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Vanarama National League Preview

Posted by Seb Gigner
Posted on Mon 25 Dec 2017
Posted in First Team

FC Halifax Town go in search of a third consecutive league victory against table-toppers Macclesfield Town to highlight a tantalising set of 12 Boxing Day fixtures between all 24 National League teams on Tuesday afternoon.

A 4-0 thrashing of struggling Chester FC earned Halifax back-to-back wins for the first time since September, now going in search of an elusive third win against towering promotion-hopefuls Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose. Despite their lofty position, The Silkmen have only claimed two wins from their past six games, and will be looking to return to winning ways after a draw against Bromley FC at the weekend.

The early kick-off sees a salivating East London rivalry clash between Leyton Orient and Dagenham and Redbridge, with Orient hoping to complete the season sweep of their bitter adversaries having claimed a 1-0 win against Dagenham in October. The O’s resurgence could prove timely as they look to turn over a Dagenham side that suffered defeat at home to lowly Eastleigh FC on Saturday.

Barrow AFC will be hoping their incredible run of road success can translate to wins at Holker Street, hosting second-placed Wrexham AFC who will be looking to snap a run of three games without victory in all competitions.

Two more rival’s face-off in National League action on Tuesday, with Aldershot Town and Woking FC both hoping to rectify poor runs of form – each side failing to win once again at the weekend and in desperate need of a return to winning ways on Boxing Day. Aldershot remain fifth despite faltering in December with a stuttering run of four games without victory, whilst their Surrey-based opponents are also winless in December ahead of what should be a tension-filled festive fixture.

A vital clash between two relegation candidates sees Chester FC hosting Guiseley AFC in a crucial basement battle. A strong point against Aldershot will give Guiseley hope of earning a first win in two months, whilst Chester will be hoping to bounce back from their 4-0 thrashing against FC Halifax Town on Saturday.

Bottom of the table Solihull Moors will be hoping for a continuation of a positive string of results against Maidenhead United, with the latter looking to reignite their chase for the playoff places after a difficult period of performances. Solihull remain 10 points adrift at the bottom, but will be eager to build on a home draw against Boreham Wood at the weekend.

Another two struggling sides faceoff in Eastleigh FC and Torquay United, although the home side will be confident of registering back-to-back victories having seen off Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday. Torquay meanwhile will be hoping to benefit from some much-need rest having not played at the weekend, knowing a priceless win could see The Gulls close within five points of safety.

The buoyant Tranmere Rovers host AFC Fylde at Prenton Park, and will be hopeful of putting further pressure on the sides above them having been the only one of the top 10 sides to taste victory at the weekend. Fylde meanwhile will once again turn to fifth-tier top scorer Danny Rowe to provide the good, hoping the hot-shot striker can propel Fylde away from the looming danger of relegation.

Ebbsfleet United host Bromley FC knowing victory would see them leapfrog their playoff-challenging rivals, in a game that could have significant promotion implications come the end of the campaign. Neither side claimed a win at the weekend, with both still searching for that elusive December three points that will be up for grabs at Stonebridge Road.

Dover Athletic go looking for a much-needed win to keep up in the automatic promotion battle against stuttering Maidstone United, with the road side’s desolate run seeing them slip further away from the teams at the top of the table. Having relinquished top spot after a shaky run of form themselves, a win against Maidstone would certainly boost Dover’s hopes of challenging for the title heading into 2018.

A North-East duel sees Gateshead United hosting Hartlepool United, with each team separated by only a single point in the National League standings. Gateshead were one of two teams not to play at the weekend, and will be hoping to prevent Hartlepool from pulling away from them in the league standings in a bitter matchup between two side staring at the wrong end of the table.

Two consecutive defeats in the league brought a firm end to Sutton United’s charge up the National League table, but the South London side will still be targeting top spot against fellow promotion-chasers Boreham Wood at Gander Green Lane. The Wood are incredibly unbeaten in three months of National League competition, but a sea of draws in that period hasn’t seen the Hertfordshire squad make the progress up the table they’d hoped for.

 

Read more posts by Seb Gigner

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