Ladbrokes League 1: Early goals at Forfar and three home wins tipped

An Ayr United victory was all that was stopping us claiming a ‘Best Bets’ clean sweep in Ladbrokes League 1 last week, but with a profit of £61.60 to a £10 stake we’re not complaining.

With another five fixtures in store, we’re raring to go with some handy hints and tips in our previews of all the action in the third tier.

We begin with last week’s let downs…

Ayr United v Brechin City

Ayr didn’t see Albion Rovers coming last week, as the newly promoted side ran them ragged in a 3-0 victory. The Honest Men’s home form does however give them some hope for retribution against Brechin.

Three straight wins in their last competitive fixtures at Somerset Park, including a 2-0 victory over City in the Challenge Cup, says they could get off the mark sooner rather than later.

The visitors on the other hand have shown no signs of starting well. Three defeats have seen them score just one goal, conceding 11 in the process.

Even a trend that say’s they’ve scored two or more goals in 10 of their last 12 games against Ayr probably won’t save them here.

Best Bet: Ayr United – 3/4

Dunfermline Athletic v Cowdenbeath

The Pars have been rampant so far this campaign, scoring four, five and six goals in their first trio of fixtures.

The second of those came at the expense of Cowdenbeath in the cup, and with the Blue Brazil suffering late heartbreak against Stranraer last week, the hosts will smell blood again.

That defeat was the sixth competitive loss in a row for Colin Nish’s side, and they will need to snap out of it if they are to have any chance of bouncing straight back up to the Championship.

All told though, the home side should have too much once again as they look to continue their thunderous start.

Best Bet: Dunfermline -1 – 6/5

Forfar Athletic v Albion Rovers

The watertight Forfar defence has yet to concede a goal in their first three fixtures, but with the way Albion began their League 1 campaign last week that could all change.

And it could all happen pretty quickly at Station Park, with early goals expected.

There has been a goal scored in the opening 15 minutes in the last six meetings between these sides, with every one of them seeing at least two first half strikes.

Both teams netted in the first 10 minutes last week, so if both come out of the blocks in a similar fashion all the action could come in opening 45 minutes.

Best Bet: First half goal line: Over 1.0, 1.5 – 1120/1000

Stenhousemuir v Aidrieonians

Stenhousemuir threw away a two goal lead to be held to a draw against Peterhead last week, and although they probably would have taken that at the start of play will be disappointed nonetheless.

At home, Brown Ferguson’s side will be hopeful of holding out for more than just a point, but they will need to shore up their defence.

They’ve kept just one clean sheet in 13 matches at Ochilview, and with an Aidrieonians side smarting from a smash-and-grab defeat against Forfar last week, they could be breached again.

The visitors have won the last three meetings between the sides, though will need to be more clinical if they are to make it four on the bounce.

Best Bet: Score draw – 16/5

Stranraer v Peterhead

Peterhead haven’t enjoyed playing against The Blues in recent times, tasting defeat on their last five meetings, though they will take some solace from the fact that their last three wins against Stranraer have come at Stair Park.

Both sides have shown some good fighting spirit so far this season, the visitors coming back from two-down against Stenhousemuir, while Brian Reid’s men secured a late victory against Cowdenbeath last week.

But with some decent arrivals over the summer, and seemingly having a hold on their next opponents, it’s the hosts that can justify favouritism.

Best Bet: Stranraer – 5/6

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.