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Vanarama National North Preview

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Fri 28 Oct 2016
Posted in First Team

A full Vanarama National League North fixture list arrives again this weekend, with the Shaymen looking to continue their fine form on home soil against Brackley Town. It’s seven wins out of seven now for Billy Heath’s men after a 3-1 victory over FC United on Tuesday night. Visitors Brackley are in encouraging form themselves, unbeaten in their last six in all competitions. They most recently beat Curzon Ashton 2-0 last weekend.

Worcester City and Altrincham face off this weekend with the visitors looking to climb out of the relegation zone over the next few weeks. Worcester’s last two results have been opposites, a 4-0 win over Stalybridge followed by suffering a 5-1 demolition at Darlington. Altrincham’s last away league match saw them beat Stalybridge but two home losses have followed, most recently a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Bradford PA.

FC United will look to redeem their midweek defeat by the Shaymen with a good result against Gloucester. In their last six, United have won two; drawn two and lost two. Unsurprisingly they sit mid-table. Gloucester’s 1-0 win over Bradford PA in their last game puts an end to a winless run in the league stretching back a month and a half. This will be a hotly contested game.

Curzon Ashton’s FA Cup heroics have not quite inspired them in the league, having lost at Brackley and picked up a point at home to Chorley. They host Gainsborough Trinity this weekend who were the last team to beat the Shaymen in the league. Scoring and conceding freely, a 3-2 win and a 2-2 draw have sandwiched a 5-2 defeat by Darlington.

It’s a basement battle in Bradford this Saturday and what would be described as an early ‘six-pointer’. Bradford PA host Stalybridge, the two sides only claiming 13 points between them this campaign. It was a huge win for Park Avenue this week who won 3-2 at Altrincham, putting an end to a catastrophic run which saw them take one point from a possible 39. The win took them above Stalybridge who now prop up the table following a 3-2 defeat to Alfreton Town, their sixth defeat in a row. Survival of the fittest in this one.

Alfreton face Chorley this weekend with the visitors sitting fourth, breathing down the necks of the Shaymen. Games involving Alfreton are usually never short of goals or entertainment, with a gargantuan 88 goals scored by both sides in their 18 games so far this season in all competitions. They last took a 3-2 win from Stalybridge. Chorley’s recent form has dried up slightly, with two wins halted by a defeat and most recently a 1-1 draw with Curzon Ashton.

It’s a mid-table clash in the Midlands this week with Telford and Salford City facing off. Telford are unbeaten in four and last weekend took a 2-0 win from Altrincham. As for the Manchester visitors who once topped the league, they have now dropped to 10th and are without a league win since early September. An entertaining 3-3 tie with Boston United was followed by a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home by Tamworth.

It could be a very interesting game between Harrogate Town and Darlington this weekend with the home side looking to break back into the playoffs. It’s been gloomy for Harrogate of late, knocked out of the FA Cup by the Shaymen and after a 2-0 defeat at home to Kidderminster, they have now racked up three league losses on the bounce. Second-placed Darlington will be looking to close the gap on table-toppers Fylde, and have scored 16 goals in their last four league matches, ten in their last two. An excellent opportunity for both teams.

Nuneaton Town and Boston United meet this Saturday in a bid to push on with their respective seasons. Nuneaton only have one win in their last five and go into this fixture on the back of a 2-2 draw at Gainsborough. Boston were hammered by the Shaymen last weekend and have not won in the league for over a month. It looks to be a tight encounter.

Stockport County will look to make up ground on opponents Kidderminster this weekend. Two successive wins in league and cup against Salford and a 1-0 win at Chorley last time out see the hosts as a good-looking side of late. Visiting Harriers took home an impressive 2-0 win at Harrogate on Tuesday night after a 2-0 reverse by FC United previously.

Finally, Tamworth welcome league leaders AFC Fylde to the West Midlands as they look to upset the odds. Sitting in mid-table, their last result was a 2-1 win against Salford. High-flying Fylde sit atop their perch four points clear at the top going into this weekend. Still unbeaten in the league this season and with Danny Rowe mercilessly banging in goals – now on 20 and still in October – the men from the coast last beat Harrogate by two goals to one.



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