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Non-League Predictions > 14th December


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The FA Trophy steps up another gear this weekend with the National League sides joining the competition, although as usual I suspect some won't want to be staying in the competition for long as they will have other matters on their mind. I am going with 6 bets in the Trophy. In the league's I have 2 singles and a double.

Atherton Colleries V Barrow

Barrow are surprise leaders in the National League at the moment and it isn't hard to think that with the focus being firmly on promotion that they will be putting out a weakened side here. The National League sides have to play 4 games in 9 days over Christmas and with such a busy and crucial period coming up it is easy to imagine that Ian Evatt will rest a few key players for a tie like this. That doesn't mean they won't still win, but I am not sure there is a too much depth in the side and that gives the home team a sporting chance of winning. They managed to upset Boston in the previous round and are unbeaten in their last 3 league games so they are coming into this in decent nick. I'd still make Barrow favourites, but at 6/1 if they face a weakened Barrow side then it is worth an investment.

Dorking v Bromley

Like Barrow I can see Bromley resting players ahead of the busy Christmas period. They got the final a couple of years ago when losing to Brackley, but they now want to get into the Football League and there is every chance this is going to be their best chance of actually winning the title given how weak and open the league looks. Dorking are having a good season in the National League South and are currently unbeaten in 5. They look over priced and even if Bromley were at full strength I wouldn't rule out them causing an upset anyway.

Harrogate v Hartlepool

I know Harrogate's home league form is strong, they are unbeaten in 9 and have won 7 of them, and Hartlepool had to play extra time against Exeter on Tuesday, but I still think Hartlepool are over priced at 31/10 with BetVictor. They should have held on for the win at Woking last week, but maybe Tuesday's night game crept into the players minds. They showed how good they are when beating Exeter and I think they are a better side than Harrogate. Given Dave Challinor won the Trophy with Fylde last season I think there is a strong chance he will want to try and win it again with his new club. Id have preferred if they hadn't gone to extra time on Tuesday, but I still think they are too big a price. If they are this sort of price on Boxing Day for the league version of this fixture then I will be backing them again.

Maidenhead v Hemel Hempstead Town

Alan Devonshire has already raised how annoyed he is with the fact the National League are making them play 4 games in 9 days and survival in the National League is probably more important than winning the FA Trophy. Hemel owe us one after a couple of surprise defeats when I put them up in recent weeks and they have lost 3 league games on the bounce. Even so I don't think there is a great deal between these two sides if Hemel play at their best as they have a good side and thus at 18/5 they are a value play here.

Solihull Moors v Darlington

Again like Barrow and Bromley I can see Tim Flowers resting some of the 1st team here. One line of theory is that he will want the 1st team to bounce back after losing to Wrexham last Saturday, but I think it would be more sensible to give them a longer break ahead of the busy period to come especially after the mentally tough to take loss to Rotherham in the FA Cup. Darlington proved in their FA Cup run they have a strong team on their day and they are more than capable of causing an upset especially if we see a weaker than usual Solihull side.

Sutton v Dagenham & Redbridge

Dagenham are in terrible form going into this tie with the 6-1 win over Aldershot sticking out like a sore thumb as they have lost their other 7 of their last 8 games. Peter Taylor must be feeling the pressure and they must surely be thinking about a change of manager if results don't improve soon. They have a tough game here though against an improving Sutton whose only defeat in their last 6 was against Bromley and they played well in that defeat. They look the best bet of the weekend to me.

Leiston v Peterborough Sports

The price available on Leiston is way too big for this game. As I mentioned last week they are a side who are now much better than their league position suggests. They duly bolted up against Redditch and although this is game is tougher they just shouldn't be 5/1 shots to win this. I would still make Sports favourites and they are having a good first season at this level, but the market hasn't caught up with Leiston's improved side and I am hopeful that even if we don't collect here we will get more opportunites to back them in the upcoming fixtures.

Weston-Super-Mare v Wimborne Town

Weston have been a bit disappointing this season and they have dropped silly points. They should really be in promotion contention and not near the relegation zone. I like the signing of Vincent Harper in the week as Gloucester had him on loan earlier in the season and I was very impressed with him. He will improve the side for sure and on paper they have a much stronger side than Wimborne. Hopefully they can make it show on the pitch.

St Ives v Redditch and Swindon Supermarine v Dorchester

Speaking of Redditch they have to be opposed again. They had quite a few academy players playing against Leiston and they then had another heavy defeat to Evesham in the League Cup. This is the only fixture St Ives will be odds on for all season because they aren't great either and they have only picked up 2 points in their last 9 games. This though is a must win for them and they really ought to be capable of doing so. Dorchester drew 4-4 against Gosport on Tuesday in a crazy game that Gosport were a man down for a lot of. This game is much harder for them as Swindon Supermarine are flying this season and look possible title contenders. This should be a home win and it looks a double well worth having.

Atherton Colleries 1pt @ 6/1 with BetVictor

Dorking 1pt @ 12/5 with BetVictor

Hartlepool 1pt @ 13/10 BetVictor

Hemel Hempstead Town 1pt @ 18/5 with BetVictor

Darlington 1pt @ 4/1 with BetVictor

Sutton 2pts @ 117/100 with Marathon

Weston-Super Mare 1pt @ 34/25 with Marathon

Leiston 1pt @ 5/1 with BetVictor

St Ives/Swindon Supermarine 2pts double @ 1.94/1 with Marathon


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