Aldershot Town v Wealdstone
Towards the end of 2021, I wouldn’t have envisaged backing Aldershot Town and Wealdstone both to score in a National League fixture between the two sides. It’s not that their games were permanently drab but their aims were to get the better of tight margins rather than going out to attack.
Since then, both sides have become looser, especially with survival secured. Aldershot Town have seen both sides score in six of their last eight matches, including each of their last five. Wealdstone, meanwhile, have seen both teams score in three of their last four and 13 of their last 20 league matches. Aldershot have been able to field stronger attacking XI’s with Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong and Mikael Ndjoli starting regularly of late while Wealdstone have been boosted by the qualities of Aaron Henry, Nathan Ferguson and Rhys Browne.
Aldershot have scored in every home match against sides 9th to 18th with both teams scored in eight of those nine matches. Wealdstone have scored in nine of 11 away matches against sides 11th or lower in the league table and conceded in seven of those, both teams scoring in six. They are likely to come into the game with a similarly small squad to the one that played against King’s Lynn, where they named four subs, potentially leading to some tired legs and a more open game.
Barnet v Bromley
This is the game I’m anticipating will bring the end of season, on the beach feel more than any.
A win for Barnet could see them jump into 15th place, a decent finish given some of the issues they have endured this season. They are ending the season in typically chaotic fashion. Both teams have scored in their last six matches, five of which have seen over 2.5 goals, including a 7-3 loss at Dagenham and Redbridge. There have been over 2.5 goals in eight of their last ten matches, including three of their last four at home. They have scored in 13 of their 16 home matches against sides 6th or lower in the league table and kept just four clean sheets. Both teams have scored in 63% of matches at The Hive. Adam Marriott has scored six in his last five matches while injuries in defensive areas mean three players are currently out of position in the back four.
Bromley’s season has ended poorly, the Ravens dropping away from the play-offs quickly and never really recovering. Both teams have scored in four of their last five matches and there have been two or more goals in their last six with three or more in three of those. They have found goals hard to come by on the road recently but it’s not for the want of trying – Bromley have recorded just shy of 11 expected goals and scored just four. They have conceded in eight of their last ten on the road.
Dagenham & Redbridge v Wrexham
Going into this game, both Dagenham and Redbridge and Wrexham need a result. The equations are simple. If Daggers win and Chesterfield lose, Daggers finish in the final play-off spot. If Wrexham win and Stockport County lose, Wrexham win the title and promotion to the EFL.
The odds reflect it and I can’t believe Wrexham are 1.4 to win or draw here, so I’m backing that. For starters, Phil Parkinson’s side come into this game having won 13 of their last 17 matches, losing just one. As for their away record, they have been defeated six times in 21 away matches and only three times in their last 14, including one of their last six. Wrexham have also scored in all but two away matches this season and two or more in 13. And finally, they have even more reason to win – a draw against Dagenham and Redbridge last season cost Wrexham a play-off spot.
The Daggers come into the game in decent form, winning eight of their last 14, giving them an outside shot of a play-off place. Of those 14, five have been played against top ten opposition – the Daggers have drawn two and lost three. At home, that becomes two draws and a loss. The Daggers won just three of 17 matches against top ten opposition this season, including just two from eight at home and haven’t beaten such opposition since early December. They have won just nine of 21 matches at home this term.
I just can’t see Wrexham losing this football match.
Stockport County v Halifax Town
A huge game for both clubs and I’m backing the hosts to come out victorious and secure the league title.
It’s been a strange period for Stockport County. They’ve lost four of their last seven matches, briefly losing top spot before regaining their three-point lead with victory over Wrexham, who beat them 3-0 last Sunday. Their performances haven’t been poor, however. They recorded 2.09xG in the 1-0 home win v Solihull Moors and 2.48xG in the 2-1 loss against Boreham Wood. They ought to have taken the lead against Wrexham prior to the opener and responded by beating Torquay United 1-0, recording 2.17xG and giving away just four shots. They have already beaten Wrexham, Solihull Moors and Notts County at home.
FC Halifax Town come into this game still needing a victory to have a chance of finishing third and securing a home tie in the play-off semi-final. However, their away form is indifferent. They have won eight, drawn seven and lost six of their away matches this season, including defeats in three of their last five on the road. Since Christmas, they have won one, drawn three and lost one against top ten opposition and have lost against both Solihull Moors and Wrexham away from home this season
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