League Two Betting: Time for Tisdale's charges to step up

Exeter are going to have to look as mean as Paul Tisdale to win the dog fight for an automatic promotion spot
Exeter are going to have to look as mean as Paul Tisdale to win the dog fight for an automatic promotion spot

Exeter's star teenager says the Grecians can push for the top three and Ian Lamont says to do that they must beat Accrington, while Hartlepool might snatch something at Notts County...

"Blackpool, on the whole, seem to be in a better place than Wycombe. They have won their last two games by scoring three times in each, even away at Plymouth, plus struck two each in their previous three games."

Exeter City 2.166/5 v Accrington Stanley 3.55/2; the draw 3.814/5

When - if - Arsene Wenger leaves Arsenal, Paul Tisdale will be thrust into the spotlight. As long as he is still at Exeter City of course, where he is the second longest serving manager in the top four tiers of English football after a mere 10 years.

Tisdale has been the focus of attention in League Two earlier this season, when fans were on his back in the autumn because the team couldn't win at home and were near the foot of the table. Now, it looks like he could well outlast Wenger one way or another - and he might well celebrate by taking the Grecians to promotion.

Ollie Watkins, one of the stars of Exeter's season, insists automatic promotion is very much the aim, although I don't remember them featuring in the top three so far, so that's quite an ambitious statement.

Teenager Watkins' assessment, like himself, might lack maturity. But there is nothing wrong with ambition and Exeter are, of course, only five points off the automatic promotion places, the race for which is becoming a right old scramble, which means they must win games against the likes of Accrington, who happen to be struggling this season after reaching the play-offs last time.

Defeat against Hartlepool merely makes Tisdale all the more wary of facing, as he puts it, "one of the most knowledgeable and effective managers" in League Two. Coleman has cajoled his charges to three away draws on the trot, scoring plenty through the likes of Shay McCartan and Billy Kee.

However, Exeter's need to kick on, with a few teams just below them looking to sneak into the top seven, is more pressing. One win and three draws from their last six needs to be improved.

Recommended Bet
Back Exeter City @ 2.166/5

Wycombe 2.68/5 v Blackpool 3.02/1; the draw 3.412/5

Have Wycombe truly come out of their post FA Cup coma by winning at Grimsby and the 2-2 draw at Accrington just before that?

They had huge doses of luck against the Mariners, scoring through not only an own goal but one scored by Paris Cowan-Hall when their opponents were attending to a stricken colleague and the referee didn't notice or blow the whistle. Gareth Ainsworth acknowledged the fortune involved.

Have the Chairboys really turned a corner, especially by finding someone other than Adebayo Akinfenwa to score? Opta point out that he has scored five of the last six goals by Wycombe players in League Two.

Blackpool, on the whole, seem to be in a better place. They have won their last two games by scoring three times in each, even away at Plymouth, plus scored two each in their previous three games, all draws. And let's not forget that they also won 4-1 at Carlisle. Gary Bowyer's team are in finer fettle it seems.

Wycombe might be keen to regain their place above the Tangerines but I can see Mark Cullen, Brad Potts and co pushing harder to force a victory as they try to turn their momentum into a top seven spot.

Recommended Bet
Back Blackpool @ 3.02/1

Notts County 2.0421/20 v Hartlepool 4.03/1; the draw 3.7511/4

There hasn't been much for Hartlepool fans to shout about away from home recently - five straight defeats.

But could the messages Dave Jones is getting into them finally be paying off? Certainly their home form suggests so, with their last two games reaping seven goals and seeing one go against.

Hartlepool have dropped a League Two high 24 points from winning positions this season, say Opta, something that will concern their still relatively new boss. It is interesting that he has recalled midfielder Nicky Deverics from his loan at Dover, a left-footer who replaces Sean Kavanagh, who has been forced back to Fulham through injury.

Alongside him in midfield is Lewis Alessandra. It has been stated that he has taken the pressure off the strikers with four goals in two games - but then he used to be a forward and should know how to score!

Under Jones, Hartlepool haven't won away in four attempts. They would love to put the thought of relegation to bed before the fans enjoy their final away game, as usual, with a fancy dress themed day.

Notts County will not be easy to crack, with Jon Stead scoring 13 times in 29 league games, twice more than in 43 last season, add Opta.

Kevin Nolan's side lost heavily to Stevenage last time, but have bounced back from both of their previous setbacks under their own new boss. This game will be a lot more intense as third bottom plays fourth bottom. And with both sides having a slight cushion to the relegation zone the price looks short on a home win.

Recommended Bet
Lay Notts County @ 2.0421/20

Morecambe 2.77/4 v Yeovil 2.915/8; the draw 3.412/5

It will be no surprise to anyone that Kevin Ellison has scored frequently for Morecambe. Opta state that he has scored three out of the Shrimps last four goals at home. Which is a good starter statistic but doesn't quite give overall context.

That is, in fact, just four of their last 13 goals, with Paul Mullin (3) and Lee Molyneux (2) among the others chipping in. Wing wizard Ellison actually hasn't scored in their last six games (played five), during which time they notched two wins and two draws.

Jim Bentley wants them to make the most of this home game and Tuesday's match with Newport (who sacked Graham Westley this week, having allowed him to bring in 12 new players in January).

Morecambe rarely concede more than one goal a game (an exception being their 3-1 defeat at newly-in-form Blackpool last weekend) while Yeovil struggle to score more than once per game. Or at all, recently. They have not scored in four games, netted one each in the three matches before that.

Opta might point out at the Artur Krysiak's 11 clean sheets are second only in League Two to Portsmouth's David Forde (15). However, the Glovers still have a -11 goal difference (Portsmouth's is +20). Which points to two things: when Darren Way's men concede, they concede big, or they lack goals. Or a bit of both. They have scored 33 goals - but failed to score in 14 games. Only seven times have they scored more than once in a game. Midfielder Otis Khan (5) shares top scorer billing with Francois Zoko (5).

This is the perfect chance for the hosts to improve their home form.

Recommended Bet
Back Morecambe @ 2.77/4

P/L 2016-17


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