Maidstone v Stevenage Odds: League Two side tipped to bounce back in FA Cup first round replay

Maidstone United have another chance at conjuring up a famous upset on Thursday night when they lock horns with Stevenage in an FA Cup First Round Replay at a jam-packed Gallagher Stadium in Kent (BT Sport 1, 7.45pm). Earlier in November the Stones, of the Ryman League Premier Division, impressively held their League Two opponents to a goalless draw less at the The Lamex Stadium. The teams, who are separated by 59 positions in the football ladder, will now clash for the second time in 12 days, with the winner of the tie travelling to Wales, where they will take on Conference outfit Wrexham in the second round.

Stevenage, at the second time of asking, will be gunning to assert their authority and prove the gap between the teams is simply too great. Boro have a decent recent record in the FA Cup, having made it through to the fifth round in 2011/12, and the fourth round both last season and 2010/11. In fact the Hertfordshire club have only stumbled once at the first hurdle since 2010, and Graham Westley's men will be desperate to avoid an embarrassing upset on Thursday as they head into the crunch clash as the evens favourites with Betfred for the win.

Meanwhile Maidstone kicked-off their cup campaign back in September in the first qualifying round. The Stones have since booted out four teams en-route to the current stage; reaching the first round for the first time since their re-formation. Having remarkably earned a replay against their Football League opponents, they will now be bidding to put the nail in the coffin and hurl them out of the competition. The non-league side have been handed odds of 10/3 with Bet365 to register a shock inside 90 minutes, whereas a draw can be found at 3/1, courtesy of the same bookmakers. Stevenage are the 8/1 favourites to clinch the game in extra-time, while both teams are priced at 12/1 in the penalty shoot-out market.

Maidstone have been simply superb at Gallagher Stadium this season; winning 11, drawing one, and losing none of their 12 league and FA Cup matches at home. This impressive record puts them in great stead ahead of the visit of Stevenage, with the Ryman side priced at 5/1 to win by exactly one goal, with a 1-0 scoreline priced at 13/1.

However, while Maidstoness home performances have undoubtedly be impressive, it is safe to say they have not welcomed a team with Stevenage's calibre to Kent so far this season. Westley's troops head into the replay on the back of a confidence boosting 5-1 league thrashing of Cheltenham - which moved them to within four points of the play-offs - and if they play to this this potential then there will only be one winner.

This time around Stevenage will be expected to up-the-ante. The League Two club may have been off colour in the previous encounter on home soil, but they have won five of their last seven FA Cup away games (L2), keeping four clean sheets in the process. With this in mind Boro could be worth backing at 13/5 to win to nil, with a narrow 1-0 scoreline priced at 8/1, whereas a 2-0 victory slightly longer at 9/1. Lee Barnard and Chris Beardsley both bagged a brace in the victory over Cheltenham last weekend, and they can each be found at 13/8 and 9/5 respectively to find the back of the net on Thursday.

Meanwhile it is worth remembering that Maidstone have scored in their last 13 home games in the FA Cup proper. With four FA Cup goals this season, including a hat-trick, striker Frannie Collin is the man worth checking out at 11/4 with Ladbrokes to extend his tally this week, while Jack Parkinson is priced at 11/2.

Maidstone v Stevenage Odds

Tip #1: Stevenage to win @ evens with Betfred*
Tip #2:BTTS @ 8/11 with Bet365
Tip #3:Lee Barnard to score anytime @ 13/8 with Betfair
*Best Bet

Maidstone v Stevenage Odds

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Posted: Tuesday, 18th November 2014
Author: Jake Itson

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