GW 15 Review

Ally: We’re all familiar with the famous football cliche “a game of two halves” having heard it a million times before, but Saturday’s Ultimate Goals scoresheet very much embodied that saying! At 4pm (half time), the leading score was only in the mid 30s and countless players barely had a goal among their seven picks, let alone a goal for each team. Goals were indeed a precious commodity in all but a handful of games, with the main exceptions being Luton Town who reached half time 4-0 up against Plymouth, and Salford City & Welling United who both held 2-0 advantages.

Virtually all the other highly fancied teams (the likes of Sunderland, Peterborough, MK Dons, Bury, Bradford PA, Chelmsford, Leyton Orient and Ayr) had failed to trouble the scorers, but the majority made amends in the second half.

The aforementioned Luton and Salford went on to hit 5 and 4 goals respectively, while elsewhere Bradford PA overcame a 0-2 half time deficit to win 3-2 in injury time against Ashton United, Bury hit four unanswered second half goals past Stevenage, Leyton Orient put three past Bromley, MK Dons twice broke through a dogged Macclesfield, and ‘Ones to Watch’ Peterborough and my own tip Sunderland cranked up the anxiety levels before scoring, with the latter in particular leaving it late against a stubborn Wycombe side as they took until the 84th minute to finally get on the scoresheet.

In the end quite a large number of players were left cursing either/both Chelmsford and Ayr as they registered blanks. For many of these it was a case of what might have been due to the scoring exploits of the above mentioned teams, plus the likes of Arbroath and Raith Rovers in Scotland, who both had impressive away wins scoring 5 and 3 goals respectively.

This forthcoming Gameweek 16 sees what for some will be a welcome return to familiarity, as the top leagues in England and Scotland are once again in play after the international break. Good luck!

Matt: Despite not having a particularly enviable record on the ‘International Weeks’, i’m a big fan of them if truth be known. The opportunity to select sides from the National North & South Leagues is always one that’s going to be too great to turn down, as these divisions tend to have an abundance of high scoring games on any given weekend. Normally you can create a fairly lengthy ‘shortlist’ of potential picks from these two leagues alone, never mind throwing in the rest of the fixtures available. That wasn’t necessarily the case in GW 15, although the fact that there were a considerable amount of fixtures in our usual leagues that warranted selection certainly had an influence.

Of the more popular North/South teams chosen last weekend, only one stood out for all the wrong reasons and that was Chelmsford City, who succumbed to a rather surprising 2-0 home reverse at the hands of Truro City. Along with Ayr United, of the Scottish Championship, and to a lesser extent Forest Green Rovers, of League Two, these sides managed to severely dampen the weekends of the 50+ players who backed one or more of them. Without wanting to rub salt into the wounds of those who plumped for Ayr, this was the first time they’d failed to score at home since September 2017!! I suppose that tremendous run had to come to an end at some point, but you clearly don’t want it to happen on a gameweek where you’ve backed them!

Whilst it wasn’t a remarkably high scoring weekend overall, it was still a decent chance to get a healthy score on the board and three players in particular took full advantage by picking up a ‘ton’ (figuratively speaking!) The key to this success was backing either of the two outstanding teams of the gameweek; Luton Town and Arbroath. 5 goals apiece meant that pair were the highest scoring sides and it was then a case of getting as many 3 and 4 goal teams around them as possible. That was easier said than done though, as disappointingly the most favoured teams, including one each from myself and Ally’s ‘Ones to Watch’, only managed a single goal – Peterborough United and Sunderland (in the latter’s case this came nerve-wrackingly late for the sizable number of players who had them on x2……..84 minutes is a long time to be left sweating on a minus score!!)

As we head into GW 16, it’s also worth noting that there will be a ‘Midweek Bonus Round’ taking place next week, on Tuesday 27th & Wednesday 28th of November. This bonus gameweek will also bring a new dimension by way of including the Uefa Champions League fixtures, so that should make for some very interesting picks and entertaining action! Before that though, we have this coming weekend and an intriguing combination of league and cup business, as the Scottish FA Cup is in play to accompany all our usual fixtures in England. With plenty of sides from the Highland and Lowland Leagues still involved and facing opposition from higher divisions, i wouldn’t bet against plenty of players eyeing up 100+ scores here! Good luck to you all.