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Vanarama National League Preview

Posted by Joe Hughes
Posted on Fri 17 Nov 2017
Posted in League News

This Saturday promises to be an action packed one in the National League with a full 12 fixtures taking place across the country. FC Halifax Town make the lengthy trip to high-flyers Sutton United with their mind set on getting back to winning way.

League leaders Dover Athletic face Leyton Orient in a fixture that could turn out to be a tricky outing when they make the trip to London. Dover currently sit one point ahead of second placed Macclesfield Town and are on an incredible nine game unbeaten run in the league. In contrast, Orient have failed to pick up a full three points in each of their last four league fixtures and will be determined to kick-start a run of good form.

Dover’s closest pursuers, Macclesfield Town face a visit from mid-table Boreham Wood, who currently occupy 10th position in the fifth-tier division. Despite the seven-point gap between the two sides, it is the away side who have been the most clinical in front of goal so far in this campaign. Macclesfield have netted 21 times but Boreham Wood trump that and have notched up and impressive tally of 27.

Further down the table sees Eastleigh play host to a Barrow side that looks set to include the returning Grant Holt who re-joined the team last week after a 14-year spell away from the club. This fixture could produce some goals as Eastleigh have only failed to score in two of their previous eight games in all competitions.

Two points and five places separate Hartlepool United and Aldershot Town in the National League going into the weekend’s action. The Shots will make the journey to Victoria Park looking to continue their push for the play-offs, although it could be a stern test against a Hartlepool side that are consistently showing that they are a solid outfit. United have not been defeated in their last seven league matches.

Elsewhere, in what will be roughly a 400-mile round trip, Tranmere Rovers will travel to 15th placed Gateshead in what could be an interesting clash. Gateshead come off the back of an impressive 0-3 away victory again Maidenhead United last weekend and will look to take advantage of a largely inconsistent Rovers. The Merseyside outfit also feel confident about the fixture as they put in a classy performance to beat Dagenham & Redbridge 2-0 at Prenton Park last Saturday.

Strugglers Torquay United will take on National League newcomers, AFC Fylde away from home. So far, United have only been able to put 11 points on the board with Fylde managing to tally up twice as many. The coasters are in good form and are beginning to look like a tough team to beat having taken three points promotion chasing Wrexham and reaching the first-round proper of the FA Cup.

Yet another tough fixture beckons for Chester this weekend as they make the considerable trip down south to battle it out with sixth placed Bromley. Chester’s chances of coming away with the spoils look slim as they haven’t been victorious in a match away from home since 26th September. The 1-2 win against Aldershot is their only triumph on the road this season.

Things don’t look to be getting any easier for Solihull Moors either this weekend. Solihull who sit rock bottom of the table going into the weekends action will come up against a confident Maidstone United side who recently defeated Cheltenham 2-4 in the FA Cup first round. Their league reading is also positive as they currently hold fifth position in the overall standings.

Guiseley will be looking for a repeat of last season’s result this weekend when they travel to Dagenham & Redbridge. Last season’s fixture at Victoria Road ended in a 1-2 Guiseley win with the home side finishing the match with just 10 men after Corey Whitley’s early dismissal. However, this could be a tall order for the Yorkshire side as the Daggers have only lost twice at home this season in the league.

Town’s most recent visitors Woking, return to their home ground for this match day as they play host to Maidenhead United. What looks to be a large gap between the two sides in terms of league positioning is much less than it appears. Although Woking are six places above united just two points split the opponents, meaning that a Maidenhead win would see them leapfrog Woking in what is proving to be an unpredictable National League season.

Finally, third placed Wrexham welcome Ebbsfleet United to the Racecourse Ground. Wrexham have already faltered this season against a newly promoted team when they were defeated 2-0 away from home by AFC Fylde. United will undoubtedly take confidence from this result and look to replicate the outcome.

All games are scheduled to for a 3pm kick-off.

Read more posts by Joe Hughes

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