A view from the Cold End . Will Aldershot be Shot down ?
The battle to beat the drop from the football league is shaping up to be one of the most exciting ever with possibly up to ten teams involved from fifteenth placed Wycombe Wanderers still not entirely safe from the threat of relegation. One more win in their last seven games will probably see The Chairboys preserve their status as one of the elite professional teams they have enjoyed for two decades.
The same situation of just one more victory will just about be enough goes for Dagenham and Redbridge (16th), Rochdale (17th) and AFC Wimbledon (18th) with, in my opinion, any two of the teams from Torquay United in 19th place downwards who will eventually finish in the bottom two.
It’s no surprise to see that the current bottom side Aldershot Town have managed the lowest average shots per game (7.69) and also the lowest amount of goals scored (only 36 in 40 games). It’s fair to say “The Shots” themselves really haven’t been on target all season.
Compare this to the five teams who have scored 60+ goals whom are all in the top seven of the table and it’s easy to see why Andy Scott’s team are really struggling.
I’m a great advocate of current form so we’ll look at that from Torquay downwards over the last six league games.
Looking at the above it does look as if Aldershot may have too much to do in order to beat the drop. They have had ten less shots on target than any other team and also have only two wins in ten games. They will have to hit the form Plymouth Argyle have recently shown as they have only two defeats in their last ten games against Gillingham (looking for automatic promotion) and comfortably in mid-table Oxford United.
York City haven’t won for sixteen league games and have hit the back of the net only three times in their last six games. Their next two home games versus Plymouth Argyle and Accrington Stanley look massive. Win one of these and they have a chance but two defeats and they look doomed. You have to say on form in respect of wins and goals scored that Plymouth look a good bet at 11/5 to win on Monday at York.
Another massive game on Monday is Barnet’s trip to AFC Wimbledon with Edgar David’s side also have a huge game at Toquay United on the 13th April. A win for The Bees at Plainmoor could pull The Gulls back towards the bottom two.
What will worry fans of the teams who eventually drop out of the football league is that the Conference league is now a highly competitive one. Just ask fans of Lincoln City and Stockport County who were relegated at the end of 2011/12 and are now in a real fight to save themselves from a second relegation in three seasons.
Since the advent of two up/two down the number of points needed to stay up in 22nd place have fluctuated between the lowest at 37 (06/07) and highest at 50 (05/06). The average has been 44.2 which indicates teams this season will be needing to finish at the top end of that spectrum. Will 50 points even be enough?
To attain 50 points Aldershot will have to up their point per game average from the season long 1.03 to at least 1.5. Over their past six games it has stood at 0.67 so it looks as if after only five seasons in the football league they will return to the Conference.
Back Plymouth at + 0.25 on the asian handicap at 1.9 .
Plymouth lose- bet loses. Draw- half win. Plymouth win- bet wins.