GW 8 – Ones to Watch

Matt: After an absolute horror show of a gameweek last weekend, where I managed to both completely ruin my own score AND tip a non-scoring side, it’s vital to respond as quickly as possible and right a few wrongs! In fairness, it’s been a very troublesome start to the season and a lot of players have come a cropper, as the results have been every bit as bizarre as last season – a season widely regarded as consistently producing the craziest of scorelines! This one is definitely attempting to rival it, but the big scores will come I’m sure. Starting in GW 8 hopefully, although it doesn’t exactly look easy!…..

  • Grimsby Town¬†v Dover Athletic. This National League meeting between two coastal clubs pitches a team gunning for an immediate return to the Football League against one fighting to stay in their current division. The Mariners look well set to have a good go at restoring their League Two status, despite suffering their first defeat of the season at Bromley in midweek. Prior to that, they had gone unbeaten in their opening seven league matches, winning five of them and only failing to score once. Town have scored in every home game thus far and boast a 100% record at Blundell Park, seeing off Weymouth, Barnet, Wrexham & Eastleigh and scoring a healthy 10 goals in the process. Visitors Dover are in dire straits, winless in their eight league matches, with just three draws to their name to leave them on -9 once you bring their points deduction into the equation. Relegation looks almost certain already, but it would be unfair to say The Whites are going down without a fight – apart from a 4-1 tabbing at Eastleigh, they’ve been in every game and for a team rock bottom to only have conceded a total of 12 goals is testament to their fighting spirit. I do fear that tally will be added to on Saturday though, as Grimsby go hunting a victory that could take them to the summit of the table.
  • Falkirk v East Fife. Over the past couple of years, Falkirk have generally been considered to be a reliable pick; since their relegation in 2018/19, they have twice found themselves challenging for promotion and arguably could/should have been promoted back to The Scottish Championship. However, a pandemic, a bit of bad luck and a poorly timed dip in form have combined to ensure they remain in League One and this season isn’t panning out how Bairns management, players and fans will have hoped. After a tremendous return of ten points from 12 in their first four league games, Falkirk have totally lost their way, picking up just one point from their subsequent four matches. From promotion form to relegation material just like that!! If ever there was a fixture to reignite the home side, the visit of bottom-of-the-table East Fife should be the one. The Fifers have had a pretty terrible beginning to the season, winning just once (against an equally poor Peterhead team) and losing six times – conceding a whopping 21 goals in the process. In their previous three outings, Darren Young’s strugglers have been convincingly beaten by Clyde, Airdrieonians and Dumbarton – the latter a 5-0 walloping! I wouldn’t expect that here, but in 2020 Falkirk did beat East Fife 2-0 at the Falkirk Stadium on two separate occasions and that’s a more realistic scoreline I’d expect. Good luck to you all.