Despite it being the international break, real football is still on. There is still a full schedule of non-league football and I have a 5.83 odds acca for this weekend, featuring goals. A lot of goals.
Starting the acca at the home of the title favourites, Chesterfield, who host Dagenham and Redbridge.
Paul Cook’s side have started the season in good form, sitting in second place only behind table-toppers Barnet on goal difference. The Spireites have won five of their seven games, losing once and drawing the other.
Over 2.5 goals has landed in 6/7 of their games, with the exception of a 1-1 draw at home to Oldham in a game that saw many chances squandered. 4-3 wins over Dorking and Aldershot, a 4-2 win over AFC Fylde, and a 3-2 win over Hartlepool showcase Paul Cook’s side's potency in attack but fragility in defence. Chesterfield are the highest scorers in the league but have the worst defence in the top 15.
Dagenham and Redbridge have only seen over 2.5 goals land 2/7 times but have scored in 5/7 games. With Chesterfield's defensive weaknesses, Ben Strevens side will fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet on Saturday. If not, Chesterfield will back themselves to score three goals on their own, something they’ve done four times already this season and in their last two.
Selection: Over 2.5 goals
Next on the agenda is a mouth-watering tie between AFC Fylde and Aldershot.
The Coasters currently occupy the relegation zone on their return to the National League, with the worst defensive record in the league, conceding 19 in seven games. Their four defeats (2-4, 3-2, 3-1, and 3-1) have been high-scoring, as have their two draws (2-2 and 3-3). In fact, their lowest-scoring game has been their 2-1 victory over Kidderminster, meaning over 2.5 goals has landed in 100% of AFC Fylde games.
Another underrated aspect of Andy Murray’s side's sharp shooting is the fact they scored two against Maidenhead and Kidderminster, with these two teams boasting some of the best defensive records in the league. AFC Fylde’s games have seen 32 goals at an average of 4.6 goals per game.
Speaking of goals, Aldershot aren’t shy of a few either, with 71% of The Shots games seeing over 2.5 goals at an average of 4.4 goals per game. The only games where over 2.5 goals has not landed for Tommy Widdrington’s side is a 1-1 draw with York and a 2-0 defeat to Ebbsfleet. Their two defeats away from home have seen them concede three and five goals, so AFC Fylde may fancy their chances of getting a few goals.
Selection: Over 2.5 goals
Another potential goal gluttonous game from the National League as Oxford City host Hartlepool.
National League newbies Oxford City have had a solid start to the season, sitting in 17th place. With 23 goals in their seven games, over 2.5 goals has landed 4/7 times, with their games averaging 3.2 goals. After scoring 17 goals last season, Josh Parker has had a sublime start to this campaign with five goals.
Oxford City are fresh off a 3-3 draw at Solihull Moors and a 4-0 home win against Boreham Wood, so they are no strangers to goals.
Since their disappointing relegation from League 2, Hartlepool have started this campaign well, sitting in fourth with 15 points. John Askey's side are the second-top scorers in the league with 17 goals from seven games, scoring at least two in every game and losing only twice—3-2 away at Barnet and Chesterfield.
However, the Monkey Hangers have also conceded 12 and are yet to keep a clean sheet. Their games have averaged over four goals per game, with over 2.5 goals landing 100% of the time. Experienced striker Emmanuel Dieseruvwe is the current second-top scorer with six goals.
With Oxford City scoring seven goals in their last two games, Hartlepool scoring at least two every game, and their constant failure to keep clean sheets, I am happy to take over 2.5 goals yet again.
Selection: Over 2.5 goals
The final selection comes from the Northern Premier League Premier Division, as Atherton host Radcliffe.
After staying up by the skin of their teeth last season, Atherton have started this season equally as disappointing, with only five points from six games, leaving them in the relegation zone. The Colls have only won once—a home victory over a Bradford Park Avenue side who have yet to win an away game yet.
Radcliffe, on the other hand, are flying. Joint managers Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson have overseen six wins from six, leaving Radcliffe six clear of second-place Whitby and eight clear of pre-season title favourites Macclesfield. Their victories have been resounding, winning 0-4, 4-2, 2-0, 1-4, 2-5, and 5-0. Anthony Dudley, Jordan Hulme, and Jude Oyibo have been among the goals, boasting 13 between them.
Radcliffe look far too strong for this league, and I expect them to comfortably dispatch lowly Atherton.
Selection: Radcliffe win
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