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Vanarama National League Preview

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Posted by FC Halifax Town
Posted on Thu 18 Jan 2018
Posted in League News

After the FA Trophy fixture against Maidenhead United, the Shaymen are back in league action this weekend as Billy Heath’s side look to take on Leyton Orient at the MBi Shay Stadium.

The O’s have lost just twice since the appointment of Justin Edinburgh at the end of November, but have drawn their last two in the league 0-0 against Dagenham & Redbridge and Boreham Wood.

We have a southern football affair at Gander Green Lane as Sutton United and Dagenham & Redbridge take on each other.

The home side will be looking to maintain their performance so far, this season which sees them in third place behind the leaders Macclesfield Town by just six points.

For the visitors however, it is a case of getting back into the play-off places and bouncing back from a home defeat to Boreham Wood last week.

There is a North-West encounter between AFC Fylde and the table toppers Macclesfield to be played at The Mill Farm.

The home side will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run since the turn of the year to five games after winning three of their last four since New Year’s Day which saw them turnover Tranmere Rovers 5-2.

For the Silkmen, it will be their aim to extend their lead at the top of the league, as they look to win promotion back to the Football League.

Another all Southern tie sees Aldershot Town take on Ebbsfleet United in the Shot’s Hampshire home.

Manager Gary Waddock’s second-placed Aldershot will be looking to keep up the chase on Macclesfield while Ebbsfleet could move into the top seven with victory.

Boreham Wood are at home to Dover after being knocked out of the FA Trophy in the replay on Tuesday night and will be looking to put things right, and carry on from where they left off in the league when they beat their noisy neighbours Dagenham & Redbridge.

For Dover, Chris Kinnear will be looking to cement his team’s place in the play-offs as they sit currently in seventh place.

Marcus Bignot’s Chester, take on Gateshead with a chance to reduce the gap between them and Barrow should results go their way.

For Gateshead, they will be looking to make sure that the FA Trophy game in mid-week does not get the better of them and can increase their chances of safety from relegation.

There is a relegation scrap to take place at Guiseley this weekend with the home side second from bottom in the table whilst Barrow sit in 20th.

Barrow could move 11 points clear of Guiseley with a win whilst the Yorkshire club may move up relegation rivals Solihull Moors if they take the three points.

Problems off the pitch for Hartlepool United dominate headlines surrounding the football club now, so for the players and management, a win against play-off hopefuls Wrexham would be a much-needed morale boost.

For Dean Keates’ side, there is the extra motivation of a potential move up to second in the table with victory ahead of Sutton and Aldershot.

Maidstone United take on Eastleigh in a clash which sees the two teams next to each other in the league table face each other.

13th placed Maidstone will be happy with their season so far and there will be a plea of more of the same from their manager Jay Saunders.

For the away side however, Richard Hill expects much better of his 14th placed side who were challenging for the play-offs less than two seasons ago.

Solihull Moors will be looking to get out of the relegation zone in the next few weeks and have a perfect opportunity to do so against a Woking side who’ve won just one of their last ten matches.

After holding league leaders Macclesfield to a goalless draw last time out and winning in their previous two against Barrow and Maidenhead, Solihull will be confident of taking the points.

For Woking, it is about getting used to the departure of Joe Ward after he has signed for League One outfit Peterborough United.

They seem to have strengthened the squad since though including the free transfer of Reece Grego-Cox after his release from QPR.

Anthony Limbrick will be hoping to get back to winning ways following the 4-4 draw to Maidstone United and a 1-0 defeat to Tranmere Rovers in their previous two league games.

As I approach the end of this Vanarama National League preview, we move to Devon and Torquay United who sit rock bottom of the table and are in danger of being relegated at the end of the season.

The Gulls face a Bromley side who sit just outside the play-off places and with a 4-1 thrashing over Blyth Spartans, they will be up for this one, no doubt!

Finally, Tranmere Rovers look to take on Maidenhead United as the Rovers look for a sprint finish to give them the best possible chance of returning to the Football League after a spell out of it.

Maidenhead United, the visitors to Prenton Park will be full of momentum following their 4-1 victory over Town at the Shay last weekend.

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