Football League North Preview

Football League North Preview

As the race for promotion and survival heats up across the National League North, the last weekend in March has thrown up some intriguing encounters for non-league fans to feast their eyes upon. Our very own Gainsborough Trinity will be hoping for a positive result against an extremely talented Darlington unit tomorrow.

With the teams immediately around us in strong positions to gain maximum points, all three for Trinity will be a huge success this weekend, particularly on the back of eight games without a victory. Bradford Park Avenue have a favourable fixture against the seemingly doomed Altrincham and will be hoping to use the tie to build upon their 3-1 success against Telford last weekend, after losing three in a row previously. Meanwhile Worcester City also seek to turn around a bad run of form that sees them without a win in twelve when they take on Stalybridge Celtic who look primed for relegation alongside Altrincham.

AFC Fylde will be looking to take another step towards the league title as they travel to Nuneaton Town. Danny Rowe has scored twice as many goals as any other player in the league and is hunting down his half century, whilst the team themselves are looking at treble figures with 94 already to their name. However any slip could allow the chasing pack to gain a glimmer of hope in their quest to chase Fylde down, particularly as the leaders have dropped four points in their last two games, failing to score in the week. The trio of hopefuls all take on mid-table teams, with Salford City making a long trip to Boston United, though the Pilgrims are currently experiencing a poor run of form with six defeats in their last nine matches. Chorley host Curzon Ashton, after picking up just one point in their last two matches, whilst Kidderminster Harriers welcome Harrogate Town, who boast the deadly strike force of Simon Ainge and Jon Paul Pittman. With games involving the hosts witnessing 14 goals in the last three games, expect more of the same this weekend.

With just four points separating Stockport County and Tamworth, an exciting encounter lays in store between two sides maintaining hopes of making a late charge into the final playoff spot. Danny Lloyd and Dan Newton will be looking to fire their respective sides to a crucial three points. Stockport go into the match as favourites after picking up 21 points in their last 12 matches, whilst Tamworth have lost six in the same period, including an entertaining 4-3 defeat to Kidderminster on Tuesday. Halifax currently hold the last playoff position but face a challenging test away to FC United of Manchester, though the hosts are left with little to play for as they remain cemented in the middle of the pack and take on a Halifax team who have lost just twice in their last 12 league outings.

AFC Telford are looking nervously over their shoulders at the teams below them and face a difficult away trip to Brackley Town, particularly as they have only one solitary win on the road this season and have shipped a number of goals in recent outings. After a disappointing defeat to Bradford Park Avenue last weekend, they will be looking to experienced campaigner Lee Hughes to stop the rot as the season draws towards a close. Alfreton Town did find themselves in a similar position up until last weekend. Two consecutive victories have given them breathing space ahead of the relegation places before they visit Gloucester City, spearheaded by top goalscorer Luke Hopper. The experienced Craig Westcarr will be hoping to fire the away side to three points, though all eyes will be on the league’s leakiest defence with Alfreton conceding 76 goals in 34 matches.

Article by Chris Lincoln

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