GW 24 – Ones To Watch

Matt: Happy New Year to you all! After we ended 2018 on a high, with all our tips scoring at least twice, hopefully we’ll get 2019 off to a similar start and set the standard for the second half of this season.

With the free-scoring National League North & South available in lieu of no Scottish fixtures, there’s an obvious opportunity to ‘think outside of the box’ as it were. That’s something i’ll definitely be doing within my own selections and it’s where i’ll head in this section. Bradford Park Avenue have scored in every National League North game this season and are unbeaten in this division since mid October. They are facing a struggling Guiseley side who were one of the pre-season favourites with the bookies, but who have gone off the rails quite badly recently, winning just one league game since October – a 3-1 success over rock bottom Nuneaton Borough. In the reverse fixture just six days ago, BPA ran out emphatic 5-1 victors so i’m hoping for more of the same on Tuesday afternoon. It does strike me as match that is primed for goals.

Sticking with the non league theme, i’m going to switch into the National League South for my second tip. Canvey Island based outfit Concord Rangers have hit some good form of late and i’m expecting them to continue that against an East Thurrock side who have only recorded one win/clean sheet in their previous twelve fixtures. Since a dodgy spell back in mid November, The Beach Boys have stormed up the league table and are now heading the chasing pack towards Woking and Torquay United. With those two teams having tricky looking away fixtures on Tuesday, this could be an opportunity to cut the gap down and really get involved in the title race. East Thurrock are nicknamed The Rocks and that’s exactly where they find themselves right now, their poor results have seen them slide down to second bottom, with just Weston-Super Mare worse off. They need a change of fortune in 2019, but this a tough start to to the year and i’m expecting Rangers to find the net a time or two. Good luck for the New Year Special!


Ally: I’m hoping to kick off the New Year in a better way than I ended 2018, as I have acquired that annoying habit of picking one team per week that is failing to score (although none of my recent tips I hasten to add!). First up is one of the Premier League’s form teams in Manchester United, who visit Newcastle United on Wednesday evening. Since sacking Jose Mourinho in mid December and bringing in legendary former player Ole Gunnar Solksjaer as interim manager, the players appear to have had the shackles taken off and led by the mercurial talent of Paul Pogba are starting to fulfil their obvious potential, having scored 12 goals in 3 matches. Newcastle meanwhile are struggling badly despite the efforts of Rafa Benitez, and I fancy Man U to secure a fourth successive league win.

Dipping into the National League North and South can be fraught with danger, but I fancy in form Oxford City who have a home game with Hungerford Town. Oxford’s recent good form has seen them move into the play off places, while Hungerford are in the relegation zone and boast the league’s worst defence, having conceded 50 goals in their 23 matches and have lost 8 of their previous 9 league and cup away matches. Oxford meanwhile have hit 14 goals in their last 4 home matches, and I expect them to add to that tally on Tuesday.