GW 10 – Ones to Watch

Ally: After last week’s steady but unspectacular scoring which saw many of the fancied sides find the net but not in the volumes expected, and just a solitary visit to Club 100, this week brings the promise of more high point scoring as we reach the First Round proper of the FA Cup.

It also gives me the opportunity to select a couple of teams for this piece that don’t ordinarily feature very regularly. One such team is my first pick of Cheltenham Town, who open their FA Cup campaign with a home tie against Northern Premier League Premier Division side South Shields. The hosts have made a solid start to the new League Two season, currently occupying sixth place after 11 games with a haul of 19 points. They have also scored in 6 of their 7 games at Whaddon Road, the one blip being a 0-0 draw against Mansfield which incidentally is the only time in the 8 TUG gameweeks they’ve featured in which they’ve failed to score (they’ve scored 14 goals in the other 7 gameweeks). The visitors from the north east are on something of an upwards trajectory, and were well on track for a fourth promotion in five season when the 2019-20 league season was curtailed while 9 points clear at the top of the league, denying The Mariners a crack at the National League North this season. Despite this recent success, Shields are still 3 tiers below Cheltenham in the league pyramid, and The Robins make the difference in class tell to comfortably book their passage to Round Two.

Next up is another League Two versus non league tie in the form of Colchester United, who host Merseyside outfit Marine. The U’s are comfortably in mid table, but boast an excellent home record at the Colchester Community Stadium, recording 13 points from a possible 15 so far this season, netting 11 of their 16 goals there too. Like Colchester they’ve also only failed to score in one TUG gameweek so far in 7 attempts, and that was on the opening day away at Bradford City. The Mariners meanwhile have played 5 games of the new season in the Northern Premier League North West Division (the 8th tier of the pyramid), winning three and losing two. They have had a successful FA Cup run so far, and managed to incur the wrath of a few TUG players in the previous round (GW8) when recording a 1-0 win at National League North high flyers Chester. However, it would be a major surprise if their Cup run is to extend beyond Saturday, as Cheltenham really should utilise their superior quality and fitness to progress safely into the next round. Good luck with your selections.