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Vanarama National League Preview

Posted: Fri 17 Mar 2017
Author: Adam Percival
Harrogate Town

Harrogate Town

It’s a massive weekend at the top of the league table – with the league leaders facing off against third place the stand out tie.

For Kidderminster Harriers, it’s a massive opportunity to close the gap on AFC Fylde as they travel to Mill Farm. With a game in hand on the league leaders, as well as second and fourth placed Salford City and Chorley, securing points this weekend would be a massive boost for play-off security.

However, on paper it would seem they will struggle to capitalize on this given their recent form – just three victories in the last seven games, which saw them drop points against mid-table FC United of Manchester and Brackley during this run.

Then there is Fylde, who despite being thumped 5-0 at Salford City at the beginning of February, have steadied the ship with three victories in five and are yet to show further signs of potentially losing their grip on top spot.

Danny Rowe continues to find the back of the net as he struck his 40th goal of the campaign last time out against Gainsborough Trinity.

With just nine games remaining, increasing their lead to fourteen points would create a huge cushion between them and second – and for some would see this as securing the league title.

41 miles away from Mill Farm, second placed Salford City host sixth placed Stockport. The Shaymen supporters will be hoping for a draw in this one, as victory for Billy Heath’s side at home to Gloucester at the Shay would put them within two points of the Manchester-based side (with a game in hand).

Their form has been up and down in recent weeks – following difficult victories against low-ranked Stalybridge Celtic and AFC Telford accompanied by defeats at Gloucester and Tamworth. These inconsistencies have meant they’ve failed to build on their amazing result against Fylde and ultimately may have to settle for a play-off position.

Chorley have a brilliant opportunity to leapfrog into second if they can secure all three points at Harrogate Town. Matt Jansen’s side rounded off a disappointing February with a massive 2-1 victory against Kidderminster.

Elsewhere Stalybridge Celtic will look to build on last week’s thrilling 4-3 victory against Bradford Park Avenue, their first in six games, as they host 19th placed Worcester City.

Celtic moved off rock bottom because of this, and with an impressive three games in hand on BPA just outside the drop zone, they could within four points of safety. It’s a bold ask but this would be the great escape if they could pull it off.

Those are just some of the stand out fixtures of the weekend, be sure to follow the Shaymen Wall on Saturday to find out how the other National North sides fared this weekend.

 

AFC Fylde v Kidderminster Harriers                         15:00     

AFC Telford United v Bradford Park Avenue              15:00     

Alfreton Town v FC United of Manchester                  15:00     

Altrincham v Stalybridge Celtic                                15:00     

Curzon Ashton v Nuneaton Town                              15:00     

Darlington v Brackley Town                                     15:00     

FC Halifax Town v Gloucester City                            15:00     

Harrogate Town v Chorley                                       15:00     

Salford City v Stockport County                               15:00     

Tamworth v Gainsborough Trinity                             15:00     

 

Worcester City v Boston United                                15:00