GW 29 – Ones to Watch

Matt: Well, well, well……cup weekends eh?!! We always warn about the dangers of the infamous cup shocks (sorry, I cannot bring myself to use the term ‘cupsets’, not happening!!) and in GW 28 the best/worst, depending on your take, was saved until last…..literally! The final game of what had actually been quite an underwhelming round in terms of scoring, especially in the FA Cup, saw Bournemouth not only lose at home to National League side Boreham Wood, but do so without so much as getting on the scoresheet! Naturally this caused serious ramifications in TUG as The Cherries were the most popular team outside of the Premier League, meaning plenty of potentially decent scores went down the pan – as well as delivering the inevitable minus scores too of course! The magic of the cup and the perils of this game are intrinsically linked!! Now in GW 29 we have all sorts of action to look forward to, with league and cup action both sides of the border, so let’s take a look at two teams who I’m hoping can help recover some of those lost points from last week…..

  • Dagenham & Redbridge v Spennymoor Town. This is quite an intriguing FA Trophy contest and one that I believe should serve up no shortage of goalmouth action. There’s quite a few similarities between the sides in terms of their current positions in their respective tables and recent form, but what’s caught my attention here is the amount of matches these teams have played where both sides have scored in said game – in Spennymoor’s case you have to go back to the 18th of December to find an instance of this not happening! The Daggers have lost their previous two games at Victoria Road, but prior to that they’d won four on the spin there – including a 2-0 win over Southend Utd in the last round of this competition. With The Moors’ away form being notably dodgy – just one win and two draws in their past ten trips away from County Durham, the only win coming at Radcliffe in the last round – Dagenham will certainly fancy their chances of progressing. Meanwhile, clean sheets are clearly not the strength of either and a given the healthy amount of goals in their recent games (a combined total of 21 across their last three fixtures), there is plenty to suggest that this could be an action packed encounter.
  • Needham Market v Dartford. Another tie that has caught my eye in the same competition is this one, which pitches Southern League Premier outfit Needham up against National League South side Dartford. Both teams are currently in good ‘nick’, The Marketmen unbeaten in four and The Darts with four wins in four, so both will firmly believe they can progress through to the latter stages – especially as the home side have already knocked two National League clubs in Yeovil Town and Wealdstone out! Last weekend Needham played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Royston in the league and their results at Bloomfields this season show that they are quite capable of both scoring and conceding on home soil, something that the visitors will be well aware of. In the previous round they knocked out another lower league opponent, winning 3-1 at Cray Wanderers, and their away form in general is decent, having won ten matches on their travels across all competitions. A 1-0 midweek success at Havant & Waterlooville should set The Darts up nicely for this fixture and interestingly the two teams were paired together in FA Cup qualifying in 2017…….with Dartford enjoying a huge 6-1 victory in Suffolk. A repeat of that scoreline is highly unlikely, but I’m hoping for some goals to reward the delve into the lower reaches! Good luck to you all.