League Two Betting: Back goals to rock bumper Ricoh crowd

Mark Robins and Coventry City are expecting a big crowd against Accrington
Mark Robins and Coventry City are expecting a big crowd against Accrington
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After Friday night's fixture gives Lincoln a chance to forget Wembley and press on for promotion, Coventry's 27,000 crowd will be expecting goals against Accrington, says Ian Lamont...

"John Coleman has plenty of reasons to be excited - not least that Tuesday's 2-1 victory over Swindon meant they replaced Notts County in the top three."

Cambridge United [3.4] v Lincoln [2.44]; the draw [3.5]

Friday February 9, Kick-off 19:45

It comes as no surprise that Lincoln's leader Danny Cowley has been linked with another job in a division above - this time he has reportedly rejected Championship strugglers Barnsley.

Lincoln remain an attraction: they could earn promotion; they have a first trip to Wembley looming in the Checkatrade Trophy; Cowley's been backed by the Board in the January transfer market. (He believes one of them, Tom Pett, can play in the Championship.)

"We finish what we started," he says, referring to his brother and assistant Nick, when talking about the pair's project at the Imps, who were National League champions in May, celebrating on an open top bus in front of 25,000 people.

He's had a bit of a rant this week - unsurprisingly - about this Friday night game meaning five games in 15 days. Matt Rhead was left out recently because of the fixture schedule.

So Cowley could rotate a few at Cambridge, who will be only too keen to get back to the Abbey Stadium. They have been unfortunate to play three away games in a row - losing them all. The previous two matches, one of them away, were goalless.

Their only home game in that time earned a precious point against Mansfield (0-0) and they had actually won the previous two on their own turf as Shaun Derry justified his board's faith in keeping him in the run-up to Christmas. Now he has to get Uche Ikpeazu to justify his potential with some well overdue goals, or get the best out of January recruit from Northampton Billy Waters, as Cheltenham did in their non-league days two years ago.

Lincoln's fatigue factor does pose a risk, but they ought to have the quality and desire to win.

Recommended Bet
Back Lincoln to beat Cambridge @ [2.44]


Saturday February 10
Kick offs 15:00
Coventry [2.4] v Accrington [3.5]; the draw [3.5]

What does it say about Accrington Stanley that they can come from 2-0 down to win 3-2 twice in a fortnight? And for the second home game in a row? Are they sleepy starters or just capable of scoring at any time?

In their last nine matches, only once has the scoreline finished with under 2.5 goals (a 2-0 win at Cheltenham). Five times there have been over 3.5 goals. With the exception of Crawley, who have beaten them twice in that spell, and possibly Swindon, they haven't perhaps been up against in-form sides.

John Coleman has plenty of reasons to be excited - not least that Tuesday's 2-1 victory over Swindon meant they replaced Notts County in the top three. It was, said the manager, a victory for the will to win. Other reasons for him to be happy are Billy Kee's nomination for player of the month, although he chose to lavish praise on Sean McConville's influence after taking his season's tally to 10 goals.

With 22 goals away - joint third best in the division with Luton - can they dent Coventry's impressive home record on a special day? City's promotions for this game include free tickets for school children. That and other offers have inspired 27,000 to pre-book.

The Sky Blues have 10 wins and are the only side to have conceded fewer than 10 goals at home (9), scoring 22. They have won their last five at home - Opta say six in a row was last achieved in March 2006. Accrington have won six of their last seven games, add the stats men.

In their last four home games, Mark Robins' hosts have beaten Cambridge and Swindon 3-1 and Wycombe 3-2 (plus Chesterfield 1-0). The case is quickly made, then, for goals. Both sides can sniff promotion, with eighth-placed Coventry's charge led by 13-goal Marc McNulty.

The bumper crowd will be expecting entertainment and should be rewarded at the Ricoh Arena with over 2.5 goals at [2.3]. If you want to push it, chance over 3.5 goals at [4.2].

Recommended Bet
Back over 2.5 goals in Coventry v Accrington @ [2.3]


Morecambe [2.5] v Chesterfield [3.1]; the draw [3.5]

Boss Jim Bentley made six changes for Saturday's goalless draw at fellow strugglers Port Vale, but he can't claim they were all for injuries when Kevin Ellison, a starter more often than not, came on from the bench. He was probably trying to save an old man's legs - not least from a very chewed up pitch.

Some of the changes were enforced, while Gregg Wylde made his debut after signing from Plymouth, offering the injection of a new face and options. Morecambe also had Aaron Wildig and Adam McGurk on the bench, who both offer some quality, although the latter has not reproduced his scoring record from his Burton days.

Morecambe need to rekindle the feeling of those two wins and a draw just either side of the new year, since when they have added two more draws (Port Vale and Newport) while losing to top teams Mansfield and Luton.

They need to find some points to stay in League Two and face a fantastic opportunity at home against Chesterfield to take three. What have the visitors got to offer to thwart them? They can draw on a sense of desperation, now they are in the bottom two. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. Jack Lester's men have won twice and drawn three of 15 away games. Last weekend, at home, they were somewhat annoyed to lose very late in injury time to Crawley.

Louis Dodds has quickly found his place in the "animal kingdom" hierarchy of his new dressing room at the Spireites. The team badly needs Kristian Dennis to add to his 13 goals, but the visitors have not scored in five of their last seven matches. This has to be an opportunity for the hosts to add to their five home wins.

Don't expect a classic though. Opta say that both sides have scored just once in the opening 15 minutes and scored 11 goals in the first half of League Two games this season - both joint-low league totals.

Recommended Bet
Back Morecambe to beat Chesterfield @ [2.5]


Crawley Town [2.34] v Grimsby [3.4]; the draw [3.6]

Lewis Young's winner at Chesterfield came deep into added time last Saturday. A very late penalty gained them victory at Notts County the other week and their winner at Yeovil came eight minutes after the official 90 were up.

But it would surely be doing the Reds a disservice to call them lucky. You don't win six out of seven games just on luck. Harry Kewell has obviously driven home the message that the game is not over until added time is finished.

Karlan Ahearne-Grant, a striker on loan from Charlton, announced himself with the first goal on Saturday, while the Sussex side have shared them out recently - Enzio Boldewijn, Jimmy Smith, Thomas Verheydt are among those to have netted.

There is optimism around the Broadfield now. Unlike at Grimsby, who have only scored three goals in six games (conceding 10) despite having a proliferation of strikers. Deadline day signing Simeon Jackson scored in the draw with Cheltenham. But Russell Slade has the varied talents of several others such as Jamille Matt to Scott Vernon and Mallik Wilks to keep happy.

He's hoping that Jackson, a "fox in the box", will demonstrate his experience. But Matt also has plenty of former clubs at a higher level - and this one - and has only produced three goals.

Opta highlight that Crawley have won eight of their 11 league games since the start of December, giving them the highest points tally in League Two in that time. By contrast, the Mariners have earned just seven points in the same spell (winning once) with only Barnet bagging fewer (5).

Crawley's narrow wins makes tipping them again feel like playing a card game and having the option to 'stick or twist'. With Ian Harte's ringing endorsement that his former Leeds team-mate Kewell can manage in the Premier League one day, and the boss and Boldewijn nominated for League Two manager and player of the month, these are heady times for the Reds. But for now I'm ready to trust that Kewell has found a formula to get the best from his squad and twist by continuing the gamble.

Recommended Bet
Back Crawley Town @ [2.34] v Grimsby [3.4]; the draw [3.6]


P/L 2017-18

League Two
Staked: 120.84pts
Returned: 109.64pts
Total -11.2pt

FA Cup +14.21pt

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