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Darran

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Darran last won the day on November 27

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About Darran

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  • Birthday 08/26/1982

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  1. Braintree have announced that their player/manager has stepped down today so George Borg will be managing on Saturday. I doubt it will make too much difference, but he is more experienced. They have also lost a player to Romford this morning.
  2. 1 bet in mid-week and it was a losing one which wasn't helped when Hitchin missed a penalty when it was still 0-0. Then on Tuesday night Blyth went and beat Alfreton in the FA Trophy and you may remember I put Blyth up last week when the game was postponed having also put them up in the first game. The fact they lost 6-0 on Saturday put me right off, but obviously still frustrating as that could easily have been a winning bet. Anyway onto Saturday and I have 5 bets. Dover v Boreham Wood Dover's poor home form continued in their last league game when they lost 4-3 to Maidenhead. Out of 12 home league games they have won just two against Wrexham and Eastleigh and with Boreham Wood unbeaten in 6 and having lost just twice in their last 10 this will be a tough game for them. The slight concern is they do draw a lot as they have drawn 4 in their unbeaten run, but It was a good win against Woking last Saturday and I think they are over priced to win this game at 12/5 with Marathon given how dodgy Dover are at home. Woking v Hartlepool Neither of these sides are losing very much at the moment with Woking losing just 3 of their last 10 league games and Hartlepool losing just 2, but as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago when I put Hartlepool up to beat Chesterfield I think they are a good side who should be higher up the table. They showed their class on Sunday when coming from 2 down to draw with Exeter and I am certain they are a better team than Woking. Like the game above the draw is a slight concern again, but I am happy to take them for the win at 21/10 with Bet365 as for me that is bigger than it ought to be. Slough v Braintree Slough are having a cracking season and are currently in 3rd position in the National League South having lost just 4 of their opening 18 games. They have only lost 1 of their last 10 games and their draw last Saturday against Tonbridge was the only other time they have failed to win in that spell. Needless to say I am opposing Braintree again here after Hampton landed the massive odds for us last Saturday with ease. This should be a home win and arguably it isn't priced up short enough at the current odds, but I am going to take them on the -1 handicap with is a 2/1 shot with Betfair, Paddy Power and Betway. Hednesford v Hitchin Here we have two teams who have both let us down in the last week with the home side losing on Saturday and as mentioned above Hitchin losing on Monday. Clearly not all is well at Hednesford though as the management team left on Monday to go to Buxton with on the face of it seems an odd move. That's why I can only think that something is going on behind the scenes and a poor performance on Saturday in a game they should have won on paper backs that up. As I wrote on Monday the only game Hitchin had lost in their last 10 was against Leiston who were really bad at the time so losing to a weakened Lowestoft would suggest they have some issues about seeing off the weaker teams at times. This could be a good time to be playing Hednesford and at 12/5 I am happy to beat Hitchin to beat them. Redditch v Leiston Speaking of Leiston I am backing them on Saturday. I must admit I was hoping for a bigger price, but in some ways they are still too big for me and the price is under pressure as I type. Since former manger Glen Driver has come back to the club they have gradully improved and although they are yet to win they have drawn their last 2 games against Nuneaton and Royston. This game offers a great chance to get their first win under Driver as they play the worst side in the division Redditch. They have also just changed their manager, but they lost 7-0 against Peterborough Sports in his first game in charge on Saturday. For me Leiston are the stronger side here and the 6/4 is worth taking with BetVictor. They are as short as 11/10 with Bet365. Boreham Wood 1pt @ 12/5 with Marathon Hartlepool 1pt @ 21/10 with Bet365 Slough -1 2pts @ 2/1 with Betfair, Paddy Power and Betway Hitchin 1pt @ 12/5 with Marathon Leiston 2.5pts @ 6/4 with BetVictor
  3. I was reading the Lydia Hislop Road To Cheltenham article that she writes every week which is on the RacingTV website and it got me thinking that she will never write about the Foxhunters. So I thought it was worth doing one myself to keep an update on what horses are likely to run and also who has and hasn't qualified for the race in the build up to the big one in March. Obviously should there be any bets along the way then they will go up as well. So let's start with the horses that have already run and of those Top Wood is the most prominent in the betting. Having finished 2nd to Pacha Du Polder in 2018 and then 3rd to Hazel Hill last season he is surely going to be heading back to Cheltenham in March. He landed the Aintree version in April and he is surely going to have a leading chance again this season despite being a 13yo. He reappeared in a handicap at Ascot last month when finishing a cracking 2nd to Militarian off 139. That was a great first run of the season and he has gone up a couple of pounds in the handicap on the back of it. He is a best of 16s at the moment and although I don't want to take it right now he could make e/w appeal at those sort of odds closer the time. In the same race at Ascot Minella Rocco was a well beaten 8th. His trainer has suggested he will be going hunter chasing, but he looks out of love with the game and I would want 20/1 for him to even qualify for Cheltenham at this stage let alone win it. Black Hercules is also a 16/1 chance and Patrick Mullins is now the owner. He rode him in a point-to-point at Boulta last month and he finished a neck 2nd to Arctic Skipper. That one had the benefit of already having had a run so it was a decent enough effort given he hadn't run since January 2017. He doesn't appeal at this stage and would have to prove his stamina over this sort of trip, but he is one to keep an eye on as he is likely to improve for that run. Finishing 2nd has also meant it doesn't count towards qualification for the race. Ucello Conti has been out already, but it was only a novice rider race he ran in on Sunday so this might not be the aim for him. He wasn't given the best of rides in my view last season when 5th and although he pulled up at Aintree and Punchestown he did win at Fairyhouse in between. Even so as things stand it is hard to see how he can improve on his 2019 effort at this stage. Burning Ambition has gone the handicap route like Top Wood who he was 2nd to at Aintree last year. He looks a thinker to me though and given he didn't stay in 2018 it is hard to see them sending him to Cheltenham. His run at Wexford in October wasn't great either. We have had one hunter chase in Ireland so far and It Came To Pass landed it in November at Cork. That came after he unseated at the first in a point the week before. He ran in this race back in 2016 when falling late on when still travelling OK on what was only his 5th ever run. He hasn't been back since although he was going to be well beaten by Caid Du Berlais at Punchestown when unseating in May. He only won be a head at Cork, but the quotes from his trainer were interesting after the race. Eugene O'Sullivan said that they thought he would need the run so for him to win was a good effort. He will be seen over Christmas either in a hunter chase or a point and he added that Cheltenham was the aim. He probably needs to find some improvement, but he hasn't had much racing so there is every chance he might find some. His next run will tell us more. The horse he beat was Wrong Direction and that was only his 4th ever start. It seemed an odd move to then run him in a handicap chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday and he got very tired when not seeing out the 3m5f trip. He ran well for a fair way though, but he was only off a mark of 120 and he would have to find around 20lbs to have a chance of winning at Cheltenham. He could do, but a hard race at such an early stage of his career doesn't seem the most sensible move to me. Yanworth is in the betting with a couple of firms, but he looks set to go for the Cross-County race after winning at Punchestown last month. Ravished was a cheap buy for Joe O'Shea having won a hunter chase at Wetherby in March and finishing 2nd at Hexham in April. He was really well backed by connections at Cottenham on the opening day of the season and he bolted up by 30L in a quick time. He had the useful Arthur's Secret in 3rd although he probably needed the run. Ravished ran on Sunday at Larkhil and was beaten a length by Southfield Theatre. His trainer is bullish about his chances at Cheltenham, but as much as he should add to his hunter chase win at Wetherby it is hard to see based on his two runs so far this season how he will suddenly be good enough to land a blow in this at the age of 12. Speaking of Joe O'Shea he of course trained Road To Rome to finish 4th in this last season after running up a sequence in points and hunter chases. He suffered a very bad injury in a point in May and the talk was he might not even race again. I've seen nothing to suggest we are going to see him this season so needless to say I suggest no one even considers backing him at 16/1 as you are likely to lose your money. Other bits and pieces I do know includes the fact that last seasons winner Hazel Hill is likely to reappear at Chaddesley Corbett on the 27th in the same race he won last year. Dave Maxwell was interviewed the other day after a win at Wetherby and he stated Bob And Co would be his Foxhunter horse and that has led him to be cut into 12/1 2nd favourite. I have to say though that his French form isn't anything that special and his stamina at the trip has to be a big question mark at the moment. It wouldn't surprise me if we saw him in the first hunter chase of the season at Taunton next month. It is fair to say though that I would want to see how he gets on over here before even considering him for Cheltenham. The other interesting news is that Don Poli is likely to run at Wadebridge on Sunday. A high profile purchase for Darren Yates it was suggested by Dan Skelton that he would be going hunter chasing. Sensibly he is being trained by Nick Pearce who works Dan as that means he can run in points and in theory that should make it easier for him to qualify for Cheltenham. His last good run was back in February 2017 when 3rd in the Irish Gold Cup although he has only run 5 times since. He pulled up in 3 of those though and may as well of been in the Grand National last season. Sunday will tell us plenty as to how much ability he maintains and as to if Cheltenham is a feasible target or not. I am just going to give a quick mention to Earth Leader. He looked a very progressive horse last season when winning at Fontwell and Stratford and he made a winning reappearance on Sunday at Larkhill. I thought he looked a 130 horse last season and given he turns 7 next month there should be more to come. He isn't in the betting at the moment and he does have to prove he can stay 3m2f so it could be Aintree is the better target, but if he did prove his stamina he could be a contender for this. So as you can see even at this early stage quite a lot has already happened and I will update this thread as the season goes on starting with Sunday if Don Poli does turn up at Wadebridge.
  4. Great to have a easy win for the big price Nap's Hampton and also the 5/1 shots Stockport on Saturday to make it a profitable afternoon. There aren't too many games this mid-week, but one on Monday has caught my eye. Hitchin v Lowestoft (BetVictor Southern Premier League Central) Lowestoft are having a bit of an injury crisis at the moment and they had another player injured on Saturday in their 4-1 defeat at Tamworth. You add this to their shocking home record and it really ought to be a comfortable win for the home side. Lowestoft have lost all their away games apart from beating Stratford. Not only that but they have conceded 25 times in those 7 defeats and just one of those was by less than 2 goals and that came back on 10th August. Hitchin have only lost 1 of their last 9 although strangely it did come against bottom side Leiston, but otherwise they have been good and were impressive in beating Barwell 4-1 on Saturday. Hitchin should be able to cover the handicap and if they come out of the blocks like they did on Saturday I can also see them winning at HT and FT. Hitchin -1 2pts @ 8/5 with BetVictor Hitchin HT/FT 1pt @ 8/5 with Bet365
  5. I’m a big fan of Bromley having tipped them for the title so would have to stick with them especially with Yeovil not in the best of form lately. It would be a no bet game for me though.
  6. I know Lowestoft were missing quite a few players last week not sure if that’s still the case but if it is then it should be a comfortable home win.
  7. Thought the game tonight would be more open than it was and neither side had as many chances as I thought they would. Maldon a bit unlucky not to get a draw but a bit of a lapse in concentration at the back to leave the scorer unmarked cost them late on.
  8. Maldon & Tiptree v Newport County I am going to do something very unusual here, but bare with me because I think it will lead to a profit. The tip is going to be to back all 3 results and both teams to score. So that is Newport to win and BTTS (best of 9/4 with Betfred), the draw and BTTS (best of 13/2 with Bet365) and Maldon to win and BTTS (best of 18/1 with Bet365). The reason is I think this is the way to go is because I am fairly confident both teams will get on the score sheet and that Maldon have a fair chance of getting something out of the game so the Newport part of the bet is used as cover. I have already written on here when backing Maldon in their FA Trophy tie the match after they beat Leyton Orient as to how impressed I was with them in that victory and it was clear they are better than a normal Step 4 club. They scored impressive goals and as they have proven in their two FA Trophy ties since that they have plenty of goals in them. What we often see with Non-League sides, especially in the live games this season, is that the Non-League side have not been clinical enough in front of goal and that is where they have been lacking despite often having actually been the better side. I don't think Maldon have that issue and I really do think they will be capable of at least getting one against Newport. County have had plenty of cup upsets themselves in recent seasons, but they won't fancy this game at all. They aren't in the best of form in the league and they have only won twice away from home in the league so far this term. I do think they will however they will score a goal as Maldon have also proven themselves to be more than capable of conceding and Orient eventually put a goal past them despite playing poorly. I considered just tipping up Maldon or just backing BTTS to score which is actually odds against, but I think this way will give us profit it is just a case of how much. Tranmere v Chichester The other Step 4 side in Round 2 are Chichester although they of course got the bye which was great given a club like that really need the money. It would have been nice if they had got a home tie, but slightly surprising to me they have managed to get a live TV game despite having no chance of winning at Tranmere. I would even say that the fact it is on BT Sport makes it even harder for them as Tranmere will want to put on a bit of a show for the cameras and the class gap between these two sides is huge. I know Tranmere are finding it tough going in League 1, but that isn't a huge surprise after back to back promotions and this is a chance to actually score a few goals and enjoy the game that will have little pressure on it. I think they have a decent chance of covering the -3 handicap here and win by at least 4 goals which is a 23/10 chance with Betfair and Paddy Power. FA Cup Acca This was successful in the previous round so hopefully we can have another winning 5 fold and this one pays just over 11/2 with Betfair. Maldon aside I actually think upsets are going to be in short supply and even then that is a bit of a long shot. Eastleigh and Solihull have probably got the best chances and thus I am going to oppose most of the other Non-League sides who all have to travel. I have already mentioned Tranmere and in the acca I will put them in on the -2 handicap. I can't see Altrincham giving Portsmouth too many problems and given how Notts County are defending at the moment surely Northampton are going to outscore them. Blackpool are having a good season and I can't see National League South side Maidstone giving them too much to worry about and finally Rochdale host another Step 2 side in Boston and again they should have too much for them. Hartlepool and Dover are the other two I have left out who play away from and they could both be capable of causing an upset although they have tough ties on paper so I am happy to leave alone for punting purposes. Newport & BTTS 1.5pts @ 9/4 with Betfred, Draw & BTTS 1pt @ 13/2 with Bet365 and Maldon & Tiptree & BTTS 1pt @ 18/1 with Bet365 Tranmere -3 1pt @ 23/10 with Betfair and Paddy Power Portsmouth, Blackpool, Northampton, Rochdale & Tranmere -2 1pt @ 11/2 with Betfair
  9. In my view they should be favourites so until that happens I’d be happy to back
  10. The price on hednesford has long gone. Price on Hampton still 9/4 with 365 despite being cut elsewhere
  11. Yeah I’ve had people tell me on Twitter that there are reasons why he is still there but it seems the fans want him out
  12. A great night on Tuesday with Hartlepool and Eastleigh both doing the business. November has been pretty kind to us and we have one more Saturday left of the month. There will be some FA Cup tips in that section of the site, but I have 6 bets in the league's. Aldershot v Chesterfield What does John Sheridan have to do to get sacked? I am amazed he wasn't sacked earlier in the season and then results improved, but like I said in Tuesday's preview I never really thought their performances had improved. They were poor gain against Hartlepool and obviously conceding 5 goals meant they were poor again defensively. I have to take them on again and they travel to an Aldershot side who are now 4 points above them in the table. Take out their 6-1 loss at Dagenham they have performed well in the other 4 of their last 5 games. They beat Notts County last Saturday and then got a very good 2-2 draw at Yeovil on Tuesday night. They are surely going to get a few chances to score in this game given Chesterfield defensive frailties and I am happy to back a home win at 37/25 with Marathon. Torquay v Stockport It wasn't as comfortable as it should have been, but thankfully Torquay only got 2 goals back and Eastleigh held on for the win. I'm not as confident about opposing them again on Saturday as I do wonder if the Stockport players might be feeling the recent busy spell they have had, but at 5/1 with Bet365 they are a bigger price than they should be given Torquay's issues. Stockport were well beaten by Solihull on Tuesday, but Jim Gannon said afterwards that it was the first time this season that he could tell the difference from a part-time side and a full-time side and that he thought Solihull would be champions. This is an easier test for sure and I would have them at least half the price than they currently are. Blyth Spartans v Brackley As I have mentioned a few times recently I do think Blyth are better than their current position and so I think the 13/4 about them to beat Brackley offers a spot of value. I'd still make Brackley favourites, but their away form is not as strong as their home form where they are unbeaten. This is a tough trip to make for them as well and with Blyth playing well at the moment I give them a solid chance of being capable of picking up the 3 points. Gloucester City v Kettering I was hoping we would see a bigger price on the away side, but I do think that the price is just about value. Kettering have shown a big improvement since Paul Cox came in and I think they can pick up another win here against my own side. Gloucester have also recently changed their manager with former Aldershot assistant James Rowe coming in. His first game in charge was on Sunday in the FA Trophy and City were very poor when losing to Bradford Park Avenue. The players looked like they had never seen each other before and it was all a bit of a mess. Since then he has let two of our best players go back to their parent clubs and got two new ones in who I have my doubts about. At this stage I think the team looks like it will be weaker than the one who played on Sunday and with inexperienced Rowe coming up against very experienced Cox I think Kettering will have the upper hand here. Marathon are best at 41/25. Braintree v Hampton & Richmond I really fancy the away side here and when I first looked at the weekend prices it stood out massively for me. Braintree look a side in a right mess at the moment. The first game after their manager left they did mange to beat Hemel, but since then it has been very poor stuff. The old manager left because the club have no money and the fact that club captain Jake Hutchings has taken over the role clearly backs that fact up. He is only 24 and apart from the fact it was the cheap option it makes very little sense to me to have someone so young as manager. Since he officially took over though they have lost 6-2 to Welling and then lost 2-1 to a poor Yate side in the FA Trophy last week. Hampton are the better team for me and they have strengthened the side nicely in the last couple of months. They won 4 on the bounce and then lost 2-1 to Dartford and Weymouth before beating top of the table Wealdstone 2-0 in their last league game. On Tuesday night they beat Billericay 2-1 after their FA Trophy tie was called off on Saturday. As far as Braintree are concerned their Hemel win sticks out like a shore thumb amongst their other recent results. In my view Hampton should be favs for this game and at 23/10 with Marathon they look a fantastic price. Biggleswade Town v Hednesford Biggleswade lost their manager to Hendon and they have now lost 6 players this week to Hendon as well and although they have said they have signed new ones, you get the feeling that they are replacements to try and actually put 11 men on the pitch rather than being as good or better than the players who left. They lost 4-1 to Aveley in the FA Trophy last week and they are from the level below so that shows for me where they are at right now. Obviously Hednesford cost us last week when they had a surprising 4-1 defeat at Stratford, but I think we were unlucky with that and everything suggests it was a freak result. They had a good win against Coalville in the FA Trophy who are one place above them in the league. Odds against looks a cracking price although at this stage only Bet365 appear to have priced the game up. Aldershot 2pts @ 37/25 with Marathon Stockport 1pt @ 5/1 with Bet365 Blyth Spartans 1pt @ 13/4 with Marathon Kettering 1pt @ 41/25 with Marathon Hampton & Richmond 4pts @ 23/10 with Marathon Hednesford 3pts @ 23/20 with Bet365
  13. Wasn't aware of that but will do in future.
  14. Good news is I am feeling better than I was so I can write some previews. Sadly Saturday's bets showed a small loss as although the two National League bets were winners, none of the 7 FA Trophy ones won despite some near misses. There is another Tuesday night with a full National League fixture list and I have 3 bets there with one more coming from the FA Trophy replays. Chesterfield v Hartlepool I was never that convinced by Chesterfield even when they were in a good spell of form and some of their defending of late has been schoolboy stuff. They conceded 3 against Chorley and Harrogate in their last two games and prior to that it was a 2-2 draw with Ebbsfleet. Having seen the goals they have been conceding it is no surprise they have been so leaky. I really do think Hartlepool are better than their league position suggests and hopefully Dave Challinor can get them playing a bit more consistently than they have been so far this season. They have drawn 3 of their last 4 league games 2-2 and the other was a 1-0 defeat against Solihull. Challinor should have had a win in his first league game in charge but Ebbsfleet came from 2 down and then on Saturday they had a bit of fortune coming from 2 down themselves against Boreham Wood who did deserve to win. I think Hartlepool are the better side, it is just a case of if they can actually prove it on the pitch. It would certainly seem we will be in for goals and hopefully Chesterfield's defence are feeling every bit as generous as they have been of late. They certainly shouldn't be as big as Betfair's 29/10 for me. Eastleigh v Torquay I know it seemed strange to beat putting Chorley up on Saturday especially with no explanation, but Torquay have been struggling with injuries and it showed when Sutton beat them the previous weekend. With Chorley winning at Chesterfield as mentioned above that meant I thought they had a much better chance than the odds suggested and I was proven spot on as Chorley fully deserved their win. They now have to go straight into another away trip at Eastleigh who although I don't think are anything special they are very consistent and have actually only lost one of their last 9 games. They look over priced here to me given Torquay's issues at the moment. Notts County v Boreham Wood I mention Chesterfield's shocking defending of late above, but Notts County have hardly been much better and have also been conceding embarrassing goals recently. Yes Barrow are top, but County really did make it quite easy for them at times and then they were poor at Aldershot on Saturday. Granted at home they have been strong in general, but clearly they are a bit shaky at the moment and Boreham Wood have been putting in some good performances recently. They are unbeaten in 4 having drawn 3 of those, but that includes a 1-1 draw with Yeovil as well as that draw with Hartlepool on Saturday. These two teams only have 1pt and 1 place between them at the moment and Wood certainly have the players to punish County if they continue to perform as they have been at the moment. County are the right favs, but I would have the away side around the 2/1 mark so the 100/30 with Betfair is value to me. Alfreton v Blyth Spartans We were very unlucky not to collect with Blyth on Saturday and they certainly look value to me at 7/2 to take this at the 2nd time of asking. As I have mentioned of late Blyth are much improved and don't look a side that are at the wrong end of the table as they are after their dreadful start to the season. I am more than happy to back them again. Hartlepool 1pt @ 29/10 with Betfair Eastleigh 2pts @ 147/100 with Marathon Boreham Wood 1pt @ 100/30 with Betfair Blyth Spartans 1pt @ 7/2 with Bet365
  15. I guess I should say I’ve just got a sickness bug and I’m getting there via the help of anti sickness tablets.