GW 37 – Ones to Watch

Ally: So here we are already with the second installment of the Easter Weekend schedule, with the Bank Holiday Bonus rapidly approaching.

The first fixture to catch my attention is the League One clash featuring Oxford United and Accrington Stanley. Both sides have already featured for me in this section during the season, but I’m going with the home advantage enjoyed The U’s on this occasion. The hosts had a magnificent run around the turn of the year which saw them record 11 wins out of 12 in all competitions between mid December and mid February, but since then they’ve been a little inconsistent as reflected by 11th place in the league standings, though they remain just 4 points outside the coveted play-off places. Despite the indifferent form they have recorded notable wins over Doncaster Rovers and Lincoln City in two of their most recent games at the Kassam Stadium. A number of you may have been the beneficiaries of Accrington’s poor away form which has seen them ship 14 goals in their last 3 matches on their travels, most recently the 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Peterborough United. The recent head to head record between the sides is worthy of note too; an incredible 30 goals scored in the last 7 meetings, the only occasion either side failed to score in that run was when Stanley lost 3-0 on their last visit to Oxford in February 2020. Let’s just hope I haven’t put the curse on this one with a 0-0 now!

I’m dropping down a couple of divisions in the pyramid for my next tip, which sees FC Halifax face Weymouth in the National League. The West Yorkshire club are currently in 8th place, just 3 points outside the play-off spots and with a game in hand on the side immediately above them, while Weymouth have spent the majority of the season struggling at the wrong end of the table, although the spectre of relegation has now disappeared following the decision the suspend the National Leagues North and South for a second successive season. With the pressure effectively now off the south coast side, the onus is on The Shaymen to take advantage, and while at first glance their home form isn’t great (11th out of the 22 teams) they are very reliable scorers. Indeed they have scored in all but one of their 13 outings at The Shay, and there were some mitigating circumstances in that particular game as they were reduced to 10 men in just the 3rd minute of the game! Weymouth on the other hand have just 3 clean sheets on their travels, and so I expect Halifax to get the job done here. Good luck with your selections.