TODAY sees a much more tempting card after a fairly spartan week and there's a fair bit to go at – I've had a good look through and can't help being drawn back to this Northern FA Cup qualifying game…
GATESHEAD VS. COLNE (3.00pm)
Growing up in North Manchester, we'd sometimes need a break from the soot, rain and guns so would go for a bit of a mission into the various outlying Pennine towns to the north of the city.
The names are forever etched in the memory alongside a cold and constant grey drizzle; Blackburn, Bacup, Burnley, Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom, Rossendale, Clitheroe and Colne.
Ah, Colne – a town nestled in the shadow of the infamous Pendle Hill and best described as like being in a Hovis advert but with drugs and an impending sense of violence.
Like nearby Nelson, it's a town with a proud heritage of mining and incest where folk still gather in the local pubs to compare their whippets and clogs over a pint or two of mild alongside their vague recollections of the town's footballing moment in the sun when Colne Dynamoes blazed a brief trail through the English lower leagues.
Alas, today's match sees the locals travelling on foot or by mule from Nelson to Neilson Road – home of Gateshead, a side two tiers above Colne and a team playing in between those two Northeastern powerhouses Sunderland and Newcastle and in the shadow of The Angel of The North.
The Northern gods have been looking more kindly upon the hosts who sit 9th in the NNL but could jump to 4th and a potential play-off spot with a game in hand; they have lost just once at home in the last 10 and smashed the aforementioned Rammy Utd 6-0 in their most recent FA Cup fixture.
Ironically, Colne's most recent away game was also against Rammy and it was a match which saw them come out victorious after a 3-1 win, in fact, Colne's last 3 away days have all seen 4 or more goals and I suspect there may be a fair bit of action again today with Gateshead leading the charge!
- Gateshead over 2.5 team goals
- (11/10, bet365) NAP ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Gateshead & over 3.5 match goals
- (7/4, bet365) NB ⭐⭐
Also adding this one from Brasil's Serie A…
FORTALEZA VS. GRÊMIO (9.00pm)
Quite like the look of Grêmio to grab a goal here and it's something they have done in 6 of the last 7 meetings between the two sides.
The visitors' away form is much their stronger profile and they have hit 4-1-3-4 team goals in consecutive matches on the road!
- Gremio goal before 61:00
- (5/6, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐
- Gremio over 1.5 team goals
- (7/4, bet365) ⭐