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Vanarama National League Play-Off Preview

Posted by George Sanders
Posted on Tue 1 May 2018
Posted in League News

With the season complete for the Shaymen, we examine the promotion hopefuls in the National League, in this season’s Play-offs under the new format.

Aldershot Town vs Ebbsfleet United – Wednesday 2nd May

5th placed Aldershot Town will host 6th placed Ebbsfleet United at the EBB Stadium in a bid to advance to the semi-finals. Aldershot lost on the final game of the regular season to 3rd placed Sutton, 2-1. This means that they fell to 5th while the visitors Ebbsfleet also disappointingly drew 1-1 with relegated Torquay.

If the form guide is anything to go by then this could prove to be an even contest as both sides coming in to the game in slightly inconsistent form. The Shots have lost two and also won two out of their last five fixtures, while the away side have slightly more favourable form with three wins and one loss in their last five games.

The Fleet have veteran striker Danny Kedwell at their disposal and age is clearly just a number for the 34 year-old as he is one of the league’s top scorers, with a tally of 19 goals this season. He also has experience of the National League play-offs prior to the game, after he scored the winning penalty in the 2011 Conference Premier Play-off Final penalty shoot-out between Wimbledon and Luton, to send the Wombles in to the football league.

Meanwhile the Hampshire side have some hot-scorers of their own this season. Scott Rendell has scored 12 goals this season and was the sole Aldershot scorer in their recent game with Sutton. Another notable threat on goal that Aldershot have comes in the form of Irish striker Shamir Fenelon who has scored 11 times.

Aldershot have kept 17 clean sheets this season and Ebbsfleet have gained 14.

The winners of this game will face 2nd placed Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Saturday 5th May.

Boreham Wood vs AFC Fylde –

By beating relegated side Guiseley 3-1, Boreham Wood have ensured that they secured the top play-offs spot. This is the first time in the club’s existence that they have achieved this.

The Wood will host 7th placed AFC Fylde who have remained in the play-offs by the skin of their teeth after they could only draw on the final game of the season in a stalemate with Wrexham. Fylde earned their spot with a superior goal difference being the only thing putting them above 8th placed Dover who share their tally of 73 points.

Both sides have just two wins in their last five games, however Fylde have the slightly better form as they have drawn two of those five whereas Boreham have lost the other three.

The home side’s defence will likely be put under pressure by the league’s second top goal scorer, Danny L. Rowe. Rowe, who has been with the club since 2014, has scored an admirable number of 24 goals this season for the Coasters. Rowe clearly hasn’t lost his goal-scoring touch after being Fylde’s top scorer in the 2014/15 season after scoring 31 times in that campaign.

Bruno Andrade is the home side’s highest scorer after achieving a tally of 20 goals to his name. The midfielder has played in 45 games for the Wood this season and scored the opening goal in their recent game with Guiseley.

The Wood have kept 18 clean sheets this season while Fylde have 12.

The winners of this game will face 3rd placed Sutton United at Borough Sports Ground on Sunday 6th May.

Play-Off Games

National League

Wednesday 2nd May

Aldershot vs Ebbsfleet

National League North

Kidderminster Harris vs Bradford Park Avenue

Stockport County vs Chorley

National League South

Hampton & Richmond Borough vs Truro City

Hemel Hempstead Town vs Braintree Town

Thursday 3rd May

National League

Boreham Wood vs AFC Fylde

Read more posts by George Sanders

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