Stags look to be heading  into the second round

SOMETIMES you have to delve a bit deeper than just looking at the scoreline, especially at FA Cup time.

It's all about the first-round replays this week and a little bit of research into the first set of games is crucial.

For example, Slough get a second chance against Mansfield following a 0-0 draw up in the Notts coalfields - but the Stags look a massive bet in the return.

The first game was an absolute bombardment from the Blue Square boys and with just a couple of strokes of good fortune they'd have beaten Slough at a canter.

And another thing. Slough are only mid-division in the Southern Premier League central division - that's three rungs under where Mansfield appear - despite having played nine of their 11 league games at home so far. Home, incidentally, is leafy Beaconsfield rather than the industrial estate that is Slough, so it's unlikely that the Stag lads are going to be overly intimidated by their surroundings.

Anyway, I'm on the visitors, who look a top bet.

In a similar vein, Luton did their best to knock the Nuneaton house down at the first time of asking but resolute defending from Borough ensured a second go at the Hatters.

Even though they've got them back to their place, class should tell and Luton at a shade of odds-on is the shout.

Match in Focus

18:30 TODAY SS3

Sp. Gijon v Espanyol

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Sporting Gijon have picked up just six points from a possible 51 against top-half teams this season
Expert verdict
Sporting Gijon's 2-2 draw at bottom club Osasuna did little to boost their survival chances in La Liga so they desperately need a home win over Espanyol. Gijon conceded a last-minute goal in the 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid in their last game on their own patch and their defensive vulnerability could cost them against an Espanyol side who have won 12 of 16 matches against teams in the bottom half.

 

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