Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughConference Heavyweights Slug It Out In First Round of the Cup - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Conference Heavyweights Slug It Out In First Round of the Cup - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Conference Heavyweights Slug It Out In First Round of the Cup


Football – England – FA Cup 1st Round

Friday 11th November 2011 – Kickoff:  1945hrs

Friday night sees the commencement of this year’s FA Cup 1st round proper with every participating team no doubt hoping to reach at least the third round when the big guns join the competition and the minnows receive a welcome financial windfall.

First match I’ll be covering this year is an all-Conference affair between two sides vying for automatic promotion back up to the Football League and with just two places and four points separating them, this should be a tasty match in store for the neutral.

Cambridge United must be wondering what they have to do to get a decent tie so they can progress a couple of rounds – last season they drew with Huddersfield Town at the Abbey Stadium but then lost at the Galpharm in the replay. This season they draw Conference leaders Wrexham who have become a very tough nut to crack in recent weeks.

Cambridge United progressed to the 1st round this year via a storming 6-2 win at fellow Conference side Hayes & Yeading, and the U’s will be looking to transfer their current league form going into this cup tie.

Cambridge’s league home record stands at  6-2-1  16/6, and are currently on a seven match unbeaten run in all competitions. The midfield and forwards are linking well together at the moment with leading scorer Harrison Dunk (6 goals, 1 assist) being assisted by midfielders Ashley Carew (5 goals, 7 assists), Luke Berry 9 4 goals, 1 assist), Tom Shaw (3 goals, 1 assist) and striker Michael Gash (4 goals, 5 assists) proving he can create as well as score. Left-back/wing-back James Jennings has also chipped in with 3 assists.

Top of the league Wrexham will be heading into this match full of confidence following an eight match unbeaten run in all competitions including a 2-1 win over Conference counterparts and in-form York City in the previous round.

The Dragons are also unbeaten in their last six matches away from home which has seen them consolidate their position at the summit and have gone from strength to strength following former manager Dean Saunders’ departure.

Their league away record stands at  7-2-1  19/7, and have recorded impressive victories at Gateshead 4-1 (when the north-east club were in the top five) and Luton Town 1-0. Their teamwork and spirit in the squad is there for all to see and is reflected in the sort of results they’re putting together which may not have been the case last season.

Forward Jake Speight (7 goals, 4 assists) leads the way, but has been helped out by contributions from Andy Morrell ( 5 goals, 2 assists), Mathias Pogba (4 goals, 1 assist), with assists coming mainly from Curtis Obeng (4 assists). However, no fewer than 11 different players have provided an assist so far this season so attacking threats are in every position on the field.

Head-to head in the last four meetings has seen Wrexham hold the upper hand as they’ve been unbeaten with results of 1-1, 3-1, 1-0 and 2-2.

However, this is the FA Cup and the form guide usually takes a breather during each round so I’ll back that both teams will score with the respective attacking personnel at their disposal. Also, factor in that both teams will be prioritising their league campaigns and won’t want to go to a replay if they can help it and add to their fixture list. I’ll go for a 1-1 draw however as I can’t decide a winner!

Pick:  Both teams to score @ 1.61 bet365

David Parsons

Follow my other sports betting tips on the new iPhone app called Armchair Punter.

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