Football – England – FA Cup 1st Round
Tuesday 13th November 2012 – Kickoff: 1945hrs
Braintree Town and Tranmere Rovers finally get their first round FA Cup tie underway at the Cressing Road Stadium on Tuesday night with a place in the second round up for grabs and a chance for some much-needed extra income.
Braintree Town have been disappointing so far this season as they currently stand in 19th place in the Blue Square Premier having won just twice at home in the league, and indeed, their usual strength of winning at home seems to have deserted them as The Iron have won on just four occasions from their last fourteen matches in all competitions at home.
Those four matches were against Luton Town, Tamworth, Lowestoft Town (to qualify for the FA Cup 1st round) and Gateshead last Saturday. On Tuesday night, they entertain the League One league leaders and any weaknesses are sure to be exploited.
Dan Holman (6 goals) and Daniel Sparkes (5 assists) are Braintree’s main danger men in attack and they will need to be kept quiet for Tranmere to make in-roads.
League One leaders Tranmere Rovers seem to have steered the ship back on course following a mini-slump where they lost back-to-back matches against Bournemouth and Doncaster Rovers, but Rovers have bounced back to their early season fantastic form and they still remain five points clear at the top of League One ahead of second placed Sheffield United.
Tranmere’s away form also still remains impressive having lost just once in their last seven away matches which includes wins at Crawley Town 5-2, Scnthorpe United 3-1, Notts County 1-0, Hartlepool United 2-0 and Oldham Athletic 1-0.
As mentioned in my previous previews involving Tranmere, the dangermen include Jake Cassidy (10 goals), Andy Robinson (8 goals) and Louis Akpa-Akpro (7 goals, 2 assists) along with support from Adam McGurk and James Wallace (3 assists each).
Braintree’s occasional winning form at home won’t be enough against an in-form and confident Tranmere Rovers who should have too much quality and class to slip up tonight – I’ll go for a 2-1 Tranmere win here.
Pick: Tranmere Rovers straight win @ 1.73 Coral