The Town are short priced favourites this weekend
Wootten Bassett Town, Basingstoke Town, Bury Town and Plymouth Argyle have all fallen by the way side but the Hatters will be aiming to stop Dorchester’s charge to the FA Cup third round with victory at Kenilworth Road on Saturday.
As we’ve come to expect the Town are favourites on home turf – as short as 2/5 with Blue Square – but this season that hasn’t always meant the Hatters have come out on the top. Paul Buckle’s men have won just 40 per cent of home games in all competitions this season.
Dorchester showed the Hatters just how resilient they can be having twice come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw in Tuesday’s FA Trophy meeting between the sides. Charlie Clough’s injury-time equaliser ensured both clubs will meet for a third time in succession next week.
The Magpies have reserved their best performances this season for games at their Avenue Stadium home with all four of their FA Cup victories coming in front of their own supporters. In the Blue Square Bet South, Phil Simkin’s side have won just twice on the road – although they were victorious in their last league fixture, winning 2-1 at Maidenhead United.
Whilst the Town fielded a strong side down at the Avenue on Tuesday, and were unlucky not to have got the job done considering the amount of chances created, in comparison, Dorchester rested their most influential player, 31-year-old Ashley Nicholls, who is a calming influence in the centre of the Magpies’ midfield.
The last time Simkin rested his star man they lost in the league to Tonbridge Angels but he took the defeat on the chin as a refreshed Nicholls starred as Plymouth were beaten in Magpies’ next fixture to set-up Saturday’s second round showdown.
The Town haven’t made it through to the third round for three years – since a January 2010 trip to then League 1 Southampton.
In the past two seasons the Hatters have come unstuck at the second round, losing to Cheltenham last term and against Charlton after a replay the year before, having been unlucky not to win in the first game at the Valley in front of almost 3,000 travelling fans.
Both sides will fancy their chances at Kenilworth Road. That’s what the FA Cup is all about. It’s a one-off. He who dares.
For those in Dorchester that dare to dream, it’s a 6/1 shot that Dorset’s county town will be in the hat among England’s elite clubs for the third round. Having already endured to trips down to the Avenue the last thing the Town will want is a replay. 100/30’s your price with Blue Square if you fancy that.
For one side the road to Wembley will continue. But to continue how far? All the way? It’s a 3,000/1 chance that Ronnie Henry lifts the Cup aloft at Wembley in May. It’s 20,000/1 for it to be Dorchester. Okay, time to wake up now...
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Luton to win both halves versus Dorchester 2/1
AFC Wimbledon to beat MK Dons 7/1
Our tipster is showing a +£111.93 profit (to a £10 level stake) on his selections this season, including a 12/5 tip last week on Welling to beat Newport in the FA Trophy.