On a typical Saturday afternoon, people all across the country flock to see their local team do battle in one of Britain's many leagues. Non-League football is particularly well attended and in an attempt to shed a bit more light on the game at a more grassroots level, non-league football expert Danny Archer provides us with a betting preview of two big non-league matches this weekend...
Bostik League - Kingstonian vs Tonbridge Angels
Kingstonian - 6/5
Tonbridge Angels - 29/20
Draw - 12/5
Kingstonian - This is the match of the weekend in the Bostik League as the mighty Ks have the opportunity to go second in the table behind big spenders Billericay, with the red and white hoops ironically the only team to beat Glenn Tamplin's men this season. Kingstonian have won four of their last five games in the League, with Craig Edwards' side unbeaten in their last two matches. A facile 6-0 victory over Harlow Town last weekend indicated a team who after much chopping and changing, were finally gelling as a unit, with superb and honest manager Edwards finding the perfect team dynamic.
That win was accentuated by a stirring 2-1 comeback success against bottom of the table Worthing on Tuesday night, with Ks producing a spirited second half display to turn the game on its head courtesy of two goals in three minutes from strikers Tom Derry and new signing Noel Mbo, who joins the South Londoners on a month loan deal from Gillingham. The addition of imposing centre-half Claudio Vilicu, classy defender Paul Rodgers, forward Tom Collins and the excellent form of Ks captain Lewis Taylor and long-term Ks men Sam Page and Rob Tolfrey, led Edwards to comment this week: "We're ok at the moment, but we're going to get a lot better." Along with Assistant Manager Kevin "Rambo" Ramsey, Edwards has worked hard to dispel Ks' defensive frailties, while remaining a constant threat going forward, something evident on Tuesday night, with the spirit, heart and belief in the team increasingly evident.
With further additions made to the squad this week and home advantage (if you can call their ground sharing agreement with Leatherhead that), Ks deservedly start as the bookies' favourites and with hard working midfielders Alec Fiddes, Kane Haysman and Manolis Gogonas, probably Ks' best player of the season, the 'super hoops' should give their opponents plenty to think about as a side who have really started to gel this month. Interestingly, Ks beat Tonbridge 1-0 away from home last year but suffered a 3-0 loss to the same side at Kingsmeadow; tomorrow's game should be a humdinger.
Tonbridge Angels - Ks' opponents do have a shaky away record so far this season. They have taken 4 points from 15 so far on the road but this game has added spice due Tonbridge are 10th in the table with their potent strike-force a real threat. Their forward line is spreaheaded by two former Ks players, talented striker Andre McCollin and dangerous winger Joe Turner, who looks sure to receive a frosty reception at Fetcham Grove following his decision to leave the club before the start of this season.
Tonbridge are managed by another former Ks man Steve McKimm and he has manufactured a side who regularly challenge for promotion from the Bostik League. Powerful forward Nathan Elder will offer a real aerial presence for the visitors and they will provide a stern test to the home side. However, their dismal away form has to be a slight worry despite McKimm's side taking seven points from their last three games, which included 1-0 and 2-0 victories over Burgess Hill and Dorking Wanderers respectively.
This is the start of quite a pivotal run for Tonbridge who have four of their next six matches at home, so they will be looking for a positive result to end the month, ahead of what could be a pertinent October.
Archer's Verdict - This should be a cracking game and with both sides boasting powerful forward lines, goals should not be at a premium. I've been impressed with Kingstonian in their last two games and with a lively home crowd behind them, I fancy Ks to come out on top in this one.
Kingstonian to win - 6/5 Unibet
Kingstonian or Draw - 21/50
Both Teams To Score - 1/2
Over 2.5 Goals - 4/7
Vanarama National League - Wrexham vs Sutton United
Wrexham - 31/20
Sutton United - 13/8
Wrexham - The Welsh outfit are unbeaten in seven games in the National League and were 1-0 victors away to Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park. That was a fine victory by Dean Keates' side and The Dragons have been grinding out results at home and away in recent times. They are one of the league's lowest scorers with just 10 goals, but they have also got the best defence in the league, leaking just 6 goals so far this term.
Their home form is excellent and whilst they have tended to be quite goal-shy Ntumba Massanka and Alex Reid have scored 3 goals apiece for Keates' team in their 12 league matches and they know they have the opportunity to potentially reach the National League summit with victory.
Sutton - Probably the match of the weekend in the Conference as table toppers Sutton United face Welsh side Wrexham, with just a point separating the two sides coming into this one. Paul Doswell's side famously lost 2-0 to Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup last year and have started the season very brightly ahead of this trip to the Racecourse Ground. They are the only Conference side to win seven games from their 12 matches this term, but have interestingly also lost four matches.
A superb 2-1 away victory to Dagenham & Redbridge and a 3-2 win over Barrow at Gander Green Lane last Saturday was sandwiched by a disappointing 2-0 defeat by a rejuvenated Woking side and Doswell's side have leaked goals at the back which is a slight worry for their supporters, 15 already this term. A talented forward line is headed by Craig Eastmond (misses this one through suspension), Josh Taylor, Moses Emmanuel and Ross Lafayette but Tommy Wright and Craig Dundas, who started last week's win over Barrow on the bench are the U's top scorers with three and two goals apiece.
This looks sure to be an entertaining encounter and Sutton will have to defend much better against a dangerous Wrexham side.
Archer's Verdict - I think this could be a low scoring encounter given Wrexham's solid defensive record and limited prowess in front of goal recently. Sutton will be keen to maintain their position at the top of the table but this could prove a tough encounter for the South London side.
Wrexham or Draw - 11/25 Unibet
Under 2.5 Goals - 8/13
Both Teams To Score No - 4/5
Win Double - £30 Returns £61.78 with Unibet
Kingstonian or Draw
Wrexham or Draw
Words by:Danny Archer