the weekend. It says a lot that their new signings, mostly young players on loan or from the level below, have settled at the club while others have been given the opportunity to stand out – especially Matt Dennis who now has six goals in his last eight matches.
Woking can only dream of such form at the moment. The Cards have won five and lost eight of their 13 home matches this season and their only two victories in the last nine at home have come against lowly Dover Athletic and Wealdstone. Their longest unbeaten streak this season has been three matches – that incredible week during which they beat Chesterfield, Notts County and Dagenham and Redbridge. Defensive issues continue to plague Alan Dowson’s side – Woking have kept one clean sheet in their last 12 and won just three of those matches.
Southend are the team in form, full of confidence, have a clear identity and I fancy them to continue their unbeaten run on Saturday.
Prediction: Southend Double Chance, 1.67 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
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