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FA Trophy - Weekend Betting Preview

Friday Dec 9, 2011

FA Trophy - Weekend Betting Preview - by Alan Alger from Blue Square

FA Trophy - Weekend Betting Preview - by Alan Alger from Blue Square

Since the FA Trophy returned to the New Wembley as a showpiece final, top-flight Non-League clubs have dominated. All five finals at the rebuilt venue have been contested by Step 1 teams. The winning club in each of the last five seasons has finished somewhere between 5th and 15th inclusive in the top division of the pyramid. If we were to profile a likely winner we need to focus on teams in the Blue Square Bet Premier that are unlikely to be involved in the play-off race or a relegation fight. A team that will secure a comfortable mid-table finish, and importantly have a good away record. Forest Green Rovers were the beaten Trophy finalists in the 1998/99 and 2000/01 seasons. Dave Hockaday's team have been making steady progress in the league table of late. They take the eye as the best value team on the outright winner market for an each-way bet at 20/1. I fancy them to reach a third final and go one better in May 2012. Rovers are the 5/4 favourites to win at Newport County tomorrow in their First Round clash.


Current holders Darlington are the 13/5 outsiders as they visit a Grimsby Town team that are still in the FA Cup. A home win is priced at 10/11 and Darlington are offered at 22/1 on the outright market to retain the prize they secured against Mansfield last season. Grays Athletic were the last team to retain the FA Trophy - in the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons. Fleetwood Town and Luton Town hold familiar positions at the head of the betting as 7/1 joint-favourites. Both clubs were at the top of the title betting for the Blue Square Bet Premier in pre-season although Fleetwood are the ones to have lived up to that short price. League form aside, Luton Town have been handed an easy start to this season's competition as they are the 2/7 favourites at home to Swindon Supermarine. The Hatters were beaten semi-finalists last year and the disappointment from that defeat showed how seriously they were taking it. Fleetwood Town will no doubt use the tournament to give game-time to some of their fringe players in the squad. They should still account for Northwich Victoria though, away from home at a price of 8/13.


Wrexham are having a fantastic season, still in the FA Cup with a three point lead at the top of the league table, and they could be forgiven for using the FA Trophy as a chance to rest players. Boss Andy Morrell is not blessed with the largest of squads but some key players could be given the afternoon off instead of featuring in the their tie with Hinckley United. The Red Dragons are the 2/5 favourites to go through in 90 minutes. York City were beaten finalists in 2008/09, they are also priced at 2/5 for a home match against Blue Square Bet North opposition. Solihull Moors visit Bootham Crescent as the 5/1 outsiders. Mansfield Town are hoping to go one better than last year's heartbreaking extra-time defeat in the final. The Stags start with a tricky away fixture at Blue Square Bet North Droylsden. A home win is 13/5 with an away win favoured at 4/5. New Lincoln City boss David Holdsworth has set his side a Wembley target as he tries to move them to safety in the table. The Imps are Evens favourites to win at Colwyn Bay.


Since winning the FA Trophy in the 1986/87 season Kidderminster Harriers have gone on to lose in the final three times. Steve Burr's team kick-off this road to Wembley as the 4/7 favourites away at Vauxhall Motors. Harriers are 18/1 to win the prize for a second time. Stockport County are having their first taste of Non-League's prestigious cup competition but boss Jim Gannon has a bigger battle on his hands in keeping the club out of the Blue Square Bet North. Stalybridge Celtic could be swapping places with them at the end of the season and we can't split the sides at Edgeley Park for this fascinating encounter. It's 7/5 each team and 13/5 the draw - with Celtic making most appeal. Two-time winners Barrow begin with a home match against Harrogate Town. The Bluebirds are the strong 1/2 favourites to prevail. Gateshead are the strong odds-on favourites at 2/9 to beat Kettering Town at the International Stadium. Another all Blue Square Bet Premier tie sees Southport visit Alfreton Town as the 6/5 favourites.


2007/08 winners Ebbsfleet United have a long trip to Truro City. The Fleet have been backed into 11/10 for the game after injury news from the hosts. In another tie which has a Blue Square Bet South team hosting a Premier outfit, Chelmsford are the 11/10 favourites at home to Bath City. Clarets boss Glenn Pennyfather said he disagreed with his team being favourites for the game - but with just three places separating the teams in the pyramid and with home advantage for his team we're happy to elevate them to that position. Hayes & Yeading won at Braintree Town in midweek to arrest a slide in form. Nas Bashir's team are the 4/5 favourites at Hampton & Richmond. Cambridge United are 16/1 to win the competition and are 4/6 favourites to win at Boreham Wood in the First Round. Braintree Town are 8/11 to win at Gosport Borough from the Southern Premier. On Sunday AFC Telford are narrow 11/8 favourites for their game at Nuneaton Town.



HAYES AND YEADING UNITED to win at Hampton & Richmond Borough

EBBSFLEET UNITED to win at Truro City

LINCOLN CITY to win at Colwyn Bay




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