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Vanarama National League Preview

Posted by Matt Howitt
Posted on Thu 8 Feb 2018
Posted in League News

January felt like a long month and the National League shows no signs of slowing down as we enter February, with games coming thick and fast with another round of weekend games.

FC Halifax Town make the trip to Wales on Saturday where they are welcomed by the tough challenge of Wrexham, who look to push themselves even further ahead at the top of the table. Macclesfield in second have a game in hand over the leaders so the home side will need victory to ensure they are still front runners. Halifax, on the other hand, will be looking to pull off a huge shock and distance themselves from the relegation positions. No wins in their last six suggests it’ll be a tough task but a win would be priceless for the Shaymen.

Tranmere look to continue their superb run of form as they travel to relegation strugglers Leyton Orient. The away side haven’t lost in five and only have one defeat in their last seven, which was a disappointing 5-2 defeat to Fylde. The O’s, however, have had mixed results as of late, with a huge 2-1 win over Halifax being the only win in their last five but a win could see them overtake Maidstone.

Another side that are fearful of being dragged into a relegation battle are the 16th placed Maidstone. They must get past the tough task of a Bromley side who are looking to keep up their pressure on the teams in the playoff positions. Bromley have won four of their last five and look a real contender for the top six.

A surprise package of late is mid table side Eastleigh, who have not lost in any of their last eight, picking up an impressive five wins and three draws. Their opposition this weekend is Boreham Wood, who sit a few places ahead of them in the table in 8th and will be looking for a win to keep the gap as large as possible. However, their form has not been as good, with three wins, three draws and two losses in their last eight.

A side that is desperate for a win is Hartlepool. They’re off the pitch issues has hurt them and they are still looking for a win from their last eight attempts. They face another side in danger of relegation in Barrow who are also looking for a win but only in their last five. A win for Barrow will bring them level on points with Hartlepool but ideally both sides need other results to go in their favour if they are to begin a revival.

Solihull Moors, however, do not have to dream of a revival as theirs is already well underway. The side which were bottom of the National League before Christmas have picked up four wins and a draw in their last five which has propelled them into 21st place and if they can keep this form up they will have no trouble staying up. They are looking to continue this form against mid table side Ebbsfleet who haven’t won in three but will still have their eyes on the playoff places if they can hit form in the back end of the season.

A huge clash at the top of the table sees Sutton and Dover go toe to toe in a 5th vs 6th tie. Dover will be welcoming the London Club whose form has dipped slightly as of late, losing three of their last eight however they are still a firm outsider for the title and are favourites for a playoff position. Dover, on the other hand, have fallen off the pace a little, as they picked up four draws on the bounce over the Christmas period which hurt their title challenge so will be looking to get back to consistent winning ways.

At the other end of the table, Torquay will be looking to pick up some much-needed points as they travel to a Maidenhead side who sit comfortably in mid table. The away side picked up a win in their last game against Barrow, coming away 3-1 winners. However, this was their first win in eight and will be looking to push on and try and keep up this winning streak. Maidenhead’s form is reflective of their position in the table, very inconsistent. Three wins, three draws and two losses keep them in 13th place but they will be looking to see if they can mount some pressure on the teams above them.

Another side that needs to get a win under their belt is Chester. The struggling side sit in 22nd and have a game in hand over Torquay below them so now would be a good time for them to hit form. Their first task is to get past Woking, who sit in 15th. Woking themselves have been in poor form, with just one win in their last eight and if they are not careful they could find themselves being dragged into a relegation scrap.

Read more posts by Matt Howitt

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