Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Regular and long term readers of the blog will be aware that Reading's 3-0 win at Cardiff last night was a very big result for me. I have been touting them as promotion contenders since last Autumn and writing up some outstanding reports for them in my "live"/ "in running" notes, where I focus greatly on the Championship fixtures.

When someone steps up to take a penalty, you can normally tell from their body language and especially the eyes, whether they are likely to score or not. I cannot recall anyone looking as calm or confident as the excellent Shane Long last night when he placed the ball on the spot, it was inconceivable to anyone watching and more importantly him, that the result was going to be anything other than a goal. Reading must be mightily relieved that he signed a one year contract extension in November, otherwise he would have been a free agent at the end of next month. A host of big clubs are monitoring the situation and the assured and talented Long will be an asset to the top flight. He is pretty "robust" too and made 45 league starts for the Royals this season, when he is a "target" for defenders week after week, that says as much about him and his attitude as his 21 league goals.

I have put up three bets for today and all are now trading at significantly lower odds, however, having promised to post something on the blog today, I have previewed one of the games below.

My notes for the Ayr game were written at 19.33 on Monday btw.


I should have put this bet up Monday morning, as the asian line of -0.25 2.05 was never going to hold up, however, I am still "happy" to bet at the slightly lower odds. We already have an outright bet from last week, reproduced below, otherwise, I would have rated it a stronger investment. As previously discussed, United lost one of the reverse fixtures on the last day of the season, but put out basically a B team and were resting players for the post season, City also won here on the opening day of the campaign, but Ayr were still building a side and only four players who played that day are likely to take any part tomorrow night. The two other games which came when both were fghting for a playoff spot were won by a 5-0 margin by Ayr, with United dominating both and being worthy of even bigger wins in both games. They look to have more goals in them than City, look solid at the back, former Leeds keeper Alan Martin who never quite made it at Elland Road and a settled centre back pairing gives them a far more solid look than they had early season and for the other reasons listed below they should be playing Division 1 football next season and definitely be taking a lead into the second leg.

Ayr United -0.25 ball 1.95 IBC..... currently trading at circa 1.80.



I am keen on United to progress through this two legged tie and to go on and book a quick return to the First Division following relegation last season, they had previously gone up through the playoff system in 2009 so know what to expect and look the strongest of the four sides. They are definitely the biggest club, with arguably the best starting eleven, who should be well rested after most were given a day off at the weekend with second place already assured. They took a little while to get a settled side this season, but really started to find the net in the last month or so, beating playoff rivals Forfar 3-1 and Brechin City 3-0, City might claim to have got some revenge on saturday, with a 1-0 victory, but United had nothing to play for and fielded a team mainly made up of youngsters. They also suffered a recent 3-2 loss here in the league, where they led twice and then conceded a late own goal and will be confident of getting a result tonight against a team who were expected to struggle this season after promotion last year, when they were two divisions below United. Hosts will have 18 yo Neil Duffy between the sticks, he is on loan from St Johnstone and has plenty of promise, but has only made five career starts and that is far from ideal in such a big game, against an opponent with goals in them. United also got a massive boost off the pitch this week, when Bodog agreed a sponsorship deal with the club, this is unheard of at this level and could lead to bigger things for the cash strapped club ,with Bodog owner Calvin Ayre having links to the area. I am going to split two units between Ayr with the handicap start tonight and them to win promotion.

Ayr United +0.25 ball 1.86 IBC

Ayr United to win Division 2 Playoffs 3.60 + (Boyle/Hills) ...3.75 Stan James/ Bet Fred.

Good Luck.

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