Ian Lamont says if Torquay are to have any chance of an unlikely escape from relegation, they must beat Dagenham at home, while Northampton can win at fellow strugglers Wycombe...
"The teenager from Spurs is certainly showing experienced hands such as Danny Stevens and Paul Bodin how to do it. Fresh impetus was certainly needed if the Gulls were to give themselves a chance and fresh talent has given the Gulls a spark, but they are fast running out of chances."
With the World Championships of a certain baize-clothed game hitting our television screens this weekend, it seems appropriate to draw the analogy that Torquay need snookers to get out of trouble. These season must have felt like being steamrollered by Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan pretty much every week.
Was victory at Bristol Rovers - who lacked desire according to their manager - dead cat's bounce or a sign of proper life for League Two's bottom side?
In the case of lively young Shaquille Coulthirst, in the hole behind the strikers, it was a chance to shine, on loan from Tottenham, in the absence of fellow loanee Paul Stockley, who was suspended.
The teenager from Spurs is certainly showing experienced hands such as Danny Stevens and Paul Bodin, who may be past their best, how to do it. Fresh impetus was certainly needed if the Gulls were to give themselves a chance and fresh talent has given the Gulls a spark, but they are fast running out of chances.
'We still have to play Wycombe' was boss Chris Hargreaves' rally cry after Saturday's win, as if the Chairboys are some sort of patsies.
Before then come Dagenham, Exeter and Mansfield - and if you think the latter are beatable nobodies in mid-table, consider this: they have 31 points in 2014 and would be fifth if the league table started on January 1.
Even if Torquay can win their own games they need other results to be kind, but they can make a good start against the Daggers if they keep their heads.
The away side's season appears to be petering out, with two defeats - the first relatively surprising at Wycombe when their away form was healthy (three wins and three draws, Opta remind us) after the win over Oxford with a ricocheted goal.
Daggers boss Wayne Burnett will be looking for a reaction after losses to Wycombe and Portsmouth, but Hargreaves and his troops have the urgency to put in the extra energy for a now-or-never display.
Opta state that Dagenham have never won at Torquay and the hosts would be devastated if they started now.
Back Torquay @ 2.47/5
Scunthorpe have given me the perception that they are more likely to draw at home and win their away games. They have won their last four on the road. However, it is a pretty even score overall. Even during their 26-game unbeaten run, they have seven away wins and seven draws.
What makes them attractive for another away triumph is eight clean sheets. Their price above even money seems positively generous, especially after five clean sheets out of six games.
And against Morecambe they ought to fancy their chances of repeating their 2-0 win in the reverse fixture, the correct score priced about 12.011/1.
Three points (all draws) in seven games has seen Jim Bentley's men slide gently down the table. It might have been catastrophic had the bottom of the table not resembled a concertina and could yet see them slip into a proper relegation scrap.
One major problem for the Shrimps is they have not kept a clean sheet in the calendar year (they have the division's longest run of 19 games without one, state Opta), while the Iron have netted 31 in 19 games and scored in 12 of their last 13. Sam Winnall (22 goals) will want to put the division's golden boot beyond doubt, but for the sake of victory would happily defer to Paul Hayes, Dave Syers or Paddy Madden.
Back Scunthorpe @ 2.26/5
Northampton's Ricky Ravenhill says the Cobblers have been confident all along of pulling out of the relegation zone - plus he says they owe Wycombe one after Aidy Boothroyd was sacked following a 4-1 defeat to the Chairboys in December.
While you could retort 'he would say that' to both, there is much merit to the idea that Northampton have momentum - albeit slim - on their side and the sense that they have always been in this dogfight, while some clubs are just finding themselves drawn in when they must have thought they were clear of the drop.
Narrow wins over Burton and Accrington (with clean sheets) - and a run of just two defeats in 12 - have given Chris Wilder's men a base on which to build, which means odds of 3.02/1 to win seem on the large side.
Their last four away games have ended unbeaten - 1-0, 1-1, 1-0 and 1-1. A further draw seems of limited use because their goal difference is -19 to Wycombe's -9. A win is paramount - and very possible.
Wycombe have drawn 11 blanks in front of goal in their 20 games of 2014, have won once in eight games - a slightly surprise win over Dagenham - and in those eight have scored just twice. If anything, they should be the larger of the two win prices.
Perhaps they are not because of these Opta-prompted stats. While they have the lowest home league goals tally (18) Northampton away have scored just 14, second lowest apart from Bristol Rovers. It's going to be a tight one!
Northampton have the means to score - John Marquis on loan from Millwall, or Darren Carter from the penalty spot seems quite popoular - even supplier Ryan Hackett. But they have to work that supply chain and if Hackett is a marked man then they have to switch and adapt tactics. Any win will be a small one with 1-0 to Northampton seeming the likeliest correct score, priced 8.07/1 while Opta give historical hope, because Wycombe are without a home win against the Cobblers in five attempts (four draws).
A neat statistic is that Northampton have scored just 25 times from inside the area in open play, a league low, state Opta. This goes with their league low 35 goals in total.
Back Northampton @ 3.211/5
Back Northampton to win 1-0 @ 8.07/1
Wagered: 164 points
Returned: 141.74 points
FA Cup +5.1pt