League Two Betting: Accrington to dent Derry's home debut

Ted Baker fashion is in vogue with Paul Tisdale whose side have to pull their socks up at Plymouth but could gain a result
Ted Baker fashion is in vogue with Paul Tisdale whose side have to pull their socks up at Plymouth but could gain a result

The new Cambridge manager might find his introduction to the Abbey Stadium a muted one, believes Ian Lamont, who thinks that the Devon derby might not go to plan for hosts Plymouth, Exeter having learnt from a Football League Trophy defeat...

"Opta offer a lot of positivity about Plymouth, which in addition to Derek Adams talking about offering new contracts to Jake Jervis, Reuben Reid and Graham Carey is cause to look for reasons to oppose the hosts."

Cambridge 3.412/5 v Accrington 2.3411/8; the draw 3.56

Just how long does it take for the new manager, new broom factor to kick in? It used to be the case that a new manager was pretty much guaranteed to win his first game in charge, much to the chagrin of the layers in odds markets.

However, this season it did not prove the case at Newport, indicating that it was not just the appointment of Terry Butcher which heralded Newport's demise after the departure first of Justin Edinburgh mid-season (poached by Gillingham) and in the summer the exit of Jimmy Dack (now at Crawley Town). Perhaps Dack saw that the club was in decline.

Cambridge seem to be in a similar position to a post-Edinburgh Newport, having ejected Richard Money. Are they in decline or can the slump be arrested? Shaun Derry is eager to bring young players through, something Money had to do because of injuries.

Harrison Dunk believes there were some positives to take from the defeat against Oxford (simply that the U's were far better so Cambridge stood hardly a chance?) and they will not find Derry's home debut any easier against another high-flying side.

Accrington have long since stopped worried about defying gravity and, with Josh Windass ignoring his father Dean's advice to agitate for a move away, Stanley have as strong a chance as anyone of gaining promotion this season.

The striker would be doing John Coleman's men a favour if he signed a long-term contract (which they rarely offer) as he is hot property with eight league goals this season and could be sold for good money, rather than letting his contract run out next summer.

With Piero Mingoia having an Indian sign over the U's with three of Accrington's four goals against them last season, Opta remind us, plus Billy Kee being involved in more goals than any other League Two player (12 - six goals and six assists) Derry has much to think about in his Abbey Stadium debut. The visitors have also won four from their last five away. Derry might have to wait a little longer for a first win

Recommended Bet
Back Accrington @ 2.3411/8

Mansfield 1.910/11 v Hartlepool 5.04/1; the draw 3.7511/4

Mansfield have a decent home record and an even better away one (five wins) which is keeping them in the top seven.

Manager Adam Murray finds himself in the Louis Van Gaal/Sir Alex Ferguson role of having to defend his main striker - read Matt Green for Wayne Rooney - who is going through a barren patch having not scored in eight matches.

"We need to keep his confidence up," sounds like confidence isn't up, which it really wouldn't be after the Stags have failed to score in five league and FA Cup games (including the replay defeat to Oldham from League One on Tuesday).

Green and Mansfield might be due a turnaround in fortunes, or this might be the noise of screeching tyres and wheels coming off. Either way, with four home draws and two home wins they are hardly an odds-on shot. There seems to be a bit of jetlag in the price.

It could be argued - and not without some justification - that they are playing a Hartlepool side which has hardly set the division alight this season. In fact, how official match observers managed to mark them down as having any sorts of attempts on goal at AFC Wimbledon three weeks ago is beyond the comprehension of this viewer.

Since then, however, Ronnie Moore - not a new manager but an older, wiser one who is used to turning around the fortunes of strugglers - has brought in several new faces who have given the Pools a serious lift.

A sufficient lift in fact to defeat Leyton Orient, prompting the O's owner to put his team up in a hotel and only let them see their families during their "free time" during the day. Drastic, even for football teams!

Hartlepool's recruits who have started with a bang include Crystal Palace winger Jake Gray who scored twice on his debut. Middlesbrough's defender Adam Jackson, Sunderland's Michael Mandron and Portsmouth's Kal Naismith, an excellent performer for Accrington last season, make practically half a new team. Carl Magnay's return also seems to have galvanised them, says Moore.

Moore gained the Pools' manager's job last December after the second manager of last season, Paul Murray, was sacked after a run of poor results culminating in a televised FA Cup defeat to Blyth Spartans.

Those loanees might just have been an inspired selection by Moore as he approaches the first anniversary of his appointment knowing he probably wouldn't survive if they suffered the same Friday night FA Cup humiliation at Salford City in a fortnight. It might be just the time for the visitors to reverse what Opta point out is a trend of having rarely kept a clean sheet (1) in their last 12 away league games.

Recommended Bet
Back Hartlepool @ 5.04/1

Plymouth 1.855/6 v Exeter 5.04/1; the draw 3.9

Plymouth, indicate the stats men, having plenty of reasons to be cheerful facing Exeter. Opta point out that the Grecians have lost their last three against the Pilgrims (including in the Football League Trophy) and Plymouth have made their best ever start to a league season after 17 games, with 38 points, plus have won seven of their last eight and the last three, which is the longest run in the division at present.

Reuben Reid, they add, has scored five goals in the last three league meetings. All this positivity - plus Derek Adams talking about offering new contracts to Jake Jervis, Reid and Graham Carey, probably the League Two star of the season so far, is cause to look for reasons to oppose the hosts. Reid is one. He has been out with a hip injury and remains a doubt, so even if he does return he might be off the pace.

Keeper Luke McCormick also remains a doubt, which might give James Bittner's heart-warming fairytale of waiting 19 years for a Football League full debut the chance to turn into two consecutive starts!

So what of Exeter? Midfielder Arron Davies says Plymouth have their weaknesses and must be brave and get on the ball, having learnt from the Football League Trophy defeat.

The best dressed manager in the Football League, Paul Tisdale will probably put on his Ted Baker thinking cap and see how he can conjure something from two wins in nine games.

Christian Ribeiro, Lee Holmes, captain Matt Oakley and Craig Woodman could all be back in contention for the visitors, who have Clinton Morrison, 36, still ageing gracefully up front with Tom Nichols, 22, perhaps his younger foil.

Recommended Bet
Lay Plymouth @ 1.855/6

Newport 2.26/5 v Yeovil 3.613/5; the draw 3.613/5

After taking three games to notch a first victory, John Sheridan seems to be steering Newport in a decent direction. Opta have it that they have scored the fewest goals of any team with 17 (level with Dagenham) which they have actually turned around in their last four league games, notching a total of 10 goals, Scott Boden two of them and Zak Ansah, on loan from Charlton, three.

They also scored four against less quality opposition in Brackley in their FA Cup replay.

The visit by Yeovil gives them a chance of a first home win this season because their opponents tend to concede more than they score, having lost two of their last three matches 3-2 (and drawn the other 2-2).

Over 3.5 goals at 4.03/1?

Seems a gift.

Recommended Bets
Back Newport @ 2.26/5
Back over 3.5 goals @ 4.03/1

*You can read more League Two tips as well as Alan Dudman's thoughts on the week's League One action by visiting our dedicated English Football League section here on Betting.Betfair.

P/L 2015-16


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