Slough Town v Rochdale
Monday December 4th, kick off 19:45
Live on BT Sport 1
The latest televised FA Cup second round clash rolls into town on Monday night, and Slough will sense a chance given the performances of the non-league teams from the previous three days.
League One leaders Wigan Athletic were held 1-1 at AFC Fylde on Friday night, whilst Oxford City gave League Two's Notts County a massive scare at Meadow Lane in a 3-2 victory for Kevin Nolan's men. The winner for the Magpies came on 95 minutes.
Slough's fellow Evo Stik South Premier side Hereford also held Fleetwood to a 1-1 on Saturday. So there is hope for the Rebels - who sit 6th in the table with plenty of games in hand over the league leaders Kings Lynn Town.
Their FA Cup run that started back in September includes victories against Berkhamsted, Dulwich Hamlet, Poole Town, Folkestone Invicta and Gainsborough Trinity. They have never reached the third round of this competition in their 127-year history.
Rochdale manager Keith Hill recently celebrated his 500th game in charge of the club with a 2-0 victory against Peterborough, but they are having a difficult season towards the lower reaches of League One. This is in contrast to the previous campaign, as the Dale are usually buzzing around the play off places - although they never seem quite good enough. Nevertheless, Hill is a marvel with the job he has done, as the Spotland club would have one of the smallest budgets in the division.
They have faced non-league opposition four times in the past four seasons in the FA Cup - progressing in each round according to Opta, which included a 4-0 drubbing of National League side Bromley in the previous round.
Slough are managed by joint-team Jon Underwood and Neil Baker, and their goalkeeping coach is Trent Phillips - who used to play for Egham Town. I scored at that ground against Egham reserves for Edgware Town reserves many years ago. Not sure if it was against him though - it was about 20 years ago!
Oppose Dale at a short price
Nostalgia aside, the layers will be out to get Rochdale this Monday at 1.4740/85 considering that they collected on Friday with Wigan. And there's the 3G surface too.
On League One form there is most certainly a case to take them on with an away record of W0 D5 L5, but the 4-0 victory against Bromley (who play in a stronger division than Slough) highlights the potential class difference.
Dale were last seen in league action on the 25th November with a 2-0 win against Peterborough. The Posh press described the vanquished as producing one of their worst displays of the season. However, Hill made a brave tactical switch to counter their opponents and it worked. Previously they lost to Charlton at the Valley, but Rochdale were unlucky there; as they could have gone two or three nil up.
Slough may be plying their trade in the seventh tier, but they are heading for a chance of promotion the way their season is going. In a division that contains the likes of Kettering and Hereford, Slough are the league's highest scorers with 48 goals (and have conceded just 17).
And we come back to the 3G pitch at Arbour Park.
A price of 5.95/1 for the home team to win is shorter than Fylde's odds from Friday. However, that was down to Wigan being the best team in League One at the moment.
Considering the Fleetwood and Wigan results both ended 1-1, the Draw might be under a bit of pressure here at 4.2016/5.
Slough scoring for fun
The hosts score plenty, and Hill will be wary of that despite their seventh tier status. Obviously hitting eight against Dunstable in the league is a long way away from facing a League One team, but Slough have been blowing opponents away this term. Aside from the 8-1, there have been two 5-1 victories against Gosport and a 5-4 against Merthyr. Their 6-0 away win in the previous round at Gainsborough was at that stage, their 17th victory from 21, with a goal tally of 59.
Slough's Over 2.5 record in the league is an impressive 13/16, although Rochdale do not fare as well with a ledger of nine hitting the target in the third tier.
Dale are yet to win away in League One, and have conceded more than they have scored on their travels - which is never a good sign. Slough have kept six clean sheets this term.
The Over 2.5 price of 4/6 on the Sportsbook looks too skinny, however.
Heading to the Sportsbook here, one name that could make for a bet is Rochdale's Ian Henderson. He scored twice against Bromley in the 4-0 cup win earlier in the season, and he's also taken penalties this term. He is the chief architect for the team and has netted seven in 20 appearances thus far. He is worth a look at 9/2, with an Anytime Scorer price of 13/10.
If Rochdale find their scoring boots here, the To Score A Hat Trick price of 30/1 for Henderson is a lot more fancy.
Hill has used Calvin Andrew in a position to hold up the play as he has a nice first touch, but isn't a prolific scorer.
The opposition possess a few dangerous players here; with the likes of last term's leading scorer James Dobson, and 24-year-old attacking midfielder Matthew Lench. Forward Chris Flood has 13 goals this term and has a fair bit of experience.
Lay Rochdale 0.5pt @ 1.454/9 or shorter
Back Ian Henderson as First Goalscorer 0.5pt @ 9/2 on Sportsbook