Football – England – Blue Square Premier
Saturday 26th January 2013 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
I’m now switching my focus onto the top tier of non-league football and the Blue Square Premier as Hyde take on basement dwellers Ebbsfleet United on Saturday at their Ewen Fields ground. Hyde will be aiming to halt a run of three straight defeats and the visit of bottom club Ebbsfleet could just provide that opportunity.
Up until the end of December, Hyde had been travelling along at a nice pace having lost just two league matches during their last eleven matches (which were incidentally at Ebbsfleet 2-3 and at Macclesfield Town 2-3) but they had chalked up eight important wins including a 7-0 demolition of Woking, 1-0 at Cambridge United, 3-2 at home over Grimsby Town and a 3-1 win at Newport County.
Three straight defeats have followed against Stockport County, Forest Green Rovers and away at league leaders Grimsby Town 0-2 in midweek but they held out admirably up until the 84th minute when it looked like they might take an unlikely point at Blundell Park.
Hyde’s home record stands at 5-4-4 24/16 and are one of only four teams in the lower half of the BSP to have a positive goal difference. Striker Phil Jevons (14 goals, 2 assists) has had an impact on their goal-difference along with Scott Spencer (8 goals, 5 assists) and Adam Griffin (3 goals, 4 assists), and they should be afforded more freedom against Ebbsfleet than they would have received against Grimsby I daresay.
Visitors Ebbsfleet have endured a frustrating last few weeks as they’ve failed to win in their last seven league matches, taking just single points off Grimsby, Dartford and Lincoln City although the point against Grimsby was a good one.
Ebbsfleet’s away record stands at 3-2-8 17/29 with only Woking (34 goals) and Nuneaton Town (30 goals) conceding more than them in the BSP on the road. In fact, Ebbsfleet have a dire away record when it comes to conceding goals; they have kept just two clean sheets in their last 26 away matches at this level, and with experienced striker Jevons in Hyde’s locker-room, they could well find themselves in another mess again today.
So, in summary we have Hyde who have lost their last three matches overall hosting an Ebbsfleet side who have lost their last three away from home; I’ll take Hyde in this one due to Ebbsfleet’s poor run of form both home and away, with the quarter ball but at still a reasonable price. 2-1 to Hyde.
Pick: Hyde AH-0.25 @ 1.88 Pinnacle