Saturday, October 09, 2010



Gateshead - Tamworth

I opposed Gateshead in midweek, but favour them today back on home soil and facing a Tamworth side who have lost their way in recent outings. The visitors are without a win in five, conceding 12, at least two in each, including in their last two against struggling Soutport and Barrow, the last named had drawn blank in their previous four outings, before having the pleasure of visiting the Lambs.

The Heed paid heavily for trying to sit on a 1-0 lead at Kidderminster on Tuesday, putting themseleves under intense pressure for over an hour, although they did have a couple of chances to finish the game off, a more enterprising approach might have completed the job and I expect them to be more ruthless today. They have been strong here, losing only to highflying Fleetwood and keeping five clean sheets from seven starts, including in their last three against Grimsby, Luton and Mansfield, all top seven sides. This is a massive weekend for them with the club being the centre of attention for two days on Radio Newcastle, including four hours off uninterupted match coverage from the International Stadium. A big opportunity to raise their profile in the region with no EPL or Championship fixtures and doubtless a few Newcastle fans will find their way along to get a football fix of some kind.

Coach Ian Bogie added to his options with the signing of Shane Clarke in midweek, the 22yo played 33 times for Lincoln City last season and almost joined Rushden in the off season. He took part in a hastily arranged friendly game on Thursday looking to get some match practice along with a couple of trialists and scored a fine goal in a 4-1 win. With three of their next four on the road and including trips to Fleetwood and Wimbledon, which is about as tough as it gets at Conference level, so it will be all guns blazing for maximum points this afternoon.

Gateshead -0.25 1.94

Division 1

MK Dons- Dagenham & Redbridge

Daggers are unbeaten in four and showed great heart in coming from behind in each. They will have benefitted from a free week, as fatigue was a concern for me going into last week's game with Swindon. However, they put in a strong performance, with Damian Scannell taking the headlines, making the Division 1 team of the week and running the Robins ragged, he will surely relish the cahnce of meeting some tired home defenders.

No midweek rest for the Dons, who were forced to field several players carrying knocks in the JPT and have had few options this season, facing a lengthy injury list almost from matchday 1 and are now without a win in six. They do have Baldock, MacKenzie and Gleeson ready to return, but the club are loathe to rush them back too soon and I expect a place on the bench for at least two is the best they can hope for, so maybe another week before we see a return of the real Dons.

The two clubs have met here once already, in an early season cup tie, the Daggers took the lead that night and were on top for over half the game before MK edged it by the odd goal in three. Plenty of encouragement for the visitors from that, as they entered the game still grappling to come to terms with life at the higher level and chose to rest several key players. They certainly know more now and definitely create the greater number of chances, their total of 132 attempts on goal is 53 more than the Dons have managed, with only Tranmere offering fewer and the home side might be forced to wait just a little longer for that elusive victory.

Dagenham +0.75 ball 1.77

Good Luck.

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