Maldon & Tiptree v Newport County: FA Cup music stops here for Jammers
Experienced FA Cup campaigners such as Padraig Amond should be able to see off Maldon, says Ian Lamont, as Newport chase the limelight for the third year running...
Maldon & Tiptree v Newport County Friday November 29, 19:55 Live on BBC1
Maldon full of confidence
How confident can Maldon & Tiptree be about pulling off another FA Cup shock, in front of the live BBC cameras?
The Jammers will be brimming with confidence for lots of reasons.
Firstly, they won at Leyton Orient in the last round, but chairman Ed Garty recognises Newport are a step up from the east Londoners.
Secondly, it seems remarkable that the Essex club have lost only one league game this season. But then they have only played nine times (such is their cup prowess) in the Isthmian North Division, the eighth tier of English football. This is fewer than the 13 games that teams have played in the slow-moving, over hyped Premier League.
In fact the only time Wayne Brown's men have lost a serious game this season was in the FA Trophy, when a much-changed team lost 4-3 to Enfield Town.
Their opposition will have to use every sinew of their experience and intelligence to win, but they already have that taste of the FA Cup third round - and beyond - that so inspires the lower ranked teams in this competition.
The Exiles have reached the fourth round - not just the third - in the past two years, beating Leeds, Leicester and Middlesbrough. Just as importantly, they won at Met Police and Wrexham last year - non-league teams with nothing to lose.
So Micky Flynn's men have everything to lose? Well, yes and no. They might be going for promotion as the priority - and the cup runs have helped fund that with a £2 million bonus - but postponing one game for the FA Cup third round, if they can get there again, is just a free hit. Why wouldn't you go there? Flynn himself says he loves the cup and wants to go as far as he can.
Visitors have so much FA Cup experience
As much as the hosts have the enthusiasm and confidence at their own level, the visitors will want to not only avoid a banana skin but the draw, too. If they can beat Swindon away, they should be able to come away from Maldon comfortable winners.
Unfortunately for them it doesn't work like that in the FA Cup, but as Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt will tell you, they have experience in seeing off non-league teams in the FA Cup. They did so last year, 2-0 at Met Police. There is also a big gulf between the Isthmian League and League Two, as semi-struggling Carlisle proved at Dulwich.
The Jammers are rightly double figure odds to win, about 12.00, and this is likely to be too big a stretch for Danny Parish and Jorome Slew, who scored in the last round, to bridge, even if the pair have 19 and 24 goals each this season. For the draw, priced 6.80, they would probably have to stay goalless, but matching Wrexham's effort in the Second Round seems a tall order against opponents experienced in this competition.
Newport should have a few goals in them
Therefore, with the odds on an away win very short at 1.35, we have to look to the goals markets, or the actual score market, for decent bets.
Correct scoreis always a lottery, perhaps to be backed and cashed out if going well. Nil-nil, for example, is 20.00. Were Slew, Parish or even Charlee Hughes, who has 22 goals this season, to opening the scoring early, it would more likely open the game up than lock it down.
Newport have the nouse, from Amond and Matt to Joss Ladabie in particular and Josh Sheenan, to create chances and open up their opponents.
The Exiles have been a bit jittery of late though, with fans on their backs after three straight defeats and falling to 11th in League Two. Scot Bennett said after last weekend's defeat to Oldham he understood their frustrations. Flynn knows he and his team are on a hiding to nothing. He will also be aware that Carlisle's manager Steve Pressley was fired even after they saw off Dulwich on the BBC in the First Round.
Tight 1-0 and 2-0 away wins are the shortest prices at about 7.00. 3-0 is only 11.00. Going for a bit of adventure at 3-1 and allowing Maldon that goal their fans will crave is priced 15.00.
The layers make over 2.5 goals a supposed no-brainer at 1.84, but over 3.5 goals much bigger at 3.20. A 2-1 or a 3-0 win for the visitors seems about right.
Ladabie interesting to score first, but Amond beats them all
Available over on Sportsbook's first goalscorer market, Amond is the most obvious choice at 3.75, particularly as he has two already in this year's competition, adding to last year's five. Matt and Tristan Abrahams are a shade bigger price.
Slew is 12.00 while Ladabie is interesting at 13.00, but I'm going to stick with Amond to wend his way past the likes of Kojo Awotwi and Rob Girdlestone.
Chairman Garty says he wants the players to forget about the cameras and just play their football. They will have excellent memories of their season in the FA Cup sun, but their cup record making stops here for the Jammers.