Harrison’s Half Hour

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Tony Hancock

Tony Hancock

And so, with all the enthusiasm and anticipation you’d normally reserve for a Monday morning drive around the circumference of the M25 in a Austin Allegro, we return to League Two action this weekend. For now, it appears we must do the dirty on the mighty Maidstone United and see someone behind their backs – Cheltenham Town, to be precise. If anyone from the Stones calls, tell ’em it wasn’t them – it was us. Or the fixture computer “made us do it”. We’re sure you’ll think of something.

In recent weeks, we’ve spent a good few minutes at around 3.12pm on a Saturday afternoon trying to work out if Boro’ are moving around the pitch in a 4-5-1, 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2 formation. Last time out, we thought we’d ask if we could take on Maidstone with a couple of lads up front. This week, we’re a reformed beast – but only in that we’d like a bit more in the way of attacking threat. It’s fun to win games without a legitimate shot on target, but it’s also fun to make their keeper work for his wage.

Our illustrious opponents this weekend – once described as the “best Football League team from Cheltenham” – have lost two on the spin in the league, but have the benefit of coming into this game off the back of a 5-0 FA Cup win over Swindon Town. We’re unbeaten in two in the league. If you put all these facts into a mixing bowl with an ounce of sugar, what have you got? An ounce of sugar and some conceptual rubbish about how the formbook reckons this or that. We don’t recommend it on that basis.

Byron Harrison – remember him? Third only to Peter Vincenti and Robin Shroot in the substitute-appearances-as a percentage-of-total-appearances stakes, he’s a lad with an eye for goal. He bagged a hattrick last week and probably thinks he has something to prove on his return this weekend. If there are a thousand things that gets on BoroGuide’s wick, one of them is former players coming back to haunt us. It, helpfully, isn’t as reliable a phenomenon as ending your losing streak away at Spurs, however.

For those that care, we recently started a Career Mode on FIFA 15. And we made a decent start to the season, getting to the point that we were walloping Burton Albion by six of the best. Our next game was at home to Cheltenham, and we lost despite taking a seventh-minute lead. It’s very much the yin and the yang of it, and we won’t take it personally if you refuse to base this weekend’s hopes and fears on our inability to master the slide tackle function. And our stubbornness in remaining 4-3-3 for the whole game.

4-3-3. Imagine that.

If you’re looking to donate some money this weekend and don’t fancy the charitable route, the bookies have us down as favourites at the time of writing – but it’s a close-run thing. Will Hill offers up 6/4, with 11/5 the best on offer for an away win at the moment. Given the Robins’ form over the last 10 games, that’s far too short in our opinion. The interesting thing is that we’re seeing a fair few goals at the Lamex, so Over 2.5 might well be a consideration at 23/20 (BetVictor).

If you’ve made it this far, well done. We here at BoroGuide appreciate that your time is precious and, by the very nature of this world, finite. And we absolutely don’t want to take up any more of your time this weekend – although if you’re reading this at 11am on a Friday and still contemplating work, then we’re unable to help. Can we sum up all our thoughts on this weekend’s likely action in a word? No. Can we do it in a sound? Hmmwmwwaaarrh. And with that, it’s time to get Cheltenham Town out of the way so we can return to what we do best – playing Maidstone United.

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