Ian Lamont previews Tuesday's League Two action and provides us with his best bets...
"Wobbly confidence might well be just as in vogue at Rovers, but Mark McGhee’s Pirates have at least won their last two home games, scoring three times in each."
In midweek fixtures, I look for possible results to stun expectations in outlandish fashion. I am convinced Tuesday night results are more fickle to form than Saturdays. Southend stick out. Bizarrely, Paul Sturrock's men have not picked up any points on Tuesdays this season. Two weeks ago, they even lost to Aldershot Town, ending the visitors' worst league run in their 20-year history (six straight defeats). Football throws up funny results, which is why we love it.
For those who want more substance to their arguments, the Shrimpers' form, despite an impressive-looking win over Stockport in the FA Cup, is bitty at best. They have scored once in three league games and won once in seven overall.
Wobbly confidence might well be just as in vogue at Rovers, but Mark McGhee's Pirates have at least won their last two home games, scoring three times in each. Tom Eaves, on loan from Bolton, will relish the chance to add to his excellent return of four goals in eight games.
Dean Holdsworth's side have suddenly worked themselves a little bit of form, but is it enough to beat Wycombe? Certainly if it has there seems to be a bit of value in their price, because both teams should be in mid-table. The Shots are now unbeaten in three, after those six straight league defeats. An FA Cup win, boosting coffers and confidence, is tempered by the fact was "only" 2-1 and "only" against Hendon, from a much lower league. But they did come from behind after conceding a long-range cracker that Ben Herd reckons will get plenty of air time, albeit he was horrified the player had so much time to strike the ball. They showed determination - "character" has become the buzzword - rather than crumble completely. Confidence could be fragile.
But what of Wycombe, winless in three matches? Gareth Ainsworth is still auditioning for the manager's part. Skipper Dave Winfield's comments that he "loves the club to bits" seem like a mis-timed tackle, coming before facing his old club. Shots fans have not forgotten how he left, following Gary Waddock to the Chairboys, two years ago. There is much at stake in what should not be a basement battle, but Aldershot seem to have the upward curve.
Gillingham have scored four in each of their last three home games, including defeating a League One club, freefalling Scunthorpe, 4-0 in the FA Cup. Cheltenham have won the last three games, two of them 3-0 without conceding. The Robins have conceded just seven times in nine games, while Martin Allen's men have let in just six in 11. Gillingham are actually a decent price - longer than expected, given their huge 18-5 home goal difference. But this is because Cheltenham are third, have one away defeat and a tight 8-7 away goal difference. All that is key to this game, where under 2.5 goals is the way forward.
It seems a bit early for the Valiants to be distracted by the juicy carrot of travelling to Sheffield United in the FA Cup, which seems the plum tie everyone wanted. They have more immediate concerns, such as keeping pace with Gillingham. There is just about enough in the price to justify backing them, particularly as Rochdale's cup exploits, combined with their league form, weigh heavy. They face a replay with Morecambe that could easily go to extra time and beyond. John Coleman seems to be turning Dale into his old club, Accrington: the assiduous side, with no flash stars, that nobody dare write off. One thing is for sure, their away games seem to guarantee goals (a 14-14 goal difference making the division's highest total of 28). I am tempted to lay the hosts but will definitely back over 2.5 goals.