League Two Betting: Back Wycombe's play-off push

Jim Bentley's Morecambe should have done enough to survive relegation
Jim Bentley's Morecambe should have done enough to survive relegation

Cheltenham might well be held to a draw by Grimsby while Colchester should edge a low-scoring affair at Morecambe, says Ian Lamont, who also tips an Easter Monday win for Wycombe...

"One thing about Morecambe’s run of defeats was that they scored once in five of those seven, so Colchester will either have to keep them quiet or score twice."

Cheltenham 2.111/10 v Grimsby 4.03/1; the draw 3.613/5
13:00

We are well and truly into the tricky part of the year, one in which Grimsby, with their third manager of the season, travel to relegation threatened Cheltenham, who have stuck with Gary Johnson through thick and thin, health and recent sickness.

Not for Cheltenham the trigger-happy methods of other clubs, some of whom have had five managers this season. The Robins have stuck with the manager who earned them promotion last season. It may not last. Some teams have earned promotion to League One and only sacked their managers once they have been relegated again some years later.

Billy Waters owes a little to patience himself - having not always started for Cheltenham in the past two seasons. But, this season, with 37 starts and a dozen goals, he has scored more than he did last time around.

Cheltenham seem to have found a bit of form just in time to save their League Two lives, with two draws and a victory to show in April so far. Harry Pell's application should also go a long way to keeping the Robins safe.

However, they face a test to overcome Grimsby who must feel they have to make up for lost time under Marcus Bignot, when they didn't progress up the table from ninth. Russell Slade's first match resulted in a victory. Sam Jones, a January arrival, will be looking to add more goals to his six from 12 starts, as Slade decides who he wants to keep for next season. A draw seems about the reward each side can expect.

Recommended Bet
Back the draw @ 3.613/5


15:00 kick-offs
Morecambe 3.24 v Colchester 2.47/5; the draw 3.613/5

52 points is one mythical mark managers look for to survive relegation from League Two, although a few months ago it wouldn't have been what Morecambe boss Jim Bentley would have been thinking about.

Seven straight defeats put ideas they might have had of safety to one side, while a draw at home to Hartlepool and a victory over out-of-touch Stevenage on Friday would seem to have put the Shrimps into a decent position: eighth from bottom with eight points between them and Newport.

But Lee Molyneux, Kevin Ellison and Paul Mullin will know that something still rests on their abilities to conjure and convert chances to keep any final doubts about relegation away.

Jim Bentley's men have had to put up with a lot this season, off the field, but remain capable of giving any side a bloody nose, just when we all least expect it.

Morecambe have the highest number of home defeats in League Two, but a decent number of wins, for a side in the bottom third of the division. Colchester, by contrast, have a relatively poor number of away wins for a side chasing promotion, in their case via the playoffs.

John McGreal knows that his side needs to turn an exceptional home record into more points away from home if they are to maintain that push for a top seven spot, something which has always seemed just out of their reach this season.

Brennan Dickenson, scorer against Doncaster, and his colleagues have seen what champions-elect Rovers have as their standard and their drew with them, so know what the standard is and they have matched that.

A striking 4-0 win over Stevenage clearly gave them huge confidence. Chris Porter and Curtis Guthrie, like Dickenson, have more than 10 goals this season and the Essex fans will be hoping they have come to form at just the right time to take advantage of any further slip-ups by Exeter or Carlisle.

One thing about Morecambe's run of defeats was that they scored once in five of those seven, so the Us will either have to keep them quiet or score twice. They have scored just once or not at all in their last eight away games. Time to up the ante if they want promotion. Expect a tight game with under 2.5 goals looking value at 2.111/10.

Recommended Bets
Back Colchester @ 2.47/5
Back Under 2.5 goals @ 2.111/10


Barnet 2.89/5 v Wycombe 2.89/5; the draw 3.45

An extraordinary season by any standards has seen several clubs have more than two managers during the campaign. Rossi Eames had a substantial period in charge after Martin Allen left, and is now back in charge of the Bees after Kevin Nugent parted company with them after just two months - and one win in 11 matches.

It doesn't show much for boards of directors when they keep chopping and changing. They clearly didn't make the right decision in the first place - and they took long enough to make their choice.

These distractions haven't stopped John Akinde having a great season, but even he hasn't been able to score in every game. He scored at Exeter, but the Bees failed to score in the two before that, against Luton and Stevenage, when netting twice against Cheltenham, Curtis Weston achieving the other.

The trouble is they haven't kept a clean sheet in 11 matches, while Wycombe have three in their last seven outings. The Chairboys have taken a chance already on Bayo Akinfenwa by giving him a new deal, when AFC Wimbledon didn't renew his contract after he scored a penalty in their play-off final victory over Plymouth.

The larger than life striker has scored 11 goals this season, from 28 games. He is highly valued by Gareth Ainsworth, as he is the top scorer, which he wasn't at AFC Wimbledon. That, however, highlights Wycombe's problems: they don't score enough goals. Myles Weston, Scott Kashket and Paris Cowan-Hall have to maintain enough fitness to reach double figures, if the away team here are to really push for a top seven spot.

This match represents one of the few remaining throws of the dice if they are to put pressure on any of the sides above them.

Recommended Bet
Back Wycombe @ 2.89/5

P/L 2016-17

+41.97pt

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