Monday, 27 April 2009

Conference Thoughts

Torquay United made my day yesterday with a win over Burton Albion, but there were some strange results elsewhere in the Conference, including one meaningless game that has been reported to the authorities for ‘suspicious betting patterns’.

First, the boat-race boys - Cambridge United failed to beat Altrincham, when a good win would have seen them automatically promoted. Oxford United, in with a shot at a play-off spot, fell at home to relegated Northwich Victoria, and if they want ‘out of this poxy league’ they are going to need to do better than that. (I guess the boss was still upset about the five point deduction that ultimately cost them their place in the play-offs, although not winning your matches doesn’t help).

Stevenage and Kidderminster also failed to win their ‘must-win’ games although Stevenage got away with it thanks to other results.

So the play-offs loom, with an all- Cambridgeshire final a possibility. The semi-final first legs are this week, and Cambridge play at Stevenage on Thursday with Torquay hosting Histon on Friday.

It’s interesting that the teams are in reverse order as far as current form is concerned with Stevenage top, followed by Torquay, Histon and finally Cambridge. These games are usually tight, but I am leaning towards backing the home teams in the first legs. This may become a lay of the away teams, depending on how the prices settle.

The suspicious game was Grays Athletic v Forest Green Rovers with an unusual amount of money for a meaningless game being placed on Grays to be losing at half-time, and winning at full-time. Betting was suspended by a couple of bookmakers the day before the match, and while bets of three figures don’t sound like much, at 22-1 that makes for a nice pay day. The result? Grays were 0-1 down at half-time before winning 2-1… Very interesting.

No comments: